• ITC's Solid Waste Management Initiatives - Serving over 228,600 households across 10 states

The Indian Context

Waste generation in India has soared steeply, mainly as a result of three factors - a large and growing population, rapid and unplanned urbanisation and, perhaps most importantly, swiftly rising consumption levels. However, waste disposal and management infrastructure has lagged severely, creating a massive problem. Heaps of waste are a common sight in towns and cities and the majority goes untreated into landfills - a serious public health risk, environmental hazard and an enormous waste of resources.

ITC's Contribution

ITC's Well-being Out of Waste (WOW) initiative promotes awareness about the importance of source segregation and recycling, and establishes systems to ensure effective practice. It collaborates with local municipalities to train waste workers and rag-pickers in these concepts and to provide an efficient collection system that covers virtually all segments: households, offices, schools, hospitals, commercial establishments, etc.

Proper segregation reduces the amount of waste going to landfills while the dry waste collected provides competitive raw material to several industries, e.g. glass, paper and plastic. Rag-pickers and waste workers also earn higher and more regular incomes.

Along with WOW, ITC is also implementing several other waste management projects along the same lines but tailored to local situations, e.g. promoting home composting or involving women's self-help groups.

ITC's Solid Waste Management Programme

Building an Effective Waste Management Chain through Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships

Households, Citizens,
Schools,
Corporates

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Beneficiaries, Financial Contributors

NGOs

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Project Implementation, Domain Expertise, Local Experience

Rag Pickers &
Waste Workers,
Self-help Groups

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Beneficiaries, Carry out most activities / Main action takers

ITC

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Facilitator, Programme Design, Funding, Monitoring & Evaluation

Urban Local Bodies,
Municipal Corporations

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Infrastructure & Implementation Partners

Waste Aggregators &
Recyclers,
Industries

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Stakeholders in efficient waste management chain

Strategies and Key Interventions
  • Promoting awareness to stimulate behavior change
  • High-impact public campaigns
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    High-impact public campaigns

    Road shows, hoardings, pamphlet/flyer distribution, clean up drives, street plays/skits, visits to individual households and commercial establishments

    Intensive programme in schools
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    Intensive programme in schools

    Comprehensive school campaigns to inform and educate children and young people so that they develop awareness and good habits at an early age

    Games, quizzes, competitions, events and other interactive activities like forming clubs and celebrating National Recycling Day stimulate interest and help to keep children engaged

    Training for direct contact personnel, e.g. rag pickers, municipal workers, etc.
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    Training for direct contact personnel, e.g. rag pickers, municipal workers, etc.

    Rag pickers / other workers who carry out the service are trained so they understand the importance and benefits of waste management and can communicate this effectively so that families can ensure proper segregation of household waste

    Civic volunteers are trained as Community Resource persons to make visits to individual households and convince them to participate in the door-to-door service

  • Establishing efficient systems to support effective source segregation & recycling
  • Door-to-door collection services, including provision of colour-coded bags / other systems for household source segregation
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    Door-to-door collection services, including provision of colour-coded bags / other systems for household source segregation

    Participating households segregate wet and dry waste in the separate receptacles provided

    Segregated waste is collected from household and transported to primary collection centres

    Wet waste is composted as far as possible. Dry waste is thoroughly sorted for category-specific recycling, mainly paper, glass, metal and plastic

    Activities are carried out mainly by trained rag pickers and in some cases by community groups formed for the purpose, e.g. women's self-help groups

    These waste workers are trained to check that households are segregating waste correctly, to explain to them why this is important and to communicate the multiple benefits of proper waste management

    Thorough sorting at various stages to maximize re-use of recyclables by industries
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    Thorough sorting at various stages to maximize re-use of recyclables by industries

    Waste collection workers check that the household waste is properly segregated during collection and may do some preliminary sorting of dry waste during collection

    Dry waste is separated into broad categories at the primary collection centre and sold to Dry Resource Collection Centres where it is thoroughly sorted and then sold to appropriate industries or to larger waste aggregators

    Larger waste aggregators often specialise in a single category of waste and can provide the volume and type desired by certain recyclers, e.g. only board packaging or only PET bottles

  • Supporting sustainable livelihoods for rag-pickers and waste workers
  • Training for rag pickers/waste workers so they can provide an efficient service
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    Training for rag pickers/waste workers so they can provide an efficient service

    Rag pickers are engaged in informal employment and are among India's most economically and socially disadvantaged communities in towns and cities

    The concept, importance and benefits of proper waste management are the key element in their training so they understand the value of their own role and can communicate the various aspect to other stakeholders and convince them to fulfill their own responsibilities

    Training also covers necessary practical requirements and safety measures

    Gain from higher incomes, regular employment, more social dignity
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    Gain from higher incomes, regular employment, more social dignity

    The door-to-door collection service provides regular, paid employment and sale of recyclables boosts incomes

    Health and safety standards are much better with proper equipment and measures like regular tetanus shots, etc

    Gain considerably in terms of social dignity as a result of better public awareness of the vital importance of their role in waste management as well as improved perceptions (gainfully employed, using proper safety equipment, able to explain the importance of the service, etc)

  • Forming robust community groups and partnerships with local municipal bodies
  • Training & capacity building for various stakeholders
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    Training & capacity building for various stakeholders

    Programme reaches out to all stakeholders - waste generators (households, offices, schools, general public, etc), municipal staff, rag pickers / other waste workers, waste aggregators, waste recyclers

    Diverse training programmes tailored to different groups, e.g.

    - rag pickers / women's self-help groups to provide door-to-door service
    - civic volunteers to enlist household participation
    - workshops with apartment block committees to encourage them to institute proper systems in their complexes

    Building on existing systems & resource sharing to maximize efficiency
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    Building on existing systems & resource sharing to maximize efficiency

    Active and close collaboration with urban local bodies / municipal corporations who are primarily responsible for waste management in towns and cities

    Collaboration covers manpower and resources such as premises for collection 1

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