My Waste, My
Waste is any
substance which is discarded after primary use or is worthless,
defective or of no use.
Waste Scenario in India
the second largest populated country in the world after China, with more
than 1.27 billion people, contributes to 17.6% of the world’s total
population. (Official Population Clock) Annually, 62 million tonnes of
garbage is generated by 377 million people living in urban India. (Report
of the Task Force on Waste to Energy, Planning Commission, 2014) Our
country has become the third-largest garbage generator in the world.
waste and certain industrial wastes have significant impact on the health
of the environment and the people. (Misra et al. 2004) Groundwater
quality can be adversely affected because of leachate percolation. Air
pollution is caused by emission of greenhouse gases when waste is burnt.
news is that the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 have defined the
role of the citizens for proper segregation and management of waste.
Development Alternatives’ Strategy for Behaviour Change
change does not happen overnight. At Development Alternatives, we follow
the 4 A’s approach because we believe that an individual usually moves
through certain stages before converting a belief into action. The
approach is – Assessment, Awareness, Action and Advocacy.
offers a living statement on the waste management quagmire that
accompanies a culture of consumerism spreading fast across India. It is
estimated that, in the business-as-usual scenario, by 2020, the capital
will need an additional 28 sq. km area, more than the entire spread of
Lutyen’s Bungalow Zone, to dump its daily garbage.
initiative undertaken in Saraswati Vihar, a North-West Delhi colony, by
the Behaviour Change Communications team at Development Alternatives has
shown how composting kitchen waste at the household level can help
address the solid waste problem. This initiative has shown how families
and communities can handle their waste themselves by separating the
organic waste, composting it and producing manure that can be used in
their own kitchen gardens. In the process, the initiative has provided
the families an opportunity to begin mending their own small ecologies.
Engagement with the Community
About 1,800 kgs of compost has been generated till now. Today, the residents of this
highly urbanised and affluent colony boast of how they produce organic
vegetables on their terrace gardens. These are among India’s richest 10
per cent people who feel that with this waste composting solution, they
are improving their environment and contributing to making their city a
more liveble place.
Alternatives brought the simple technology of Earthcare Designs, a
Nashik-based social enterprise that, makes it possible to turn waste into
manure. The contraption from Earthcare Designs comes in the form of a
simple twin-plastic container that together with a bacterial culture,
ensures an odourless process that also excludes pests. The microbial
culture, introduced to the residents as Amrit powder sets in an aerobic
process of composting. This means that the kitchen waste does not
produce any methane, a much-faulted greenhouse gas. The residents of
Saraswati Vihar might not be aware of it, but they have, in their own
small way, reduced their carbon-footprint.
Director of the Department of Environment of the Government of Delhi -
Mr. Anil Kumar lauds the initiative from Development Alternatives, and emphasises that the project should also be seen in the context of a new
set of rules, the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The Solid Waste
Management Rules have mandated source segregation of waste in order to
channelise the waste to wealth by recovery, reuse and recycle. Waste
generators would now have to segregate waste into three streams -
Biodegradables, Dry (plastic, paper, metal, wood, etc.) and Domestic
Hazardous Waste (diapers, napkins, mosquito repellants, cleaning agents
etc.) - before handing it over to the collector. We, at Development
Alternatives, would like to see this pilot project scale up to cover
every home in the city.
Case Study – How can an individual create wealth from his/her kitchen
Wadhwa, a resident of E- block Saraswati Vihar, Pitampura, is a home
maker with a passion for gardening. She has a beautiful terrace garden
that speaks of her interest in gardening. She says, “We planned a terrace garden
when we were building our house. And today, we are growing fruits and
vegetables for our family. It’s been two years that I have been grafting
in my own house and experimenting to create new varieties of flowers and
Development Alternatives team shared the concept of kitchen waste
recycling with various households in Saraswati Vihar, she was the first
amongst the 40 households to grab the opportunity to get trained on
converting kitchen waste into compost, and to install the composter at her
Rekha says, “The cost
of compost that I buy from the market is quite high. Moreover, it has
chemical fertilisers in it. But having installed the
at my home, it serves multiple purposes. The waste produced at our home
is converted into compost and also reduces the waste management problem
faced by our community.
cooked and uncooked food waste, including dairy products, vegetable and
fruit peels, leftover food and garden trimmings, gets converted into
nutritious compost. The compost from the wet waste gets ready within two
months. My plants are a happy lot getting the nutritious compost. What
makes this a smooth process is that it is absolutely easy to maintain
the composter. The composting bins are light, pest-free, noiseless and
adds, “I would like to express my gratitude to Development Alternatives
for initiating this pilot with our RWA, and for promoting kitchen waste
recycling. I will motivate more residents of our society to start
gardening and reuse waste as a productive resource.”
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