Using Circular Economy And Solid Waste Management For Sustainable Development: Community Program In Mumbai By Earth5R

Mumbai generates approximately 7,025 tonnes of waste per day

Waste management has become a vital issue for a major part of the country. Mumbai is a metro city with the highest population density and Asia’s largest slum area – Dharavi.

Earth5R volunteers took up the task of training the communities at Mahim and Bandra which are located to the west of Dharavi.

Earth5R volunteers are conducting training to teach the community the basic techniques to reduce waste generation and manage their waste with simple actions.

According to BMC officials, the average waste generated per person per day is 450- 650 gram.


Solid waste can be classified into two types:

  • Wet Waste (Biodegradable)
  • Dry Waste (Non-Biodegradable).

These wastes are controlled and managed in different ways.

Plastic waste – which is a non-biodegradable waste) has been drastically affecting the marine ecosystem in Mumbai. (Hindustan Times)

 In Indian households, a majority of waste falls under the Biodegradable category. This waste can be managed by composting.

The volunteers train the locals to segregate the wet waste – which includes food waste, kitchen wastes, etc – and teaches them simple technique to compost at home.


The locals at Mahim – especially the women of the area – were eager to learn about waste management.

The locals actively participated in the training and the volunteer was able to train 3 – 4 groups easily without the need for any convincing. The training was conducted with the help of pictorial material that which made the training interactive and easy.

With waste segregation training, the locals are also trained in Livelihood Skills, which include, generating income through Waste.

Under the Livelihood program which is based on the circular economy model, the people are trained in upcycling/ reusing the segregated waste like papers, clothes and plastic into useful products which could be sold locally.

The community is also trained in marketing skills for them to have an edge in the market.

The compost made the families after processing their wet waste is also sold and helps earn a side income

The women of the communities trained by Earth5R show great participation and success through the Livelihood Program.

This training helps empower the women by making them financially independent and helps the community by encouraging the local economy.

This income makes a great difference to the communities living in the impoverished and slum areas of Mumbai.


Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office in Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs across India.

Earth5R specializes in circular economy-based projects. Earth5R also offers short term and long term environmental courses and fellowships.

– Reported by Hemanshi Gusani, Edited by Riya Dani