It has been two years since Alag Karo, the programme to segregate waste at source, was launched at Gurugram. With the behavioural change that the programme has brought about, the benefits are now accruing to everyone.

72,288 residents, 32 Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and 25 schools have signed up for the programme. Focused campaigns are being carried out among them to explain the importance of source segregation of waste.

Training programme being conducted at a school

The early indicators are encouraging. Sixteen RWAs, covering 15,000 household units, have already achieved more than 90 per cent segregation levels and another 10 RWAs have achieved around 60 per cent segregation.

A training session at Ivy, Gurgaon

The programme is supported, among others, by Coca-Cola and is being executed in collaboration with the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG). The civic body is carrying out several initiatives under its solid waste management programme.

One programme, several benefits

Waste workers

The working conditions of the waste workers have improved as they handle cleaner, dry waste instead of foraging through mixed waste. The engagement for the waste worker has also improved. Several options to improve the livelihood of waste workers are being considered. The programme is also considering sensitising domestic help. The door-to-door awareness campaign has helped bring about behavioural change among people.

Community

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Domestic help being trained at The Palms, Gurgaon

The behavioural change that the programme has brought about has shown a direct benefit to the waste workers. In some RWAs, in-situ composting has been established. Residents are seeing the direct benefit of source segregation and are getting quality compost. Through the school programmes, over 17,000 students have been reached out to and sensitised. Housekeeping staff at offices and domestic help at homes have become extended volunteers, as they drop reminders when residents do not follow the right practices, and keep track of consistent defaulters


Boost to recycling

Recycling in the community has shown a smart increase with more dry waste available with the active involvement of residents. One of the Alag Karo team members is now a member of the ‘Citizen’s Monitoring Committee’ appointed by the municipality to represent the civil society.

Learning the best practices

(from left to right) Training sessions at Malibu and Palm Drive in Gurgao

  • Communities need to identify the volunteers who can take the idea of source
  • Segregation to their own colonies.
  • Door-to-door collection of segregated waste is the most sustainable practice
  • Strong support of all stakeholders is important for the behavioural change to succeed. The plans to execute the new process must be as detailed as possible
  • Specific target groups and volunteers must go through training sessions
  • Door-to-door campaigns to raise awareness are very important to bring about change, and involving children can help further secure our future
  • Few communities should launch pilot source segregation programmes before expanding these
  • The launch should be followed by close monitoring and feedback processes
  • Source segregation processes should be institutionalised through RWAs and housekeeping staff
  • Residential apartments and communities should be encouraged to take the next step which is setting up composting units

Want to learn how it is important for recycling that segregation is carried out at source? This video can help.