ProEarth

Integrate Zero Waste Design in Buildings: Training Program

Imagine a beautiful township, that has lush green areas surrounding it. Everyone wants to live in a beautiful space like this. Designing for people, also means designing landscapes, buildings to manage the aftermath of consumption – i.e. waste?
Can you optimize space, reduce costs, align with environmental compliance and deliver on long term sustainable waste management? Are failed technologies, and operating overheads giving you a nightmare? Worried about the reputation post-delivery of project?

Here are two words that we believe in: ZERO WASTE.
We mean it, we don’t like wasting money, we don’t like wasting time, and we don’t like wasting space for the wrong technology in the right place.

ProEarth Ecosystems and INORA have been implementing zero waste projects for many years now. We bring to you our insights, and processes from on ground experience of implementing Waste Management – straight from the experts. Together ProEarth and INORA manage 1 Lakh+ households’ waste every day, managing approximately 400 tonnes of wet waste per day.

Zero Waste communities are the future. But in order to get there, let’s re-design our spaces in the planning process. Right from, space, design – integrating living circular economy principles. Plus, what’s more is that these directly feed into IGBC Green Ratings and Environmental Compliance. If you are worried about technologies, processes – and implementation, then this is a workshop that will assist you in transform the spaces you are creating and integrate Zero Waste philosophy in your designs.

Register for our 2 day workshop, that will train you to implement Zero Waste elements in design.

Dates: 14th and 15th September 2022 Time: 9.30 am to 5.30 pm Venue: ProEarth Office, Pancard Club Road, Baner

Please send in your registrations to: proearthecosys@gmail.com, and call on 8007011414 by 7th September.
Only 10 seats.

Registration costs (incl. GST):
For Working Professionals: INR 6000
For Students: Rs. 3500.

Does Composting need space?

Last time around we told you why composting is an art – and how powerful it is. But power comes with responsibility right? All of us agree that in theory and in principle composting makes the most sense. However, the situation may be more difficult and complex to address on ground.

Approximately 55-60% of household waste is wet waste. Let’s take an example of a housing society with 100 flats. Given 80% occupancy status, with an average of 3 people in a flat, we are looking to manage 100 kgs of wet waste in a day. Let’s assume that this society is built before 2016 i.e. did not get any support from builder in terms of compost pits or any other machinery. How can we ensure that no wet waste goes out?

Space is a very critical component in any community living. Here, it becomes imperative to understand what kind of spaces we can incorporate composting without affecting community living. Common challenges that societies face are: odour issues, rodent issues and also – consistent composting of wet waste everyday. The most pressing issue then becomes about ensuring that no resident compromises on their standard of living with a composting pit right below their flat.

Shreeji Paradise, Aundh

In Shreeji Paradise, Aundh – this society had zero space available. But after a long brainstorming with members, the space between compound wall and parking was identified! Till date, not one person who parks their vehicle has complained of any odour. Another society – Yuthika – looked at space close to their parking. Look how this community has transformed their parking space. We’ve been running this project for over 3 years. It’s this kind of simple, operator friendly systems that make a huge world of difference.

Yuthika Apartments: Space between parking and the compound wall.

Working with many of these communities – we are also mindful that sometimes there may be zero space available on ground. But in such cases – we’re very happy to take the project straight up – on the terrace of course! Here the residents of Rose County liked the idea of a fabricated jali – and that worked very well.

Rose County, Pimple Saudagar – Jali composting on their terrace.

The heart of any community project is community participation – without that any kind of work really does not take off. Let’s look at two key examples. Mont Vert Tropez as a society had recently shifted to piped gas. They looked at their gas room with a different lens. Here, we helped them to transform this space – and convert that into a composting room. Simple transformation of a space that already existed – that is our bottom line when we want to urge communities to transform their spaces.

Mont Vert Tropez: Gas room converted into composting space

Like any social enterprise, we are the happiest, when we see communities valuing composting spaces. Kunal Icon, a 29 building society had been in discussions with us right from the stage of conceptualising composting in their backyard. When the turn came to identify spaces, we just relooked at their garbage chute rooms. Within no time, this space became the hub of wet waste management. We know how much the community values this space. One day, our supervisor sent us the photo of how the compost room looked and we were pleasantly surprised to see the transformation.

Kunal Icon: (left: Composting room at the start of the project; right: composting room transformed with visual art)

Composting is possible in the smallest of spaces – so long as the intention and the will power is there. For every resident who questions on whether composting is a smelly process – we let our work do the talking to prove otherwise. If you’re interested to know more – drop us an email on info@proearth.in or call us on 8007 01 14 14

Creating robust community composting systems.

Community Composting is a great enabler in encouraging people to sustain segregation of waste at source. It physically reaffirms the outcome of something happening with waste – everyday. Zero odour composting is something that every community should aspire for.

But community composting can come with challenges.

Fool Proof Systems

When we want to make composting odour less, we need to understand that simple technologies make a huge difference. When we want people to segregate – we need to keep in mind this is an activity that has to happen every day. So right from segregation bins – it has to be a simple streamlined policy. The aim to ensure that 100% composting occurs is to shift people to stop using plastic bin linings, and shift them to zero lining/paper lining of their wet waste bin.

Even while looking at how to compost – pit based systems in our experience are the most effective. Pits can be constructed by local labour – and this is a knowledge that is easily available. Pits also need very minimal maintenance, and last for a very long time. So that’s the hidden benefit for many communities.

Leveraging minimal energy use

When people talk about composting, often the first sight that everyone looks at is – what is the technology. Technology sometimes overlooks a simple price – use of energy/electricity to make composting work. When electricity costs go up, it deters communities from keeping their systems work in place.

From our experience of composting for various societies – we know what’s best – working with nature. Which means, working with smart microbial cultures, that work on composting wet waste at the same rate irrespective of weather changes. This provides odour proof technologies. The added benefit from this is that communities incur much less energy, implying smaller electricity bills.

Bringing community engagement

Spaces between buildings, near the compound wall, within the garden area – are great options for anyone to look at community composting. In some cases, even standalone aesthetical composters make a huge sense. Rather than worrying about – ‘log kya kahenge’, let’s look at the perception shift to ‘log kaise saath aayenge’.

Data on how much waste is generated – how much waste is composted – and how much dry waste is sent to recyclers – can provide the right nudge in communities. Organising dry waste and e-waste drives can be a right step in this direction.

In addition to this, the compost that is generated within the society complex – should be given to avid gardeners. These gardeners and their gardens are powerhouses of creation of natural capital. They are potential biodiversity hotspots right in our backyard. Such initiatives, can unleash the community’s full potential – and encourage more conversations in these communities.

Community waste management is about enabling behavior shifts, at multiple levels. When that is the end goal, we know all the other actions happen as a by-product. Rather than looking at waste management, as a compliance – our take is to make it a fun activity that is affordable and doable in the long run.

Why is composting so powerful?

Composting is art. It’s science, it’s a visual story that nature tells you about how things break down. Composting shows you death of many things, and just like that – like a phoenix rising from ashes – you see signs of life again.

Composting is a symbol of showing how to nurture living soil. A living soil of thousands of microbes – that fuel this planet’s ability to regenerate. Wet waste along with dry leaves – are the perfect companions – that create this living soil.

While this seems extremely romantic, can societies/organisations/individuals make this living soil on a day to day basis? Yes. We can. Composting on site cannot be simply looked at as a way to manage wet waste. When one composts their own kitchen waste, you realise it’s true potential.

Potential # 1 : YES IN MY BACKYARD! (YIMBY)

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Clean, green backyards means odour free composting. It means working in sync with the micro-climate using minimal energy. The best technology is nature – and we work with her, rather than against her. Many societies that we have plugged in with, know that composting with minimal energy and basic technology works in the long term.

Potential # 2 : COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION/ENGAGEMENT

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Getting people together, to segregate together in a uniform fashion, day after day. It’s the beginning of a mindful community. When people see clean environments – odor free composting right in their backyards – that’s when we break ceilings on how waste management looks. It’s no longer about something happening somewhere. It’s a community doing their bit – right where they are.

Potential # 3: CLEANER WASTE STREAMLINING

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Composting is addictive. If you’ve ever done composting, you’ll get this. You can’t stop. You can’t look back. You’ll want to do this again and again – it’s because we’re connected to soil. De-facto dry waste is cleaner and better segregated. No food contamination implies – everyone in the supply chain of managing dry waste does not encounter poor working conditions. Without a doubt, higher rates of recycling will become the norm. And the best part: Kids lead the way!

Potential # 4: JOY OF GARDENING

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When you see that first tomato growing out of your compost – it gives you joy of creating food is priceless. Thousands of our customers nourish their gardens with the compost from home composters/society level composting. To enable safe healthy food for ourselves is the gift that we can give ourselves. That too in this day and age of toxic food.

Does Composting need space? Yes it does. With our experience of working with 100+ housing societies in Pune, we have identified space that people didn’t know existed! And these 100+ communities have not sent one gram of wet waste out of their plots thanks to our daily service (including sundays) of composting on site.

Write to us on info@proearth.in to know more.

This 530+ flat housing complex has not sent a gram of their wet waste out of their compound for more than 4 years and saved 580+ tons from landfills, with ProEarth’s unique turnkey service model

Yuthika Society in Baner, Pune was looking to improve its already substantial sustainability goals while meeting Municipal Corporation regulations in 2017. They had discussed many approaches and possibilities and finally decided to make the best of use of the compost pits that the builder had already provided them. They contracted ProEarth Ecosystems to consult and setup the project. They initially started with a pilot that covered only 3 buildings waste to ensure that the method used was sound and would give odour-free and pest free results. Once the pilot was found to be successful, the society scaled up to their entire waste.

The society houses more than 530 families on its premises and generates about 400 kg of kitchen waste daily. The challenge was to ensure the compost facility worked completely odour free since the compost pits are next parking lots and very close to residential buildings. ProEarth first recommended minor changes in the design of the pits and setup its unique composting layers. A shredding machine was procured to improve the efficiency of composting.

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Compost pits are next to parking lots and near buildings. There have been no complaints of odours for last 4 years of operation

ProEarth also assigned trained manpower to run the project. Today, the project has run failure free, odour free and pest free for more than 4 years and has diverted 580+ tons of waste from landfills preventing critical methane emissions into the atmosphere.

All households at Yuthika sort their waste into kitchen waste and dry waste. The society has also introduced systems to segregate glass & plastic separately for those residents who wish to do the extra bit. The segregated wet waste is collected door to door by housekeeping staff and left at the shredding unit. A trained employee of ProEarth then loads the material on a sorting table to remove last remaining non compostable materials. The waste is shredded and then transferred into the compost pits in a daily loading sequence. Bacterial and fungal compost cultures are used along with an organic odour control spray. After continuing this cycle for 4-5 months, when the pits are near full, compost is harvested and sieved for use.

The project runs on an installation and service model where the housing society spent about Rs. 500 per family to setup the project and about Rs. 70 per flat per month to maintain the project.

The society generates about 3.5 tons of compost every 5-6 months. All of the compost is consumed in the garden or used by residents in their balcony gardens. Residents have reported positive results of using the compost in their gardens and some have reported that their roses bloomed better than before.

The initial challenges involved getting residents to segregate waste into 2 or more categories and sustaining the quality. Through persistent actions this has now become a culture within the complex. In a broader sense, one of the primary challenges to large scale implementation is a wider lack of awareness and priority given to taking ownership for waste management. The focussed enforcement of solid waste regulations will be the only solution towards wider transformation of society.

Currently sorted plastic and glass goes to scrap shops. Eventually discussions are on with ProEarth to take over end to end responsibilities for waste and create a zero waste society!

The society has many other sustainability initiatives, such as well-maintained Sewage Treatment Plant with recycled water being used for flushing, rooftop solar, solar thermal water heating, rain-water harvesting to name a few.

The ‘ProEarth’ Model of Waste Management

The law mandates segregation at source. But how can we effectively implement this? For 2 decades, we have been seeing news about different villages shutting down and protesting landfills that are in THEIR backyard. As city residents, the onus on segregation and ensuring recycling now lies on our shoulders. Not only does this stop villages turning into dumping grounds of all kinds of waste, it also aids in creating a circular loop of resources.

As waste management providers, we lead by example and dedicatedly show how segregation can lead to material and resource circularity. We ensure that 5 Key things happen in all our projects.

  1. Awareness and conversations with people.

Every project of ours, starts here. Conversations. With Managing Committees, with residents, household help, housekeeping staff. When we emphasise on segregation, we handhold through the entire process through consistent awareness sessions. Without these sessions, it is impossible to ensure 100% segregation at source. Simple posters accompanied with conversations make the perfect recipe for 100% segregation. We’ve witnessed children as young as 6 or even younger knowing how to segregate. We keep it that simple. That’s our secret to enabling green communities. 

  • Composting on site without odour, using minimal energy.
    Our senior management composts at home, every day. This means, we know first hand that compost does not smell and that as an organisation we walk the talk. Composting is done with naturally available materials, so no promises on 24-hour composting. This is because we know that this means we are aligned on working with nature. Composting is our core, and 100+ societies in Pune know and benefit from our seamless service.

In some of our rural sites, we are closing the loop much faster – since compost goes back to agricultural land, and nourishes customers with food. A simple formula, that we partake with pride:

Good soil = good, safe produce = healthy people = healthy planet.

  • Training, not just our own – but also the ecosystem.

Our staff is trained on the job, and we teach them not just how to load the pits with effective cultures – but also leave the place clean after the job is done. In the process, we also teach housekeeping on how to handle wet waste that comes in without any plastic lining. We train and make them aware on why cleaning the dustbins should be part of a routine affair. In the process, we make the entire wet waste management odour free. Due to the nature of our work, we streamline dry waste and wet waste – we also ensure that garden waste is not mixed with any other waste. So this entire stream can also meet it’s ‘sangam’ i.e. return back to soil.

When we do all of this, there is immense faith on our field staff – for being punctual and for dedication to the job.

  • Monitoring

Any project works well, when there are checks and balances. As a practice, we have in-house stringent monitoring to ensure that we don’t default anywhere. We have benchmarks for how wet waste is loaded in pits to how it is managed to how it is harvested. Our systems work like clockwork to ensure no one feels like their time is wasted. Our service is seamless and we aspire to be the best.

  • Closing the loop on materials.

Be it organic waste or plastic or e-waste – every resource must be managed so that it doesn’t lead to a dumping ground. So, we have strategic partnerships with Government authorized recyclers and dismantlers. Closing the loop, creating circular loops align with the vision and mission of our organisation.

Our work is symbiotic with many other companies and groups of people. These relationships we treasure. We work in sync with this ecosystem, and jointly, uphold the values of ‘waste management’ together.

Addressing Pune’s Garden Waste Problem through CSR

Pune generates about 200 – 300 tons of garden waste daily. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has a system for garden waste collection from public spaces and gardens. However there is no reliable system for collection from individual bungalows, housing complexes, institutions, gated communities and private spaces.

Whatever garden waste is collected, has no established method for proper disposal. As a result, most garden waste finds its way into illegal dumping sites. There it attracts more garbage and becomes a stinky eye sore. Garden waste is disposed off on the sides of highways, near Smashan Bhoomis, at river banks and at other water bodies. In the worst case, it is burnt, leading to air pollution. In the hands of the PMC, the waste is mixed with other waste streams at their transfer centers and transported to a landfill.

PMC has about 8-9 shredders available at different parts of the city. Most of them are currently not functional due to various reasons. Consequently, on the one hand PMC’s existing infrastructure and investments are not being utilised and on the other hand the waste generated is causing a huge environmental problem.

Garden waste is an excellent resource. When shredded and processed, it can be used in making briquets and pellets. These are used as cheap smokeless fuel for rural and industrial heating. Shredded garden waste can be used for composting to regenerate the soil. It can be used as bulking material for the treatment of kitchen waste. Larger branches can be used to create Biochar, an excellent form of stable carbon which can enhance soil fertility while sequestering carbon. Shredded waste and leaf waste could be used as mulching medium for gardens and farms. Mulch would reduce weed growth and consequent labour requirements. Mulching also adds nutrients into the soil, prevent moisture losses through evaporation and encourages the growth of beneficial soil micro-organisms for a healthy productive growth of plants and vegetation.

INORA has been in discussions with the PMC to begin the operation of one of the available shredders to process garden waste and generate a sustainable resource out of it. This socially and environmentally relevant model will need initial financial support at least for the first year. Once the model proves its sustainability practically, this model could be extended to all the shredders across the city. It is expected that all shredder locations put together could process at least 30 – 50 tons of garden waste per day, making a significant impact towards a more sustainable future for the city at low cost.

We are keenly looking for CSR Support. For more information, please Contact Us

How to Manage your Household Waste under COVID-19 Conditions

How to Manage your Household Waste under COVID-19 Conditions

With our cities winding down under the COVID-19 induced pandemic, it should be expected that our urban services will come under unprecedented pressure. In this situation, municipal staff and infrastructure will be working at reduced capacity. Consequently, the collection and disposal of garbage could breakdown at any time. At the same time, housekeeping teams at large townships, apartment complexes will also be forced to work with limited, if not no staff. It is quite probable that your garbage will not be picked up in the next few days if this lock-down continues.

Our Prime Minister urged citizens to show “Resolve” and “Restraint” in dealing with this crisis.

Here’s how we can show “Resolve” and “Restraint” in managing our household waste in these emergency conditions when there is no one to pickup our waste.

Segregate

We’re all aware how we need to segregate waste into 3 categories. In emergency conditions like these, it is even more critical to do this right. The objective is to find ways to hygienically store as much waste as possible at home. This means, what is clean and dry needs to remain so. Dry waste which is soiled with food or other decaying substances will need to be rinsed and dried. If you don’t have bins, look for shopping bags, laundry bags, shelf space, pots, cardboard boxes or something in the waste itself. Anything that can store dry materials in a neat and clean way. Sort materials like paper, plastic packaging, plastic containers, glass bottles, juice packs and store them in separate containers. Watch this for more details. Keep vessel or container temporarily only to collect all kitchen waste. Do not use any plastic liners in this case. Keep a third container for sanitary waste and hazardous wastes, if any. Above all, make sure that sanitary waste is wrapped securely in newspaper and marked with a “red dot”. You’ll need to find ways to keep this waste to a minimum in such emergencies.

Do Not Dispose, Instead Store

First of all, you’ll need to plan to keep clean and dry materials stored for a few days. So look to open up cardboard boxes and flatten them out, find ways to keep them neat and tidy. Save space while you do so. Assign places and containers that allow you to store this in a neat and tidy way for up to a week or more. For more on how to handle dry waste watch this video.

Compost all Kitchen Waste

With everyone at home and all the restaurants closed, you’re going to have to cook. So expect a lot of wet waste to pile up. While chopping vegetables, don’t find a bin to throw them away. Keep all these precious raw materials in a kitchen vessel or plate and accumulate them until all the cooking is done. Make sure while chopping that you cut scraps and ends into small pieces. In this way, it will decompose faster in an odour free way.

Transfer the scraps into a bucket or container and make a base. Ideally use a breathable material such as an earthen pot, if you have balcony garden. Once lunch or dinner or any meal is over, gather any leftover scraps and add them into the container. If you have access to dried leaves gather enough of them to last you for a few days. Crush the leaves by hand and mix them up with the day’s waste. The volume of dried leaves should roughly match the volume of kitchen waste. While mixing, you could also add a handful of garden soil, if you have a balcony garden, to give the whole mass some uniformity and texture.

In emergency situations, you may not have access to compost microbes. In this case add some sour curd or buttermilk to the mixture. Anything you can find in your kitchen that is used for fermentation could also do the job. Jaggery or a small teaspoon of wine or beer could also do the trick. While adding any liquids make sure the composting mass does not become too soggy. It should have the consistency of a well done bhel puri. If things get too soggy, dry it up by adding more dry leaves, coco-fibre, soil or even some waste paper shredded into small bits. Once done, make sure none of the fresh waste is exposed. Use some more garden soil to cover it up. Close the container with a lid or cover.

Continue to do this for as many days as you need. Keep a close eye on moisture levels. Never allow the medium to get soggy or too wet. You’ll notice this waste doesn’t stink at all. For more guidance on the process of composting, watch this video. There are also a lot of resources available online for home composting.

You may just find that this is the most beautiful activity you’ve engaged in, in a long time. In this case, make it a permanent habit and find ways to make it more efficient.

Stop Using Disposables, Minimize Waste Generation

While it’s great to follow this at the best of times, it is of particular importance to stop generating unnecessary waste in these difficult times. Try and keep waste quantities down. Consume consciously. It’s especially important to minimize or eliminate difficult wastes which have to be collected and disposed outside the home, such as household bio-medical waste. Try cloth diapers for babies. Find washable and re-usable alternatives. Ladies should look for the opportunity to shift to sustainable menstrual products like cloth sanitary pads or menstrual cups.

Take special care with soiled masks, paper napkins, disposable towels, etc. in these conditions. Dispose them with close attention so that collection staff and waste pickers don’t come into physical contact with them. Wrap such materials securely in newspaper and mark with a “red dot“, so that it is not handled by waste workers. For more exhaustive details on handling sanitary waste, please read our other blog article on this

If you’re under home quarantine, its critically important to dispose your waste with special care. Your waste will be considered infectious and hence gets classified under Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules. In this case, pack and deliver ALL your waste with special identification in yellow bags normally provided to hospitals. You will need to get in touch with the local municipal ward sanitation officers to source these bags. These yellow bags are to be secured and handed over only to authorised agencies specified by the municipality. It is not be handled in the way normal waste is dealt with. Be transparent and inform all those who may come into contact with your waste to deal treat it with utmost care. More details on regulations are here

Engage with your Housing Community or Welfare Association

Garbage left uncollected can be frustrating. Find out if your neighbors in the housing community are facing a challenge. Your committee members may need your support to find solutions. Make a Whatsapp Group and share your thoughts, ideas and strategies to fight the emergency. Help your neighbors, calm nerves, stop the panic. If necessary, solve the issue at the community level. Some problems which are challenging at the home level may have good community solutions. E-waste, Construction Demolition waste can be stored for some time in the community. Look to start up a community composting project if you already have garden space or compost pits or a machine that is not in use.

Cooperate with Waste Workers and Municipal Staff

Waste pickers, waste workers, waste processing staff and municipal sanitation staff are going to be bearing the brunt of this situation. Look to be supportive and offer constructive cooperation. Understand that these workers will also need to keep to social distancing norms. They will be most vulnerable, not just due to administrative and infrastructure shortages, but also since they are more prone to exposure to infections as a result of their working conditions. Support those waste workers who come into contact with you and help them protect themselves with simple measures. Offer trainings and awareness to them if possible.

On Sunday March 22nd, all citizens have been urged to stay indoors for 14 h from 7 am to 9 pm. “Janata Curfew” or self-induced lock-down, is meant to encourage people to practice social distancing.  By looking out for ourselves, let’s help our respected Swachhta Karmacharis to stay safe and practice the Janata Curfew on Sunday. Let’s also keep them in our hearts at 5 PM when we show gratitude to all those people who struggle to keep us safe and secure in these difficult times.

At the end of this crisis, hand over all the stored and clean dry waste to the collection staff in sorted condition. Try and continue your home composting habit and make it a permanent fixture at home. If we’ve helped you with some sound guidance, make independent waste management a lifestyle choice. Call us and we’ll help you find ways to do this better in the best of times. You will never face an emergency of this kind again!

कोविड – 19 अटींमध्ये घरातील कचरा कसा व्यवस्थापित करावा

कोविड – 19 अटींमध्ये घरातील कचरा कसा व्यवस्थापित करावा

आमच्या शहाराची स्थिती कोविड – 19 प्रेरित साथीच्या आजाराने खालावत आहे, अशी अपेक्षा आहे की आपल्या नागरी सेवा अभुतपुर्व दबावाखाली येतील. या परिस्थितीत, पालिका कर्मचारी आणि पायाभुत सुविधा कमी क्षमतेवर काम करतील. यामुळे कचरा गोळा करणे व त्याची विल्हेवाट लावण्याची वेळ कधीही तुटु शकते. त्याच वेळी मोठया टाउनशिप्स, अपार्टमेंट कॉम्प्लेक्समध्ये घरगुती संघानाही कर्मचारी नसल्यास मर्यादेसह काम करण्यास भाग पाडले जाईल. आपल्याकडे कचरा होण्याची शक्यता आहे. आपला कचरा उचलण्यासाठी कोणीही नसताना या आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीत आपल्या घरातील कचरा व्यवस्थापित करण्यासाठी आम्ही “निराकारण” आणि “संयम” कसे दर्शवू शकतो ते येथे दिलेले आहे.

कचरा वेगळा

कचरा वेगळया 3 श्रेणींमध्ये कसा विभाजित करावा लागतो हे आपल्या सर्वांना माहित आहे. यासारख्या आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीत, हे करणे अधिकच कठीण आहे. घरात जास्तीत जास्त कचरा साठवून ठेवण्यासाठी हेतु हा आहे. याचा अर्थ असा आहे की जे स्वच्छ आणि कोरडे आहे तेच राहिले पाहिजे. कचरा कचरा जे अन्न किंवा इतर क्षययुक्त पदार्थांनी माखले गेले आहे ते धुवून वाळवावे लागतील. आपल्याकडे डब्बा नसल्यास शॉपिंग पिशव्या, कपडे धुऊन मिळण्याचे पिशव्या, शेल्फची जागा, भांडी, पुठठा बॉक्स किंवा कचऱ्यामध्ये असलेले काहीतरी पहा. कोरडे पदार्थ व्यवस्थित आणि स्वच्छ मार्गाने ठेवू शकणारी कोणतीही गोष्ट चालेल कागद, प्लास्टिक पॅकेजिंग, प्लास्टिकचे कंटेनर, काचेच्या बाटल्या, ज्यूस पॅक यासारख्या सामग्रीची क्रमवारी लावा आणि त्या स्वतंत्र कंटेनरमध्ये साठवा. फक्त स्वयंपाकघरातील सर्व कचरा गोळा करण्यासाठी पात्र किंवा कंटेनर तात्पुरते ठेवा. या प्रकरणात कोणतीही प्लास्टिकची वस्तू वापरू नका. सॅनिटरी कचरा आणि धोकादायक कचऱ्यासाठी तिसरा कंटेनर ठेवा. सर्वात महत्वाचे म्हणजे हा कचरा स्वच्छता पाळण्यासाठी वृत्तपत्रात सुरक्षितपणे लपेटला गेला आहे आणि त्यावर “लाल ठिपका” असे चिन्हांकित केले आहे याची खात्री करुन घ्या. अशा आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीत हा कचरा कमीतकमी ठेवण्यासाठी आपल्याला मार्ग शोधणे आवश्यक आहे.

विल्हेवाट लावू नका, त्याऐवजी स्टोअर करा

सर्व प्रथम, आपल्याला काही दिवसांसाठी स्वच्छ आणि कोरडे साहित्य ठेवण्याची योजना आखण्याची आवश्यकता आहे. म्हणून पुठठा बॉक्स उघडण्याचे पहा आणि सपाट करा, ते व्यवस्थित स्वच्छ ठेवण्यासाठी मार्ग शोधा. आपण असे करत असताना जागा जतन करा. अशी जागा आणि कंटेनर नियुक्त करा जे आपल्याला यास एका आठवडयात किंवा त्याहून अधिक व्यवस्थित आणि नीटनेटके साठवता येईल.

स्वयंपाक घरातील सर्व कंपोस्ट कचरा

घरी प्रत्येकासह आणि सर्व रेस्टॉरंटस बंद केल्याने आपल्याला स्वयंपाक करावा लागेल. त्यामुळे ओला कचरा भरपूर ढीग होण्याची अपेक्षा करा. भाज्या तोडताना त्यांना टाकण्यासाठी एक कचरा शोधू नका.  

हा सर्व मौल्यवान कच्चा माल स्वयंपाकघरातील भांडयात किंवा प्लेटमध्ये ठेवा आणि सर्व स्वयंपाक होईपर्यंत जमा करा. आपण स्क्रॅप आणि लहान तुकडे केल्याचे कापताना हे सुनिश्चित करा. अशा प्रकारे, ते गंध मुक्त मार्गात जलद विघटीत होईल.

खराब बादली किंवा कंटेनरमध्ये स्थानांतरित करा आणि बेस तयार करा. आपल्याकडे बाल्कनी बाग असल्यास आदर्शपणे मातीची भांडी म्हणून श्वास घेण्यायोग्य सामग्री वापरा. एकदा लंच किंवा डिनर किंवा जेवण संपल्यानंतर, उरलेले कोणतेही खराब एकत्र करा आणि त्या कंटेनरमध्ये जोडा. आपल्याकडे वाळलेली पाने असल्यास त्यापैकी काही दिवस पुरेल इतके गोळा करा. दिवसा हाताने पाने चिरडून त्या दिवसाच्या व्यर्थात मिसळा. वाळलेल्या पानाचे प्रमाण स्वयंपाकघरातील कचऱ्याच्या प्रमाणात जुळले पाहिजे. मिसळताना, आपण बाल्कनीची बाग असल्यास, संपुर्ण वस्तुमान एकसारखेपणा आणि पोत देण्यासाठी मूठभर बाग माती देखील घालु शकता.

आणीबाणीच्या परिस्थितीत आपल्याकडे कंपोस्ट सुक्ष्मजंतूमध्ये प्रवेश असू शकत नाही. या प्रकरणात मिश्रणात आंबट दही किंवा ताक घाला. आंबायला ठेवायला वापरली जाणारी आपल्या स्वयंपाकघरात आपल्याला जे काही सापडेल ते देखील कार्य करु शकते. गूळ किंवा वाइन किंवा बीयरचा छोटा चमचा देखील युक्ती करु शकेल. कोणताही पातळ पदार्थ घालताना खात्री करा की कंपोस्टींग मास फारच त्रासदायक होणार नाही. त्यात चांगले काम केलेल्या भेळ पुरीची सुसंगतता असावी. जर गोष्टी फारच धोक्यात येत असतील तर कोरडी पाने, कोको-फायबर, माती किंवा काही कचरा कागद, लहान लहान तुकडे घालून सुकवा. एकदा झाल्यावर, खात्री करुन घ्या की ताज्या कचऱ्याचा कोणताही भाग उघड झाला नाही. झाकण्यासाठी आणखी काही बाग माती वापरा. त्यावर झाकण ठेवून कंटेनर बंद करा.

आपल्याला आवश्यक तितके ‍दिवस हे करणे सुरु ठेवा. ओलावा पातळीवर बारीक नजर ठेवा. माध्यमाला कधीच त्रासदायक किंवा जास्त ओले होऊ देऊ नका. आपल्या लक्षात येईल की हा कचरा अजिबात दुर्गंधीयुक्त होत नाही. कंपोस्ट करण्याच्या प्रक्रियेविषयी अधिक मार्गदर्शनासाठी व्हिडिओ पहा. होम कंपोस्टिंगसाठी ब-याच स्त्रोत ऑनलाईन उपल्बध आहेत.

आपण हे शोधू शकता की बऱ्याच दिवसांमध्ये आपण गुंतून ठेवलेत ही सर्वात सुंदर क्रियाकलाप आहे. या प्रकरणात ही कायमची सवय लावा आणि त्यास अधिक कार्यक्षम बनविण्यासाठी मार्ग शोधा.      

 विल्हेवाट करणे थांबवा, कचरा निर्मिती कमी करा

हे सर्वोत्तम वेळी अनुसरुण करणे चांगले असले तरी या कठीण काळात अनावश्यक कचरा निर्माण करणे थांबविणे विशेष महत्वाचे आहे. प्रयत्न करा आणि कचरा प्रमाण खाली ठेवा. जाणीवपूर्वक सेवन करा. घरगुती जैव-वैदयकीय कचरा यासारख्या संकटाचा कचरा कमी करणे किंवा दूर करणे आवश्यक आहे जे घराच्या बाहेर गोळा आणि विल्हेवाट लावणे आवश्यक आहे. मुलांसाठी कपडयांचे डायपर वापरून पहा. धुण्यायोग्य आणि पुन्हा वापरण्यायोग्य पर्याय शोधा. स्त्रियांनी कपडयांच्या सॅनिटरी पॅड किंवा मासिक पाळीच्या कपांसारख्या टिकाऊ मासिक उत्पादनाकडे वळण्याची संधी शोधली पाहीजे.

आपल्या हाऊसिंग समुदाय किंवा कल्याण संघटनेमध्ये व्यस्त रहा  

उरलेल्या कचऱ्यामुळे त्रास होऊ शकतो. गृहनिर्माण समुदायातील आपल्या शेजाऱ्यांना आव्हान आहे का. ते शोधा. उपाय शोधण्यासाठी आपल्या समिती सदस्यांना आपल्या समर्थनाची आवश्यकता असू शकते. व्हाटसअप ग्रुप बनवा आणि आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीशी लढण्यासाठी आपले विचार,कल्पना आणि रणनिती सामायिक करा. आपल्या शेजाऱ्यांना मदत करा, मज्जातंतू शांत करा, घाबरू नका. आवश्यक असल्यास, समुदाय पातळीवर समस्येचे निराकरण करा. मुख्यपुष्ठ पातळीवर आव्हान असण्याऱ्या काही समस्यांमध्ये चांगले समुदाय समाधान असू शकतात. ई-कचरा, बांधकाम विध्वंस कचरा समाजात काही काळ ठेवला जाऊ शकतो. आपल्याकडे आधीपासूनच बागेत जागा किंवा कंपोस्ट खड्डे  किंवा वापरात नसलेली मशीन असल्यास समुदाय कंपोस्टिंग प्रकल्प सुरु करण्याचा विचार करा.

कचरा कामगार आणि नगरपालिका कर्मचारी यांना सहकार्य करा

कचरा उचलणारे कचरा कामगार, कचरा प्रक्रिया करणारे कर्मचारी आणि नगरपालिका स्वच्छता कर्मचारी हयांना परिस्थितीचा फटका बसणार आहे. सहाय्यक असल्याचे पहा आणि ‍विधायक सहकार्य द्या. हे समजून घ्या की या कामगारांना सामाजिक अंतराचे निकष देखील पाळले पाहिजेत. ते केवळ प्रशासकीय आणि पायाभूत सुविधांच्या कमतरतेमुळेच नव्हे तर त्यांच्या कामकाजाच्या परिस्थितीमुळे संसर्ग होण्याचे प्रमाण जास्त असण्याची शक्यता असल्यामुळे ते सर्वात असुरक्षित असतील. आपल्या संपर्कात आलेल्या अशा कचरा कामगारांना मदत करा आणि साध्या उपायांनी त्यांचे स्वत:चे रक्षण करण्यात मदत करा. शक्य असल्यास त्यांना प्रशिक्षण आणि जागरुकता ऑफर करा.

रविवारी 22 मार्च रोजी सर्व नागरिकांना सकाळी 7 ते रात्री 9 या वेळेत 14 तासासाठी घरात राहण्याचे आवाहन करण्यात आले होते. “जनता कफर्यू” किंवा स्वत: ची प्रेरीत लॉक-डाउन, लोकांना सामाजिक अंतराचे सराव करण्यास प्रोत्साहित करण्यासाठी आहे. स्वत:चा शोध घेऊन, आम्ही आदरणीय स्वच्छता

कर्मचाऱ्यांना सुरक्षित राहण्यास आणि रविवारी जनता कफर्यूचा सराव करण्यास मदत करुया. जेव्हा आपण या कठीण परिस्थितीत आपल्याला सुरक्षित आणि संरक्षित ठेवण्यासाठी धडपडत असतो अशा सर्व लोकांचे आभार आम्ही कृतज्ञता दर्शकन 5 वाजता त्यांना आपल्या अंत:करणात ठेवूया. या संकटाच्या शेवटी, संग्रहीत कर्मचाऱ्यांना सर्व संग्रहीत व स्वच्छ कोरडा कचरा छाटलेल्या स्थितीत द्या. जर आम्ही आपल्याला काही उचित मार्गदर्शन करण्यात मदत केली असेल तर स्वतंत्र कचरा व्यवस्थापनाची कायमची सवय लावा.  आम्हाला कॉल करा आणि सर्वोत्तम वेळेत हे करण्याचे चांगले मार्ग शोधण्यात आम्ही आपल्याला मदत करू. आपल्याला या प्रकारच्या आणीबाणीचा पुन्हा सामना करावा लागणार नाही.

Handling Sanitary Waste in a COVID-19 Lock-down

Handling Sanitary Waste in a COVID-19 Lock-down

With our cities locked-down under the COVID-19 pandemic, it is to be expected that our garbage clearance and housekeeping services will come under pressure. To add to this, municipal manpower and services will also be significantly reduced. Consequently, it is possible that your door to door collection service will become uncertain or unreliable, or in the worst case, it will break down completely. There could be no garbage clearance for days.

Under these circumstances, we can find simple ways to handle 90-95% of our waste, if we improvise and plan in advance. Instead of looking for a single bin to dump all our trash, we should sort our trash first, and keep it clean, dry and odour free. We’ll need to store most of the recyclable materials. Wet waste can be home composted with ease. Electronic waste can be kept separate and stored for however long it takes.

However, one type of waste will be challenging; Sanitary Waste. In this article we will try to cover different ways in which sanitary waste can be disposed. We will limit ourselves to regular households only. Households which are under home quarantine will need to take special care to keep their trash sorted and delivered only to approved professional agencies according to bio-medical waste management standards.

What is Sanitary Waste?

Sanitary waste primarily consists of bathroom waste. This includes:

  • baby diapers, adult diapers
  • sanitary pads
  • condoms
  • soiled tissue paper from bathrooms
  • any other material that comes into bodily contact or is contaminated with bodily fluids, such as blood, urine or faeces.
  • Pet and animal litter.
  • Additionally, at household level, bandages, waxing strips, syringes, shaving blades and sharps, dead insects and pests which could also lead to the spread of infectious diseases is considered sanitary waste

Why is Sanitary Waste Disposal Challenging?

Sanitary waste disposal is challenging for following reasons:

  • It cannot be stored for long. it decomposes very quickly, spreads bad odors and is disgusting to be around.
  • Sanitary waste is bio-hazardous, since it harbors pathogens which spread infectious diseases.
  • It is difficult to handle. Waste generators do not know enough or care enough to keep it segregated and protected. It’s collection and transport requires extensive hygiene and safety measures. Waste workers are most vulnerable to hazardous conditions created.
  • At household level quantities are very small. Hence, the separate collection, handling, aggregation and disposal of waste becomes expensive.
  • It is difficult to process. In most cases processing facilities are expensive to build and do not have enough processing capacity. Subsequently, in most cases, this contaminated waste is dumped in untreated landfills or dumps.  

What are the Solutions?

1. Avoid Waste, Choose Alternatives

The best and most efficient way to approach sanitary waste is to go zero waste or look at generating minimum. Baby Diapers and Sanitary pads form the largest share of sanitary waste. If eco-friendly alternatives can be chosen, there will be little or no waste.

  1. Baby Diapers: Did you know that a baby exclusively wearing disposable diapers generates more than 900 kg of garbage in the first two years? Disposable diapers are made of plastic and also contain harmful chemicals. Using them exclusively is as irresponsible as open defecation. In fact, it is much worse, since it also brings with it a large carbon footprint and toxic chain. There are several alternatives that can be purchased, such as cloth diapers. You could consider the traditional Indian cotton Langot as well.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Bumpadum
  • Superbottoms
  • Tushions
  • Bouncing Peaches
  • Make your own cloth diapers
  • A lot of baby stores such as First Cry have sustainable cloth and reusable diaper options
  • You can also find these options on Flipkart, Amazon

For more ideas and knowledge please read this article from a mother who turned into an enterpreneur.

Watch what Mayim Biyalik, the award winning star from The Big Bang Theory has to say about bringing up babies without diapers in this video.

Join Facebook Groups Cloth Diapering India, Cloth Diapers for Beginners

  1. Adult Diapers: Adult diapers are advised to people who have medical issues such as urinary or faecal incontinence, bed-ridden patients, patients with mental disabilities, etc. There are several options to find sustainable solutions here similar to baby diapers, such as the use of underpads and re-usable diapers.

While the options for these products in the market are very few at the moment, the volume of adult diapers in waste is also very low. Zero waste solutions here will be largely on similar lines as baby diapers.

  1. Sanitary Pads: Sanitary pads along with baby diapers form the largest volume of sanitary waste and hence it is critical to reduce the use of disposable options.

Statistics show, that a woman uses between 10,000 – 15,000 sanitary pads in her lifetime. Apart from creating a huge disposal problem, disposable pads contain chemicals such chlorine, phthalates and plastic which can lead to reproductive disorders, developmental defects and even cancer.

The zero waste alternatives in this case involve shifting to menstrual cloth, re-usable pads and menstrual cups. Disposable pads and tampons should be avoided.

Source: UNICEF Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene 2019 Page 59

Here are some options for sanitary materials:

For more expert guidance on sustainable menstruation, please visit Green the Red2bin1bag and join Facebook Groups: Menstrual Cups Cloth Pads (MCCP)

2. Sort, Pack & Dispose

In the present lock-down situation, most of us did not have ready alternatives at hand. Hence, the best way to handle the situation is to make sure that sanitary waste is packed or tied securely in newspaper, marked with a “red dot” and kept separate. Please watch this video to understand more about the “red dot” campaign.

During the lock-down, consider home composting and storing dry waste at home to reduce the load on the overall trash collection system. As such, only sanitary waste should go out and nothing else. With no disposal facility available look for a community solution temporarily to tide over the crisis. More details are provided in the following section.

3. Look for Community Collection & Disposal

When there is no door to door collection, storing sanitary waste at home is not possible. Until proper disposal can be restored, community level collection and storage is the solution. To achieve this, each waste generator should take the responsibility to deliver waste into a community bin or into a deep pit or sanitary waste composting pit specially made for this purpose.

The community bin can be a 200+ l plastic chemical storage drum with a cover. It can be located far away from any living or habitable space. Consider using terraces of buildings for temporary collection. Based on volume, multiple containers may be necessary.

To prevent odors and stench, dry leaves, shredded garden waste, saw dust or cocopeat can be used to cover the waste. Alongside, an organic odor reduction spray such as EM solution can be sprayed.

All the contents of the bin can be disposed once the municipal system is restored.

As a temporary solution, deep burial or compost pits can be made to treat sanitary waste. This should be considered, provided the quantities of waste is below 50 kg per day. The pits should be created at least 7-10 m away from the nearest water source. More details here. We do not recommend burning or incineration at community level.

Fortunately, the quantities of sanitary waste compared to overall trash is very small. As a result, it can be handled well at the community level.

4. Create Awareness

Knowledge sharing and awareness generation on sustainable alternatives and methods for sanitary waste management form a very important link in achieving a behavior shift in reducing this problem.

Create awareness as follows:

  • Inviting experts to give talks in the community
  • Keeping in touch with organizations working in this field such as Stone Soup
  • Joining support groups on Social Media

Contact us if you want to organise an awareness program remotely.

To summarize, our objective as a community should be to minimize sanitary waste generation and handle what is unavoidable in a safe and sustainable way right from generation to final disposal.

With the handling of sanitary waste efficiently, we prevent the contamination of compost-able and recyclable wastes. This is a huge contribution to sustainable waste management, which can transform hygiene, health and cleanliness in our community in a holistic manner. Consider shifting your lifestyle now!