Last week I and my friend were walking around a man-made lake somewhere in Navi Mumbai talking about our career growth. And we thought of grabbing some ice cream. I picked up a Havmor cup of vanilla, while my friend wrestled with anxiety. As is common with him, he took about five minutes to select the perfect ice cream, and eventually ended up with a tri-cone.
We took another round of the square-shaped lake and began to search for a dustbin. Had it been 2010, we would not have found one, but since there is some local development lately, we did find one. Not one, but two, and that’s when the problem arose. The dry waste and wet waste problem.
The Dry Waste-Wet Waste Problem
Since the tri-cone wrapping was seemingly dry, my friend dumped it inside the bin labelled ‘dry waste’ (or suka kachra’). I hadn’t finished yet, so we talked about NMMC’s waste management program. All when I was still eating my ice cream!
The Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) appears to have invested a lot in these bins as part of their ‘Clean Navi Mumbai’ mission. The strange and suspicious thing is that none of these – at least where I live – have been vandalized yet.
Back to the problem: When I finished eating my ice cream I didn’t know which bin to put the waste in – the dry waste bin or the wet waste bin. Since it was a cup, it still had vanilla stuck in the depressions and curves. The tiny plastic spoon that it came with was not too helpful when it came to scooping ice cream from these tiny curves. My friend suggested I lick the remnant vanilla directly off the cup and give company to his wrapping in the dry waste bin, but I wasn’t going to do that in front of people. I know they are constantly looking at me.
So, I peeked inside the two bins. The bin with the green-colored label ‘wet waste’ (or ola kachra’) was empty, while the other one had one biscuit wrapper and few other wrappers I couldn’t identify. Kudos to people who use the bins and don’t throw garbage away like it’s customary. We hit a roadblock.
Since the cup was “largely” dry, we both agreed that it be dumped into the dry waste bin. Both the cup and spoon found their place. And then we walked back to the lake wondering if the men who come to collect the garbage from these bins have ever encountered this problem.
One thing is clear, though – if not the segregation, at least the NMMC waste management has improved lately.