Mumbai generates more than 7,000 tonnes of waste everyday.
Proper waste segregation and disposal is a major issue when it comes to waste management and cleanliness. Accumulation of waste is harmful to health and promotes bad hygiene.
Accumulated waste can cause many health and hygiene problems (europeansting.com)
The Earth5R team has started a waste management project in Kurla region of Mumbai, India.
Kurla is one of the most densely populated regions in India and is home to the 3rd largest slum in India.
Kurla has more than 5,000 small and medium scale businesses which are not part of the formal waste management system.
These businesses generate 125 tonnes of waste per day. This waste is currently being released into the local ecosystem, including the streets and water bodies like the Mithi river, that passes through the region.
The slums in Kurla have around 100,000 families. These slums are unauthorised settlements and therefore, don’t have any formal waste management and disposal in the area. This leads to accumulation of waste on the streets and in the Mithi river.
Check out this video to have a look at the situation of plastic accumulation in Mumbai due to the improper disposal.
Earth5R is already running a river cleaning program in Mithi river, in partnership with RiverRecycle, United Nations Technology Innovation Labs and VTT. The machinery being used for the river cleanup is operated by Earth5R and has the capacity to remove 60 tonnes of plastic everyday.
Although the plastic removed from the Mithi river is being recycled, it is very important to reduce the waste that is released into the local ecosystem.
Thus, the Earth5R volunteers go to the local communities and teach the residents of the slums how they can segregate the waste.
Earth5R volunteer conducting community training
The volunteers teach the children, senior citizens, adults of Kurla, the basics of waste management through interactive activities, presentations, quizzes. The volunteers use gamification to keep the citizens engaged and increase participation.
The citizens are also provided with livelihood skills. Rather than throwing the waste out, they are taught how to use the waste as a resource.
The livelihood programs are very effective and there is huge participation and enthusiasm by the citizens, especially women. They learn how to make useful products out of waste plastic, paper and discarded clothes.
The Earth5R team is further teaching them the marketing skills required to sell these products and connect with the local market.
The remaining waste is being given to the ragpickers, further reducing the waste going out in the ecosystem.
The Kurla waste management program is running very successfully and so far around 500 families of the region have been trained under this program.
Such local community training programs are a big step towards sustainability and are also benefiting those on the bottom of the pyramid.
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 Aishani Raghav