Chennai Corporation’s New Solid Waste Management System

Chennai’s New Solid Waste Management Services launched by Chief Minister Mr. Edappadi K Palaniswami in collaboration with Urbaser brings hope for residents.

Overflowing garbage, mounting trash, and the pungent stench around Chennai garbage collection bins ‘may’ soon become a thing of history.


Boasting itself as India’s first KPI driven project for Cleaner Chennai, Solid Waste Management 4.0 by Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) does give city residents a ray of hope. 

The municipal corporation, which previously partnered with private companies like Onyx, Neel Metal Fanalca (NMF), and Ramky, has now signed an eight-year contract with Urbaser SA and Sumeet Facilities Limited to manage Chennai’s Solid Waste in few parts of the city. The Indo-Spanish company, Urbaser SA and Summet Facilities will manage Solid Waste in 16621 streets in seven Chennai zones using 12000 contract workers. 

12000 cleaning workers, 3000 e-rickshaws, and 200 HMV/LMV are part of the new Waste Management System.

3000 battery operated vehicles for primary garbage collection, and 300 Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV)/ Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) for secondary garbage transportation will be deployed in the streets of Adayar, Tenampetm Kodambakkam, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi, and Sholinganallur. 

Chennai Corporation Sumeet Urbazer
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R. Raman, a municipal corporation worker of 11 years, is all excited about his new role with Urbaser. Having worked as a residential garbage collector in the streets of the Velachery, R. Raman says the new modus of operation is nothing as they used to be. “Previously, there were two people to collect garbage on pedaled tri-cycles door-to-door. Now, as you see, there is just one person, me, to drive the battery-operated e-rickshaw. No one collects the garbage. Residents are expected to drop in the garbage in the individual cans,” he says while proudly steering his new battery-operated vehicle.

 “There are two more municipal contract workers who will be responsible for sweeping and keeping the ground near street garbage bin clean and tidy,” he adds. “While I go door-to-door on my buggy to collect residential Waste, two more colleagues work on ensuring the stationed street bins are clear of any overflowing garbage. Together we three are assigned for the cleanliness of 13 streets in Velachery,” R.Raman blazons. 

Silver Coloured Metal Bins is all-weather resistant, Durable and will last for longer. 

True to R. Raman’s claims, the ground near the stationed street bins was nothing they used to be. There was no overflowing garbage, nor were there any piles of trash blanketing the ground. The bins had a makeover too: the previously british racing green colored plastic bins were replaced with silver color metal containers. 

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What is different about Chennai’s New Solid Waste Practices?

One of the best things about Chennai’s new solid waste management practices is its focus was on Litter Free Corridors. 

Cleaner Streets and litter-free neighborhoods will be added focus.

Previously, the focus was only on the household-level primary garbage collection and secondary-level dump yard disposal. Our article, Chennai Solid Waste Trends, covered in detail about the city’s previous practices. In the new project, the focus will also be on keeping the ground near garbage containers clean and tidy. This will hopefully translate into cleaner streets and better residential neighborhoods

Secondly, the mechanization of collection vehicles. The e-rickshaws does seem promising over its predecessor, hand-cycles. Previously, many had to depend on their maids’ to drop off the garbage around the street corners. In the new way of business, people can let go of that dependency. The buggy’s loud honks in the morning will not only serve as alarm but will also motivate people to drop their residential garbage, all by themselves. 

Scientifically, the project is truly the first of its kind in Solid Waste Segregation practices of Tamil Nadu. The Garbage collection model encourages residents to segregate Waste as Dry Waste, Wet Waste, and Domestic Hazardous Waste. If implemented well, this waste segregation can help municipal workers recycle up to 90% of the Solid Waste. It can also help in initiatives like Waste Exchange Platforms perform even better.  

Chennai’s New Solid Waste Management System clearly seems to emphasize more on eco-friendly garbage collection.

It is possible for Chennai neighborhoods to have cleaner streets, a better standard of living, and, most of all, sustainable solid waste management practices, through this new approach. 

Clean Chennai, the hope of many Chennai Residents, may indeed become a reality with this new solid waste management system.

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