Waste Management

Whatever we decide to label it -- rubbish, trash, waste, refuse, or garbage -- the piles keep growing. It comes from homes, schools, businesses, factories, and other places; it is generated by people of all ages. As hard as we try to reduce and recycle large amounts of waste, we will still have some left to be disposed With industrialization and urbanization, the problems of waste disposal have increased many folds. We must re-educate ourselves to realize that waste is a resource that should be managed. High population density, intensive land use for residential, commercial and industrial activities led to adverse impact on the environment. Across the nation, waste management laws are being enacted and communities are developing plans for better management of their garbage. Management of waste requires a comprehensive plan. It will take the right combination of options to meet each community's needs. In wake of this need, Indian Environmental Society organize various workshops on Solid Waste Management. In 2007, a conference on “Solid Waste Management in Urban Areas” was held in New Delhi (January 22-23, 2007 ) to promote intellectual minds to exchange ideas, knowledge and information among them on a common platform so that we can find new solutions to the problems encountered in the field. IES has undertaken few projects to enhance solid waste management practices among the community people. Various projects undertaken are as follows:-

Solid Waste Management at Puri – A Euro Asia Cooporation

On the eastern cost of India, along the blue water of the Bay of Bengal the unique state of Orissa is known for its magnificent temples, sunny beaches, colourful wild lives traditional tribal culture and a rich heritage. To her credit Orissa has housed the important pilgrimage center for the Hindus. This city is one among the 4 dhams. As Puri is a pilgrimage town situated at the coast of Bay of Bengal and the famous temple of Lord Jagannath and the Car festival of this Supreme Lord make this coastal city of Orissa internationally renowned. Traditionally, apart from the Car festival many other festivals life Chandan Yatra, Suna Besha, Bali Yatra and many more has been celebrated throughout the year. The blue sea and these festivals of the supreme lord attract thousands of tourist and devotee not only from all over India but also from abroad. Especially during the Car festival, which is generally celebrated during the month of June, vast numbers of tourists and devotee remains in this city for several days. Again due to attractive location of Puri (On a beautiful Sea Beach) the tourists remain here during the winters October to December to enjoy the climate.

Background and Objectives

Owing to its beautiful location and also due to various colourful festivals, Orissa attracts a large number of tourists from all over the country and abroad. Each year more than millions of people visit the city, particularly during the grand chariot festival “Car festival”. Due to the above facts the city remains crowded throughout the year. These crowds generate several tons of waste during their stay at Puri. The waste management and water management issues are under serious pressure during the festival time and also when the tou5rist influx is high. The waste mostly includes plastic bottles, polythene bags, mud pots, banana leaves, fruits, flowers etc. The most common method of disposing of daily garbage in Puri is to throw the waste in the few bins provided by the Municipality, otherwise on the street and in the drains. Waste collection is insufficient and does not cover whole city. The vast quantities of waste generated should be managed in order to keep this city of Orissa clean and attractive. Realizing the above fact, Indian Environmental is implementing a project, in close association with INARE of Greece, LAUX of Greece, Municipality of Rome, Aylesbury Vale District Council of UK, and Municipality of Puri of India. The project is supported by European Union.

The following are the objectives of this project:

  • 1. Increase the local capacity and skills for technology practices transfer inspired by European best practices in the form of a project with several activities as technology cooperation practices, training, seminars, publications etc.
  • 2. Improve environmental quality with cleaner environment and health condition for the citizen of Puri but also for the visiting tourists by developing a series of community based waste collection and initiatives.
  • 3. Improve and strengthen waste management system with Puri district through public participation technique and improve mechanism techniques coordination of Municipality Industries and civil societies involved in waste collection separation and recycling.
  • 4. Aware, educate and involve public participation to improve waste management as the success of all schemes depends upon people by recognizing their benefits and activities such as frequent solid waste collection with an efficient mechanism and respond to the sanitary conditions, waste minimization home composting etc.

Achievements Till date, following activities were undertaken:

  • 1. Selection of project sites and target groups.
  • 2. Recruitment of project staff (2)
  • 3. Infrastructure development (setting-up of office, 24 hours online internet and telephone connection, computers, etc).
  • 4. Collected data on the present situation of waste and the method of waste collection as well as disposal at Puri.
  • 5. Organized two awareness programmes to sensitize the local people of the project sites on the issues of solid Waste management.
  • 6. Conducted five-day training programme to provide training to the Municipality administrative staff and sweepers, waste collectors, and drivers.

The project staff has collected the data regarding the quantity of waste generated in Puri. As per the collected data, the city produces about 35 to 40 tons of biodegradable waste. On the occasion of the famous Car festival, the city produces 200 tons of waste. Similarly, from October to December (pleasant climatic condition at Puri) tourists groups generate about 100 tons of extra waste. Apart from the quantity of waste generated in the city of Puri, project staff also gathered information about the method of waste collection, transportation and disposal by the Municipality of Puri.
As a part of the project, the Society organized following two awareness programmes for the school and local community:

Competitions: The Society organized competitions among the school children of a community school on the issues related with Solid Waste Management. Around 150 students participated in the competition. The first three successful candidates were awarded with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. Apart from these prizes 6 consolation prizes were also distributed. All these prizes were distributed through a counselor of the fisherman village.

Rally: The Society also organized a rally with the school children. Community people also participated in the rally. Around 150 school children and 100 community persons participated in the rally.

Community meeting: At the end of the rally, community meeting was organized with the local people from fisherman village.

The Society also organized five-day training programme, during May 23 – 27, 2006 at Puri, for the municipality administrative staffs, drivers, sweepers and waste collectors. Experts in the field of Solid Waste management conducted the training. During the training programme, Ms Athena Veneti, President - INARE, Greece; Vasileios Diamantis, LAUX, Greece; Simone Silvestri and Gioia Galasi from the Municipality of Rome; Robertr Smart from UK; and Dr. Desh Bandhu, President - Indian Environmental Society were present. They presented their paper on the issues of Solid Waste management.

Community Based Solid Waste Management at Agra

This is one of the ongoing programmes of the Society, which is implemented within 1 km radius of Taj Mahal in Agra. The project is supported by NORAD and USAID. IES took active steps to strengthen and also to improve the existing Waste Management System at the project location and promotes public participation in waste management processes. IES has adopted an integrated approach, which includes production of compost from waste and its marketing, awareness generation, capacity building and involvement of private sectors in this programme.

Background and Objectives

This pilot project is based on ‘Trash to Treasure’ ideology. Under this program community volunteers are involved in door-to-door waste collection system. The domestic waste is converted to manure through composting and are being sold. The project is aimed at capacity building of stakeholders and replication of best practice model in neighbourhood areas.

The project has a demonstrative effect for other parts of the country. Domestic wastes are being converted into manure through the process of microbial decomposition. The output of the process i.e. manure is a source of resource generation for sustaining the project.

IES has adopted an integrated approach to implement the program, which includes the following:

  • 1. Collection, Segregation, Transportation, and Disposal of Waste.
  • 2. Production of manure from the waste and its marketing.
  • 3. Awareness generation on the issues of Solid Waste Management.
  • 4. Capacity building and involvement of Private Sector Organization.

Efforts have been made to strengthen the infrastructure for the management of Solid Waste in the project area and explore economic benefits from the activity through people’s participation. The main objective of the project is to strengthen the Solid Waste Management System through community participation and involving concerned institutions to ensure a close coordination among them. Through this project, the Society has demonstrated a Community Based Technology of converting waste to compost, which has been replicated in other parts of the city. Local Community and Municipal Corporation of Agra were also involved by the Society to keep the environment around Taj Mahal Clean and healthy. Achievements The Society has tired its level best to continue and sustain the ongoing activities of Solid Waste Management in the said project this year too. The project has now attained its sustainability and is now self funded. The voluntary workers of the Society have continued with their usual practice of door-to-door collection, transportation, segregation, disposal, composting etc in the target area. The waste transported was then segregated into degradable and non-degradable waste. The degradable waste is then put into the pits, developed by the Society at TORA, for decomposition. A very simple and cost effective process of composting was adopted by the Society.

The methodology adopted by the IES is as follows:

  • 1. The degradable waste is filled into composting pits at Tora.
  • 2. This is then pulverized regularly to facilitate uniform biodegradation followed by sprinkling of water to maintain moisture content.
  • 3. The waste turns into manure after a cycle of seven weeks.
  • 4. The compost produced is taken out and dried under the sun, sieved, packed and then stored for selling.

The compost produced is marketed as TAJRICH Compost. The tajrich compost is provided to local farmers at a very subsidiary rates, which is easily affordable by the.
During this year, IES has organized few awareness and training programmes. Awareness camps at local schools and training programs for NGOs, ULBs/Municipal Staff were also organized. To involve farmers in the project, training programmes were also organized for them. The training programmes for farmers have improved their awareness level to use organic manure.
Community Based Solid Waste Management Programme at Agra is not turning waste to resource but also creating a congenial atmosphere for visiting the Taj Mahal. The project has the potential to contribute an ideal model, which could be replicated in different regions of the country and elsewhere for “Trash to Treasure” initiative.