Ramdas Kokare led zero-waste program shuts down Adharwadi dumping site
Posted By : Abhijeet Singh | Date : Jun 28 2021 6:40 AM
Solid waste dumping grounds, unlike landfills, which are designed scientifically to manage solid waste without polluting the nearby air, soil, and water, are known to severely pollute the local air, water, and soil. The fact probably made more sense for the people staying around the Adharwadi Dumping Ground, a dumping site that started creating similar environmental havoc over time.
Adharwadi ground began turning into a waste disposal site when hundreds of tons of solid waste generated in the nearby cities like Kalyan and Dombivali were being emptied on its sprawling 6 acres of land.
Soon when the waste started accumulating in a large quantity, it was burned in the open, releasing harmful pollutants into the air.
Nearly 4 lakhs residents staying around Adharwadi were choking for almost 37 years breathing polluted air coming out from the Adharwadi Dumping Ground, until a local zero-waste management initiative, led by activist Ramdas Kokare, fought and successfully shut down the dumping activity on the site.
The Adharwadi Dumping site located in the city of Kalyan was declared shut on May 25th, 2021. Soon after shutting it down Vijay Suryanvanshi, the Municipal Commissioner at Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) visited the dumping ground along with Ramdas Kokare, Deputy Municipal Commissioner, solid waste management, and announced that the existing waste will subject to segregation, and proper disposal, after which the dumping ground will be beautified into a garden and a track.
The dumping ground began outside the city in 1963, according to Kokare, who launched the zero waste management program on May 25th, 2020. However, in the 1990s, residential societies began to appear in the surrounding areas. Residents were blaming the authorities for the dirty air from the dumping area, according to Kokare. He went on to say that residents have been demanding for the dumping ground to be closed for 37 years and that they had even filed a PIL in the high court in 2007 to do so.
A year before it was closed down, the site was receiving around 100 tonnes of waste from the surrounding area. Now that the site is closed for dumping, Kokare revealed that all the garbage collected will be sent to the Umbarde treatment and processing center, which has a capacity of 350 metric tonnes, and the Barave treatment and processing center, which has a capacity of 200 metric tonnes.
Kokare further added, "People blame the Municipal Corporation or authorities for the waste. But it's the equal responsibility of the citizens too. Awareness about cleanliness among citizens is very important. Firstly, they should segregate the waste in society and recycle it. Secondly, they should stop using plastic and third they should stop throwing garbage on the road. It will further make the city clean," he added.