In a major relief for lakhs of Mumbai residents, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will send people to collect plastic waste right from their doorstep, starting next week.
The initiative comes a month after the state issued the Maharashtra Plastic and Thermocol Products notification that banned the manufacture, use, storage, distribution, sale, import and transportation of all kinds of plastic items.
Following the ban, and per the state’s directive, the BMC’ solid waste management department listed steps for the collection and disposal of all banned items.
As a part of their drive, the civic body set up collections bins and PET bottle-crushing machines at various public places across the city earlier this month.
Taking a step further, the BMC plans to start a 10-digit toll-free number to collect plastic waste from people’s doorstep. The municipal authority is already in the process of getting the number and expects it to be up and running by next week.
Once live, residents will be able to simply call the number and schedule a pick up of all banned items from the convenience of their homes. The helpline, primarily for those with a large stock of waste plastic items, will be functional for the next 2 months.
Additionally, two dozen garbage trucks will be deployed for the collection banned plastic and thermocol items, including, bags, dishes, cups, glasses, bowls, forks, spoon, straw, containers & PET bottles from housing societies and commercial establishments.
At the time of notifying the ban, the state government had said that civic bodies and other authorised agents would start penalising offenders after a month. But a few businesses were fined before the allotted time was over, leading to mass confusion.
Later, BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta confirmed that coercive action against anyone for violating the new plastic ban will be initiated only after three months, i.e June 23.
Meanwhile, the civic body also plans to run both offline and online campaigns over the next few weeks to spread awareness about the ban and suggest alternatives to plastic/thermocol items.