Waste Management Training At Mumbai: Earth5R Trains Communities For The Mumbai Municipality

Mumbai produces 6,000 tonnes of solid waste every day, which is equivalent to the weight of 55 Blue Whales.

Mumbai is densely populated and is one of the fastest-growing cities in India. The overwhelming waste produced by the residents and the industries is often hard to tackle. Moreover when the formal waste management system is not accessible to all.

The Earth5R team of volunteers conducted a Waste Management and Livelihood training at Kurla, Mumbai on request of the Mumbai Municipality.


Earth5R volunteers conducted an advance level waste management training on request of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for 40 of the Mumbai Municipality Officers at Wadia Estate Municipal School in Wadia Estate,Kurla, Mumbai.

The Sakinaka neighbourhood has a population of over a million and also harbours numerous manufacturing companies including many small and large scale businesses.


Earth5R volunteer uses pictorial guide during the advance waste management training on request of the Mumbai Municipality

The training was conducted to teach the municipal officers and workers methods of Waste Management, which includes:

  1. Waste Segregation
  2. Upcycling
  3. Recycling
  4. Composting

Waste segregation is sorting of the waste as dry waste (Recyclables and Non-Recyclables), Wet waste (Organic, Kitchen Wastes), and Hazardous and Medical wastes.

The Earth5R volunteers trained the participating municipal members in identifying the types of wastes and helped them understand the importance of waste segregation.

Segregating waste helps in making the optimum use of the ‘trash’. The waste generation is reduced and the segregated wastes could be easily and properly disposed off. 

Much of the dry waste – including paper and plastics – could be recycled. This prevents the resources from being wasted in landfills or street corners. While wet, organic waste could be composted at home.


Under the Livelihood Training, the Earth5R volunteers taught the officers ways locals can generate income by converting the ‘waste’ into products.

The wastes like discarded clothes, paper and plastic are upcycled into products like cloth and paper bags, masks, handicraft items, and more. The community is also being trained in marketing skills to ensure the best chance to sell their work.

The municipal officers and workers were also trained in converting their organic waste into compost to keep the waste out of the landfill –  which reduces the greenhouse gas emissions – and also helps in generating a side income for the families of the community.

The ragpickers, which are the informal waste collectors of the society, are also involved in the endeavour of solving the waste management crisis. The recyclable wastes collected after segregation are donated to the rag-pickers which ensures the wastes are recycled and helps in generating income, too.


Earth5R has been involved with RiverRecycleUnited Nations Technology Innovation Labs, and VTT to clean up Mithi River in Mumbai with the help of a plastic debris recovery machine funded by Huhtamäki which can remove 60 tonnes of plastic per day.

Besides collection and recycling of recyclable plastics, using pyrolysis technology, the non-recyclable plastics are broken down into fuel.

This is a major step towards the processing of single-use plastics – after the waste segregation – which are a menace to society and the environment.

Together with the Mumbai Municipality and the people of the community, Earth5R is training and initiating the change by small but sure steps to solve the Waste Management crisis faced by Mumbai today.


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.

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

Reported by Riya Dani