India generates around 0.2 to 0.3 million tons of waste on an average every day and most of it is dumped in the outskirts of the city in an unmanaged landfill or disposed using quick-fix solutions such as incineration, pyrolysis, burning, and landfilling which leads to various environmental hazards. Zero Waste Management means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials.
AID has been supporting this project partially since 2003.
The objectives of this project are:
- Expand the canvass of Zero Waste by adding perspectives and components on medical waste management and chemical safety so as to make the sustainable resource use and management in the region more holistic.
- Aggressively resist the lure of thermal technologies – incineration or pyrolation of waste – by positioning efficient, safe, practical models with public participation.
- Enable platform for efficient information dissemination on toxics.
- Build capacity and confidence in people to take leadership in their region to undertake activities that can lead to positive responses to the problems related environmental contamination.
- Zero Waste Himalaya Network program has conducted several training sessions, workshops, and zero waste festivals due to which several north eastern states including Sikkim has initiated state level training and orientation program for LSGs in the State. Pilot projects are progressing under the leadership of the Government and NGOs in Sikkim.
- Zero Waste Fellowship opportunity for individuals, community based organizations and Governments. This program builds capacity to design and establish better waste management systems.
- The project has setup Organic Bazaar for self-sustenance, which has provided employment opportunities for several local farmers. Additionally, the project has also setup a network of zero waste recyclers (three.info) for economic, ethical and efficient disposal of wastes.
- In Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this project has exposed frauds in several waste-to-energy project proposals to convert waste to electricity through pyrolysis.
- The project has provided technical support to prove that the process of utilizing municipal waste for land filing is not scientific and safe.
- The project has provided technical expertise for liquid waste management in Nagercoil, solid waste management in Chennai, and clean city projects in Trivandrum.