Kerala Local Bodies to Partner with Startups to Combat Waste Crisis

Kerala's local bodies aim to address the waste crisis by partnering with startups and private players. With tons of non-biodegradable waste, how will this collaboration address local concerns and the challenges faced by Clean Kerala Company? Read on.

Swati Dayal
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Kerala Waste Warriors

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The Local Self Government Department (LSGD) of Kerala is gearing up to address the mounting challenge of waste collection by partnering with private parties and startups. The accumulation of non-biodegradable waste has become a significant concern for local bodies throughout the state.

The issue has escalated since the initiation of the Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam campaign and the deployment of Haritha Karma Sena members, resulting in a surge in the collection of non-biodegradable waste. However, this has led to a concerning accumulation at Material Collection Facilities (MCFs) and Resource Recovery Facilities (RRFs) across the state.

The Kerala government last year came out with an order enabling the LSGIs to reward citizens providing credible inputs of illegal waste dumping as part of the 'Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam' (Garbage-free New Kerala) campaign, seeking to make the state garbage-free by next year.

The Alarming Waste Statistics and The Guidelines in the Pipeline

Media reports reveal that an average of 12,000 tonnes of non-biodegradable waste is currently being collected and relocated for scientific handling. In response to this crisis, the LSG Department is devising strategies to involve private entities and startups in various facets of waste management, including processing, transportation, and the operation and maintenance of facilities.

An official from the LSG Department disclosed to a leading media house that the department is in the process of formulating guidelines to engage private parties in the waste management sector. Several startups and private players have proposed projects, and once the guidelines are established, local bodies can collaborate with these entities to address existing issues. This collaborative effort is expected to bring about significant improvements in the waste management landscape.

Addressing Local Body Concerns

Facing a surge in complaints from local bodies, the LSGD is taking steps to expedite the transportation of accumulated waste. The official emphasized that the success of the Malinya Muktham Nava Keralam campaign has led to an increased collection of waste. Therefore, the department is working on enhancing the existing system to effectively manage the collected waste.

Partnerships with Clean Kerala Company Ltd

Currently, 789 local bodies have joined forces with Clean Kerala Company Ltd and private service providers associated with the company. Clean Kerala Ltd reported a substantial increase in the collection of segregated waste since the launch of the campaign. The company collected approximately 400 tonnes of non-biodegradable waste per month before the campaign, and now it exceeds 1000 tonnes.

Challenges Faced by Clean Kerala Company

Despite commendable progress, Clean Kerala Company is grappling with a significant challenge—the substantial amount of accumulated non-degradable waste that cannot undergo recycling and necessitates incineration. Efforts are underway to establish larger facilities for the storage of collected waste by local bodies, aiming to overcome this hurdle and further improve waste management in the region. The collaboration with private entities and startups is expected to play a pivotal role in addressing this multifaceted waste management crisis in Kerala.

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