In India, the recycling rate is low, with too many valuable raw materials ending up in landfills instead of being recycled by industry. Although there has been a law on waste separation in India since 2016, the population still lacks awareness of the need to perform this activity. Working conditions for formal and informal waste collectors are poor and the risks to their health are great. Most live-in dire poverty.
Tetra Pak produces aseptic paper-based packaging material for food and beverages, including for its customer Coca-Cola. The two companies see the packaging as valuable raw materials. They wish to be part of a movement championing cleaner cities and sustainable waste management and want to use the pilot project to demonstrate this commitment to policy-makers and society. The companies also expect stricter legislation in the coming years, for which they want to be well prepared.
The aim of the ‘Alag Karo: Har din 3 bin’ (Waste separation: Every day in 3 bins) project was to collect, separate and recycle more packaging waste in a pilot region in Gurugram. A system of three waste bins for waste separation was introduced for this purpose.
From 2016 to 2019, the partners invested a total of 495,000 euros in the following measures, among others:
- Awareness-raising campaigns on waste separation in schools, public authorities, companies and private households.
- Training of 500 informal waste collectors to collect packaging waste from private households and companies and to sell it to local recycling companies.
- Formal integration of waste collectors into the waste management system.
- Establishment of structures, financing models and operation of waste management.
The project was implemented by the non-governmental organisation Saahas, which has been actively involved in the disposal of solid waste since 2001. GIZ contributed its expertise in sustainable waste management to the project and established contacts with ministries and local administrations.
Source segregation is the first and most important step in waste management as it increases the circular economy potential by improving the value of post-consumer recyclables. Project Alag Karo has demonstrated that sustained awareness efforts on segregation in communities lead to higher waste segregation.
Project Alag Karo is a significant step towards creating awareness on source segregation and promoting circular economy within project areas and has substantial scaling-up potential. As a project partner, GIZ technical expertise has played a key role in success of the project.
In the pilot region in Gurugram, a model for an effective and sustainable waste management system has been successfully established, which is already being replicated at other sites and is increasing the recycling rate of recyclable materials. Awareness of waste separation has increased in society and among waste collectors. The project results can feed into local and national policy recommendations.
- Recycling of recyclable materials in keeping with the concept of a circular economy
- Improved working conditions and more appreciation for informal waste collectors and domestic workers
- 14 residential complexes with over 6,000 households have their own composting facilities
develoPPP Classic is aimed at medium-sized and large companies that want to invest sustainably in a developing or emerging country and expand their operational activities locally. Suitable projects receive technical and financial support of up to two million euros in public funding.