Progress cards for waste management launched by Urbaser Sumeet

Urbaser Sumeet, the private conservancy company engaged by the Greater Chenani Corporation to manage the collection and transportation of waste generated in seven zones, has launched a ‘Citizen Progress Report Card’ for 26 of its routes, which will reach 260 houses spread across the seven zones it operates in. Post this pilot phase, the project will be expanded to other routes and commercial areas.

The card contains 10 questions to be answered every day with each question worth one mark. The answers will be collected every four days, and residents will be scored out of 40. The questions seek to monitor residents’ behavior over the four days using prompts such as ‘I use reusable shopping bags’ or ‘I dispose domestic hazardous waste responsibly’ . A list of citizens who do not follow segregation will be handed over to the Corporation, which will take the next step.

“We have started by educating the drivers of our battery-operated vehicles because they see residents on a daily basis,” said VR Hari Balaji, head-information, education and communication, Urbaser Sumeet. According to him, repeated instructions given to residents will help in enforcing this new plan. In his experience, there have been residents who were initially skeptical of waste management practices, but over time, they have come around as well.

“On the surface, solid waste management seems straightforward, but it actually deals with habit formation and behavioral change”, Mr. Balaji said.

He remarked that citizens have to understand why segregation is necessary, how they can segregate their waste and what steps are involved in segregation. Urbaser Sumeet, he said, has communicated with citizens in interactive ways to ensure that theory be converted into practice. “Our strategy is very area-specific because the dynamics of each area differ as what works for one doesn’t necessarily enjoy success in another and the Corporation has remained supportive throughout,” he said.

Urbaser Sumeet has been active during this monsoon, actively clearing drains and roads.

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