We know that many of you have been looking forward to hearing the stories of the outstanding initiatives that have been taken by our Winners. So, we have decided to publish the stories from all the categories starting with Waste Management as our first story. Hope you like them!
Category: Waste Management
Winners: Whispering Palms Xxclusive, Mumbai & Matoshree’s Pearl CHS Ltd, Mumbai
Whispering Palms Xxclusive is a 322 units community with around 1200 residents and 300+ staffs – around 470 kg of waste is generated per day. The residents were tired of the overflowing landfills, soil contamination, and health hazards. Finally, the community came together looking for solutions.
There are four important stages involved in the total waste management :
- Segregate waste
- Composting wet waste
- Dry waste management
- Reduction of waste generation
One major reason behind this success story is the involvement of the residents in the initiative. From creating segregation policies, spreading awareness, educating and most importantly monitoring, reinforcing the segregation, the whole community including the children played a part in it. They Adapted Bangalore’s 2bin1bag model to suit the apartment, each household were given 2 buckets and 1 reusable bag. They turned the initiative into fun activities among the community by painting the waste drums and assigning duties to the student volunteers.
E-waste, Medical waste and Broken glass (Sharps/Expired medicines) were deposited at an assigned place / handed over separately.
Steps involved in wet waste management were: Identifying types of compostable waste, estimating daily quantity, evaluating suitable composting methods and implementing the same. Cement tanks were constructed for composting, metal mesh cylinders for leaf collection and composting. Pots provided to dispose off Pooja flowers. Shredder machines to reduce the size of waste (leaves, twigs, wet waste). Total investment was approximately Rs 3.6 lakhs (including building tanks, shed, shredders, tools, and implements). Two additional housekeeping staff were hired to facilitate the waste management related work.
For the dry waste, firstly they categorized it, identified vendors and for some categories, they even partnered with neighboring communities to reduce the cost. And all the reject wastes are given to BMC for disposal.
And, the impacts of all these??
- At 295 kg per day, the society generates almost 9,000 kg of wet waste every month. Since starting composting in January 2018, they have converted approximately 40,000 kg of wet waste into compost (the starting handling capacity was 200 kg/day which has been enhanced) – and saved this from getting dumped in landfills
- Compost generated (approx. 900 kg per month) is used in the extensive gardens of the society, saving on the manure costs that were being incurred. It is also sold to residents and people in the neighbourhood at Rs 10-20/kg
- Sale of approx. 1,200 kg of dry waste per month, generates an average of Rs 10,000. While half is retained by the society for the waste management project, half is distributed among the housekeeping staff as incentive
- Over 10,000 Tetra Paks have been given to RUR for recycling. The society has received a certificate of appreciation from RUR, and also a collection bin and bench made of recycled Tetra Paks.
- Two truck loads of plastic waste (bags and other plastic waste not accepted by raddiwalas) have been sent to Urja Foundation. In addition to our society’s plastic waste, waste from individuals of neighbouring societies has also been sent. This will be converted into fuel and road plastic.
And many more…
The community receives frequent calls for advice on waste management.
Also, societies in the neighbourhood are trying to replicate the system we have put in place.
At the same time, Matoshree’s Pearl CHS Ltd, Mumbai, a 65 units residential community is a living example of sustainable living in an urban setup.
With the decentralized waste management system, the society manages to divert 1-1.2 tonnes of waste from the landfills. The Project was flagged off on the auspicious occasion of Swachh Bharat Mission on October 2nd 2017.
The residents of Matoshree’s Pearl showed extensive support for installation of waste management project in their premise. Multiple workshops were conducted for housekeeping staff, domestic help and residents to sensitize them to carry out segregation at source.
Segregation at source forms the base of waste management pyramid. An effective segregation at source ensures 50% of successful waste management. Through various modules, sessions and discussions, an effective strategy of 3 bin segregation at source was installed – the waste was segregated into Biodegradable kitchen waste which was collected in biodegradable bags, the dry recyclable waste was collected in crates without any bags, while the trash component was collected separately, which was the only component being disposed to the BMC trucks.
The biodegradable kitchen waste was managed using RURs GreenGold Aerobic bio composter which replicates the nature’s way of recycling and requires Zero electricity input incurring low maintenance costs. The optimal balance of Air-Temperature-Moisture ensures naturally accelerated and odourless composting process. Most importantly it is a fully enclosed system making it pest/rodent resistant.
Four medium sized composter units were installed on the terrace under the water tank. The secondary segregation and the composting process happen on the terrace and GreenGold compost is generated in a span of 45 days. Finally, the ready compost is mixed with equal quantity of soil and used as potting mix to grow organic vegetables like palak, methi, mint, bhindi, cucumber, bottle gourd, tomatoes, chillies etc. Fruits such as pomegranate, guava, banana are also grown on the terrace successfully using homegrown organic compost.
Matoshree’s Pearl, has an excellent system to divert dry waste from the landfills. The dry recyclables are collectively accumulated from the households and then segregated at source into 7 bins viz paper, thick plastic, cardboard, metal, thin plastic, glass bottles, Tetra Pak cartons and electronic waste. Each category of waste is kept clean and flattened so as to minimize the space required for storage. The dry waste is then auctioned to the responsible recyclers who then collect it monthly as the segregated dry waste is of value. The empty Tetra Pak cartons including the straw and plastic caps are collected separately and deposited to nearest Sahakari Bhandar outlet which is then sent for recycling into garden benches and school desks. The revenue generated during the auction of the dry recyclables is used to support the waste management project, by incentivizing the staff dedicatedly working for a greener tomorrow.
The residents carry cloth bags for their regular shopping. Additionally, they encourage members to practice responsible consumerism and consciously buy products with less packaging materials, and product with packaging materials of higher recyclability. Moreover, they are also motivated to slowly phase out bin liners to reduce plastic waste production. Some of them use newspaper liners while others have removed the liners altogether. They also divert the dry leaves from the neighboring societies into composting saving them from going to the landfills.
The society has made a conscious effort to educate their children to be responsible eco-citizen and understand the consequences of irresponsible waste dumping. The kids are involved in the terrace gardening and composting activity which keeps them connected to nature.