Creating a model ward –

In Mumbai, the Municipal ward is the most basic unit for creating solutions for civic issues like Waste Management. A ward is a miniature version of the city consisting of residential communities, high-rises, corporate offices, markets, shops, slums, restaurants, open spaces etc. Planning of Waste Management also happens at the ward level. Any decentralized solution for the city first needs to be tested at a ward level and then replicated. GCF has identified one such ward in the suburbs where it focuses most of its energies to create a model for Waste Management.

Waste Management at Residential Communities –

The most important step towards Waste Management is segregation at source. We stress on three-way segregation to reduce at least 85% of the society’s landfill burden.

  • Wet waste – treated at source through composting
  • Dry waste – sorted, aggregated, recycled
  • Hazardous waste – Coprocessing and a small portion to landfill

Our approach for implementing Waste Management programs at residential societies is as follows:

Society outreach – reach out of the managing committees (Chairperson/ Secretary) of identified societies with the help of BMC, corporators and other local bodies

Onboarding – Sign up societies and seek their commitment towards implementation

Communication to residents – A letter detailing out the project and the desired process to be adopted is sent to all residents by the Managing Committee. The same letter seeks volunteers who become part of the society’s internal task force

Training the task force – The task force is trained for resident outreach and on-ground monitoring of the project

Preliminary waste audit – This is taken up at the beginning of the project to identify current state of the waste management process in the society and key gaps. Their current level of waste generation is recorded using a handheld weighing scale.

Housekeeping training – they are trained to collect segregated waste separately and for further segregation of dry waste if needed

Door to door segregation kit distribution and education – Once the backend operations are in place, all households are visited and provided with a segregation kit consisting of a reusable PP bag for dry waste, a Green bin for wet waste and a laminated segregation chart. Their existing dustbin is used as a Reject waste bin. Each household is explained the process for waste segregation they need to follow, using a mix of charts and videos

Monitoring of the process – Post one on one interaction with all residents, the task force takes over the monitoring of the house level segregation. The GCF field team focuses on monitoring at the society manager and housekeeping level

Retraining – wherever the households are not complying with the segregation process, retraining of the respective residents and housemaids is done using videos and charts

Collection, storage and disposal of dry waste – post collection, the housekeeping stores the dry waste in large gunny sacks provided for the same. Periodically the BMC appointed dry waste vendor weighs, records and picks up this waste for further sorting and recycling

Wet waste treatment – Once the society reaches a certain level of segregation (say 70%), we start implementation of wet waste processing on site. This involves estimation of space and infrastructure needed, fixed and operating costs of the process, staff training, handholding and monitoring of the process till the society can manage on its own.

Post audit – Post implementation of the program, a waste audit is conducted again to evaluate the impact created.

Society workshop
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Green Schools Program –

What better place than a school to introduce the concept of waste and its management? GCF works with municipal schools to convert them into Green Schools. We first start with explaining the students the concept of segregation of waste and its relevance. Each classroom is provided a bag to store their dry waste which is then aggregated at the school level and sent for recycling. We have also set up small composting bins in each classroom where children are actively involved in the composting process. The compost thus generated can be used to grow food in the school premises thus reinforcing the concept of circularity.  

Segregation game at school
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Waste Management at Slums –

Slums are an integral and largely inevitable part of any large city today. These communities too, generate a large amount of waste due to their sheer numbers though the per capita waste generation might be lower than average. While managing waste might not be a priority area for slum dwellers, it is critical to implement segregation at source in these communities as littering and dumping of waste adversely impacts them and the city at large.

GCF works in slum communities to solve some of their core issues related to health, hygiene, nutrition and education and in return demands compliance on Waste Management from them. This ‘barter’ leads to solving multiple problems at the same time.

Meeting with Anganwadi workers
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Corporate Volunteering –

Waste Management is highly amenable to corporate volunteering programs. In fact each employee can not only be a part of some of our awareness programs at schools and societies but they can volunteer at their own communities where they live and spread the message of managing waste responsibly.