Zero Waste Heroes: A Case Study in Community-Led Waste Reduction

3 min read

In this case study, we will explore the scale of the problem, the challenges faced by communities and governments, and some innovative solutions that can help us achieve a more sustainable and circular economy.


The Scale of the Problem

India is home to over 1.3 billion people, making it the second most populous country in the world. With such a large population comes a significant amount of waste generation. According to recent estimates, India produces around 169,000 tons of garbage every day, with only about 60% of it being organic waste.

The remaining 40% includes dry waste, e-waste and hazardous waste. One of the biggest challenges facing India’s waste management system is the lack of proper infrastructure and resources to handle such a massive amount of waste. Many cities and towns do not have adequate landfill sites or recycling facilities, leading to overflowing garbage dumps and pollution.


Challenges Faced by Communities and Governments

The lack of proper infrastructure is not the only challenge facing communities and governments in India. Another significant issue is the lack of awareness among citizens about proper waste disposal practices.

Many people still dispose of their garbage indiscriminately on streets or in open spaces, leading to health hazards for themselves and others.

Moreover, there is also a significant informal sector involved in waste management in India. Waste pickers or rag pickers collect recyclable materials from garbage dumps or streets and sell them to scrap dealers for a living. However, they often work under hazardous conditions without any protective gear or social security benefits.


The Solution

To address these challenges, Palette69 collaborated with the WOW team to create Green Centers in households and apartments.

These centers are designed to promote source segregation at the household level by providing residents with separate bins for organic and dry waste.

The primary objective of Green Centers is to create a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable environment. It strives to educate and instil the habit of “Source Segregation” among citizens, effectively reducing the burden on landfills. Through waste recovery and recycling initiatives, Green Centers aims to give valuable resources a second life, minimizing waste and promoting resource conservation.

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – these are the core principles that drive Green Centers, emphasizing sustainable living practices for a healthier planet. In its efforts, Green Centers is committed to conserving natural resources, protecting the environment, and shaping a better world for future generations. 

Additionally, Green Centers prioritizes enhancing and protecting waste pickers’ livelihoods, recognizing their invaluable role in waste management.

The Green Centers have composting units that collect trash and convert organic waste into nutrient-rich compost that can be used as fertilizer for plants. Moreover, they have recycling units that process dry waste such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal into reusable materials and sanitary waste into co-processing or waste energy.

This outpost recycles waste and transforms it into useful products like composting kits, kitchen gardening kits, eco-friendly products, from dry waste and jute bags, and books from dry waste.

The main goal of Green Center is to create a more sustainable future by reusing and repurposing materials. Anyone can bring their waste and let the WOW team turn trash into treasure!

Finally, Green centers are aimed to make India Zero Landfill.


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