Reverse vending machines installed on Amarnath yatra route in Sonamarg to prevent littering

In a first, the authorities have installed two reverse vending machines to prevent littering during the ongoing Amarnath yatra in Sonamarg area of Jammu and Kashmir.

The machines have been installed at Sonamarg and Baltal by the district administration and Sonamarg Development Authority with support from Coca Cola company.

“These machines will go a long way in reducing plastic bottle load in tourist destination besides the (Amarnath) Yatra area. These have been installed at zero cost with support of Coca Cola company under CSR using provisions of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016,” deputy commissioner Ganderbal Dr Piyush Singla told Greater Kashmir.

He said the initiative is aimed at motivating people to throw plastic bottles and cans inside the machines, thereby helping in segregating waste and avoiding littering.

Singla said that the people using these machines would be rewarded in the second phase of the initiative. “People who put their empty bottle in these machines will get discount coupons,” he said.

Chief executive officer Sonamarg Development Authority (SDA) Shabir Ahmed Raina said that they have started this initiative to keep Sonamarg resort and its adjacent places clean, restricting the PET bottles from going into the landfill.

“When people visit a tourist spot or a market place, they are likely to carry a bottle of water or soft drink, which they will need to discard. The machine will recycle the waste, which is a scientific solution to manage waste,” he said.