We celebrated World Environment Day not so long ago. A lot was spoken about the need to plant more trees, preserve green cover in cities and to regulate and control consumption of energy. But, what about waste management? In a city like Chennai with a population of 4.7 million people, in terms of waste produced, a staggering 5000 tonnes of waste is produced in a single day. Not a lot of thought is put into understanding how this can be monetized or recycled. The trash, if properly recycled, can be used to generate INR 15,000 crore. Some easy and smart methods can help reduce the impact caused to the environment.
Instead of throwing away empty plastic bottles, glass bottles or soda cans, used pizza cartons and cardboard boxes, recycle them. Recycling ensures reuse of these materials in various other industries. Glass bottles and tin cans are broken down into smaller bio-degradable components Segregating your trash and selling it to the local waste, paper dealers is a step in the right direction. There are a number of NGOs in the city that are working towards this cause, Bhumi is one such agency.
A Chennai based NGO, Bhumi, aims to build a cleaner and more equitable society through citizen initiatives. Some of their projects include Kanini – a computer literacy programme, Think Green – an initiative towards environmental conservation and Chennai Coastal Cleanup – a beach cleanup project. Recently, Bhumi has collaborated with Paperman to offer a door step trash collection service.
Established in 2010, Paperman is a city based social venture that aims to encourage the spirit and culture of recycling in Chennai. This organisation is an initiative to connect the informal sector of recycling with the community. Local kailaan kadai karan or waste paper dealers work with Paperman to collect trash from houses, offices and schools everyday between 10 AM and 6 PM. Paperman provides all authorized kabadi wallahs or scrap dealers with identity cards. The organisation offering its services to over 200 households, has conducted paper recycling drives in 100 schools in the city.
When it comes to environmental conservation, every step counts. You can make a difference; take the time to call 8015269831, and cite Bhumi as reference. Alternatively you can send a message, – “RECYCLE BHUMI YOUR NAME” to 7666440555. The trash will then collected from your house by a Paperman employee at a mutually convenient time. All trash is cleared and collected within a 48 hour time period. In keeping with the goal of reducing waste all bills are sent via SMS.
In collaboration with their doorstep waste collection drive, Bhumi and Paperman are working together on education projects for underprivileged children. Your used movie tickets, credit card receipts and restaurant bills can contribute towards the education of a child. 80% percent of the proceeds from this venture is utilized for education projects for under privileged children. This initiative aims at creating a better society for the future.
As of now this innovative venture is operational only in Chennai; however the scalable and replicable nature of its operations makes its potential, pan Indian.