With the increase in population, there is a significant rise in the number of households and the amount of garbage generated by them. But given the problems that come in dealing with it, innovative solutions, like this one from an IIT Kharagpur student, show there may still be hope.
Abhimanyu Kar (30) has kicked off an initiative Gain Waste, which is currently operational in a part of Kharagpur, mostly in the campus of the Indian Institute of Technology and adjoining localities.
One just needs to make a call to avail the service. Kar currently has one garbage truck and few labourers, who reach the doorsteps of callers to collect garbage any time between 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Kar, who is currently pursuing his Phd at IIT -Kharagpur says that the willingness to do something for the society and the idea of social entrepreneurship pushed him to start this project.
"I initially wanted to be a bureaucrat but somehow couldn't become one because of my PhD. But I believe there can be work done that complements the government, even if one is not working for it," said Abhimanyu Kar to ScoopWhoop.
With a staff strength of seven, some of whom are casual labourers, he caters to almost half of the hostels inside the IIT-Kharagpur campus and some households outside the campus in the same locality.
The garbage collected is further segregated and sent for recycling. The website reads:
As organic waste has the least density it is better recycled in the nearest vermicomposting plant. As paper waste is a little higher in density, it is to be recycled in the nearest recycled paper mill either by us or by our partners. Till now, other wastes are sorted and sent to the scrap dealers.
"We are paying on an average Rs 1500 per week in total to all those who are selling their garbage to us. We are also developing an app that will soon be active and make it easy for people to avail the service," said Kar to ScoopWhoop.
He is expecting to complete his Ph d in next 3-4 months so that he can concentrate on the project and take it to next level. His is also aiming to tie up with municipal authorities from Tier II cities to extend this service to other areas.
Currently, the project is supported by a grant from the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore which was awarded based on the results of the National Students' Challenge 2012. Abhimanyu and his team were the runners-up, and won Rs 3 lakh.
"We only tell people to segregate recyclable waste and keep wet garbage separately so that it becomes easier for the labourers to collect them. On August 15, 2015, we started our Kabadi-on-call service officially as it took some time to get the prize amount in hand," said Kar.