Nagarkurnool: People heading to Srisailam and beyond from Mannanur end using the 60-km highway passing through Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR) dump trash, including empty water bottles, snack wrappers, paper plates, on the roadside. Though there are dustbins, collection and scientific disposal of trash posed a challenge to forest officials till recently. But things are changing since the last few months, Forest Divisional Officer Rohit Gopidi told Telangana Today.
Worried over the increasing trash and the scientific disposal of the same, ATR officials have now set up a plastic baling machine at Mannanur, besides tying up with an organisation which deals with recycling of plastic waste.
Since lockdown is in force, not much trash is dumped in the area. Generally, about 600 kgs of waste is generated a week and it can be much more during holidays and special occasions like Saleshwaram Yatra, when pilgrim traffic is high, he said.
The Forest Department has employed rag pickers, besides deploying staff for collecting waste. However, due to lack of awareness, rag pickers used to dump the trash in landfills or burn it. At times, monkeys threw the trash from dustbins.
To fix these issues, the Forest Department deployed auto trolley for transporting the trash collected by rag pickers and staff to the baling machine set up in a shed on the outskirts of Mannanur. For every two days, a full load of trash is carried to the shed in the auto trolley, where three workers segregate plastic waste cardboard waste and multi-layered plastic. The segregated plastic is baled, each consisting of seven to ten kgs of waste pet bottles, says Rohit Gopidi.
“Once 130 or 140 bales are done, Recykal shifts the waste from the shed to their recycling point in trucks. This entire exercise is helping us in not only clearing trash from the forest but also in scientific disposal of the same,” he said. The small step taken by the Forest Department is slowly but definitely yielding desired results.
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