Tag: Kopar Khairane

The Dry Waste and Wet Waste Problem

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.

Your Local Raddiwala Is Fooling You!

That day the whole family looks happy. The day you sell off your scrap & old newspapers for an average 10 rupees a kilogram. The amount probably ends up in the family piggy bank, the only day when it is used. But, every time you give away your old, read newspapers to any raddiwala in Mumbai, have you noticed the consistent value in the weight of the pile? It revolves around 8-10 kgs for smaller heaps and 17-20 kgs for bigger ones. If so, then, my friend, you are being fooled.

Few months back, The Times of India carried a reader’s article of an incident where a household got hold of an iron rod scale of the same type these raddiwalas (or scrap dealers) use. They had already weighed their pile to 26 kilograms and when the dealer weighed it in parts, the meter ticked at 8 kgs each; 16 kilograms in total. Immediately, the housewife came out with her scale & provided proof to their claim. The raddiwala, eventually, shelled out 250 rupees, a rounded off amount & left with a gloom on his face. After two months, when the same household happened to call him, the call was disconnected to never have connected again. The whole colony followed suit & now not a single scrap dealer in the locale agrees to come over.

Apparently, the weighing scales used by these raddivalas are tampered with to a considerable extent so as to reduce the total weight by around 30%. And, have you also noticed that every single one of them have the same type of scale? Probably the easiest one to rig. And all these years I was getting paid in 2 digits for my precious bundle of paper. But this morning, the table turned and I bought myself a weighing machine. The initially jovial dealer coughed up 300 rupees for my pile of 30 kilograms of old newspaper and old magazines and left with dejection. Ah, that pleasure! But, later I felt bad for the guy. I am sitting here blogging on my notebook in a seemingly lavish apartment and there he is dealing in scraps to make ends meet. He may not come back, but I do know a dozen raddiwalas in my locale. Enough for a year or two till few new dealers open shop; they always show up, don’t they? Near that grocery store or that fast food eatery.

So next time you call a raddivala home, be prepared with a scale of any make. At least, you will get a satisfied deal and won’t have to absorb a loss. There is a chance that the guy may not accept your claim, so it is better to have contacts of different scrap dealers in your neighbourhood. Technically speaking, a 2 feet pile will weigh around 20 kilograms, enough to buy those two sticks of Kwality Wall’s latest attempt at daylight robbery which also pretends to be a symbol of exaggerated luxury – the Magnum ice-cream priced at a whopping Rs. 85 per stick.