The densely populated neighbourhood of Kurla, Mumbai, is facing a pressing issue. They lack a waste management system.
The residents have resorted to dumping their garbage on streets which is not only a nuisance but also poses a threat to health and hygiene. Most of these 100,000 or so families live in unauthorized shanties and buildings, which makes it harder to set up a waste management system.
The garbage on the road – especially the plastic waste – has now managed to get beyond the neighbourhood and into the Mithi river which flows nearby, further aggravating the threat to the people and the environment.
An Earth5R volunteer training the locals in the basics of waste segregation
The Earth5R team is working with RiverRecycle, United Nations Technology Innovation Labs, and VTT to clean up Mithi River in Mumbai with the help of plastic debris recovery machine funded by Huhtamäki which can remove 60 tonnes of plastic per day.
But these efforts would never be enough if the root problem is not acknowledged.
FINDING A SOLUTION WITH CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Circular Economy is a system which keeps the resources in circulation while generating monetary benefits for the community.
The Earth5R training program helps people make maximum use of resources which are often disposed of as trash.
A team of Earth5R volunteers are engaging the locals at Kurla in various training programs and activities to tackle the waste management issue through easy and practical steps built around a circular economy model.
Earth5R’s Citizen Training involves children, adults, and senior citizens and teaches them the basics of Waste Segregation through easy to understand and fun activities.
Earth5R has devised Livelihood Programs and Citizen Training Programs based on a circular economy model which involves and encourages the residents
SKILL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH LIVELIHOOD TRAINING
The Earth5R livelihood programs train the people residing in slum areas by teaching them skills to turn the trash into marketable products. Earth5R volunteers also teach the locals marketing skills.
The training involves practising the fundamentals of Waste segregation, where people are taught to segregate wastes into recyclables, non-recyclables and wet waste.
One such example is where the locals are taught to compost their wet waste which not only keeps the waste out of the landfills, but the compost could also help generate income for the locals.
They are also trained in repurposing clothes, paper, and plastic into products. This encourages financial independence, especially to the women living in these slums.
The rag-pickers are also involved in the collection of recyclables after the segregation, which further helps generate income.
Earth5R is an environmental organization from India with its head office at Mumbai. It works with the NGO sector, Companies and helps them conduct environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs across India.
– Reported by Riya Dani