‘Citizen involvement and segregation at source are the key’

In the wake of rapid urbanization and challenges in waste disposal plaguing several cities and upcoming urban centers across India, the Rajiv Gandhi institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS) in New Delhi organized an online panel discussion on integrated Waste Management solutions and innovations. The discussion was part of an ongoing online series called the RGICS Indian Innovations for Human Development which is meant to connect successful entrepreneurs with young and aspiring innovators within the social development sector.

The panel discussion was moderated by Yuvraj Kalia who leads the Governance and Development theme at RGICS and comprised of pioneers from within the Indian waste management industry. They included veterans from Bengaluru-based Hasiru Dala and Daily Dump that specialise in customer oriented technological and business solutions, Waste Warriors, an NGO involved in waste management in the Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand as well as Basix Municipal Waste Ventures credited with the success story of Indore that was declared the cleanest city of India under the Swachh Bharat Mission for the fourth consecutive time this year.

Shekhar Prabhakar, co-founder of Hasiru Dala that works extensively with waste pickers said that while citizen involvement was key to the success of any business related to waste management, simple innovations such as ensuring predictable income for waste pickers, ensuring reliable and consistent customer service as well as differential pricing of waste are the pillars of his company’s business model. “We often look for disruptive ideas when thinking of an entrepreneurial venture and changing the status quo. But often, simple innovations in business models and supply chains can do the job,” he said.

Amarpreet Singh of Daily Dump that specialises in creating innovative products for composting at home to enable segregation at the household levels, the main challenge is to change the mindset of citizens and creating simple and convenient composting products is a solution in that direction. “We have tried to ensure that our customers, who are users of our products, end up spreading the message and become champions of waste management.”

Detailing the journey of Waste Warriors from a community-based initiative for cleaning up trekking trails in the Himalayan region to a now being an NGO that undertakes waste collection with communities in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Goa, Avinash Pratap Singh, CEO at Waste Warriors said that the NGO has been undertaking initiatives where tourists to the Himalayan states are involved in cleaning activities.

Sripal Jagtap of Basix Municipal Waste Ventures in Indore explained that political will as well as the initiative of the administration paved the way for citizen awareness and participation in waste management in the city. “We managed to reclaim nearly Rs 300 crores worth of land in Indore that functioned as a landfill site a few years back,” he explained.

A video recording of the event is available here.

Picture Credit: Ecoprog.com

Read Previous

Zonta’s underground bin system earns Visakhapatnam Smart City nomination for PM’s Excellence Award

Read Next

Simla: Trials to produce electricity from waste begin