Chat Archives
Chat on "Garbage littered on our Streets" dated July 18, 2007

    “ Can we do something about the garbage littered on our roads”

    IWC chat on 18 July 2007


    Moderated by Veena Nagpal


    IWC members in the chat room


    Arjun Jassal



    Arjun Jassal  hi I am the science and technology reporter for the Indian Express, am doing a story on internet communities dedicated to nature... 

    shashi  18TH JULY CHAT " " Can we do something about the garbage littered on our roads? "

    Arjun Jassal  so am here to see how indianwildlifeclub members interact with one another online.. 

    shashi  great to have you on the chat Arjun. It starts at 8 pm - moderated by Ms Veena Nagpal 

    veenanagpal  hi everyone, I agreed to do this chat because am extremely pained as I am sure all of you are to see our garbage littered way of living.

    Any suggestions as to what we can do to rid ourselves of this problem? 


    Arjun Jassal  oh ok, your website says strictly 7:30 to 8:30! 

    shashi  Our moderator today runs an NGO that is active in the area of "clean surroundings" 

    shashi  Veena Great to have you moderate this 

    shashi  Arjun since we are all here lets continue 

    veenanagpal  Waste management is in the hands of the Municipality but in actual fact it is farmed out to the unorganized sector who only collect recyclables and leave all the bio-degradable waste on the roadside which leads to dirt and disease. Can we do something as individuals? 

    Arjun Jassal  well there is always the option of digging a compost pit.. 

    shashi  I guess people respond to clear direction if they see benefits for themselves 

    veenanagpal  Arjun I wonder if you have read about Environment Education Promoters - a report is there among the NGOs. A compost pit for 6000 tonnes of waste generated by N Dli alone - would hardly suffice  

    Arjun Jassal  compost pits can only work on a small scale, a small group of people... 

    shashi  Veena what are the innovations you have done extension work on and implemented 

    veenanagpal  Health benefits do not seem to be direct enough Shashi. 

    shashi  Of course they are but then how do we get over our culture of clearing my house and littering the street? 

    veenanagpal  What we are trying to do at EEP is to create an awareness among school children through a fun project cum a practical vermi-composting project done in their schools. We could do with volunteers who could help in spreading the message. We could help volunteers to get training in vermi composting. 

    veenanagpal  Another thing we are doing is creating a vermi composting project for any school/college/institution/industry for their arboreal waste which is otherwise burnt leading to air pollution 


    Arjun Jassal  alright, can you explain vermi composting, please? 

    shashi  of course Arjun and the media can play a significant role in educating and awareness creation 

    Susan  Hi all, great to see the chat going. I am not able to participate fully since I am out of station. Hope you have a fruitful time 

    veenanagpal  Arjun we could do with your help in spreading the message of Garbyhog homebuilders club throught media. The vermi composting project is explained in brief in the report on the NGO section of the Indianwild life club. It would be great if you could visit Modern School Barakhamba road where we have done both the GBH project and their larger arboreal waste project 

    shashi  Arjun/Veena do you believe we should all campaign for strict anti-litter laws? 

    veenanagpal  Thanks Susan, we are doing fine 

    Arjun Jassal  yes anti litter laws can be used. But that requires two very basic aspects of functionality that are missing as of now. Firstly, this needs sensitisation, as people should be aware of why littering is bad for them (apart from the monetary fine). second there should be a will to implement such laws...

    veenanagpal  Yes, there is a government of India notification re waste management. Problem as usual is that laws exist but municipalities do not follow them. Our aim so far has been to try and bring about a change in thinking. Would be very happy with media collaboration 


    shashi  In Bangalore they experimented with privatisation in garbage collection/segregation and succeeded 

    veenanagpal  Like I said sensitisation is what we are aiming at - specially thru children. Media coverage could help a lot!! 

    Arjun Jassal  yes but how do you explain these laws to people who are busy just tryinng to survive in the metropolis? 

    shashi  I guess middle class colonies a la Vasant Vihar/GK in Delhi could set an example and they are already doing some work 

    Arjun Jassal  yes, the media coverage can really make a difference. Yet before that can be done, workable solutions must be explained, so that an empowered media can help spread the message.. 

    shashi  Of course it needs resources to reach out to them but if we could reach colleges as well, it will help 

    extinct  hi, till recently i was  a threatened species 

    extinct  sorry, i will focus on the topic for today's chat 

    shashi  Extinct all of us are on that list unless we moderate our abuse of nature/environment 

    veenanagpal  Yes we are trying to reach out to management institues and colleges by sensitising them to the issue. Arjun we have done the Garbyhog project in 45 schools in Noida, Gr Noida and Delhi. I could explain in detail to you separately what we are doing. 

    Arjun Jassal  ok what we are talking about is spreading the message. Can some one please explain the solutions to me? I want to know how biodegradable waste can be properly disposed of. please explain.... 

    veenanagpal  Maybe besides an awareness campaign like what we are doing, people could get together for lobbying, filing PILs etch?? 

    Arjun Jassal  yes, veena that would be of help.

    shashi  Veena:it would help if we could list both health and monetary payoffs that garbage management has 

    veenanagpal  Biodegradable waste which forms almost 60% of total waste can be disposed off in a very simple process by vermi composting. This involves making small beds - not dug up pits - and introducing special composter worms who eat this waste and their excreta is v rich compost. It sells at Rs. 17 a kg in the market.   


    shashi  Can colonies run waste composting in neighbourhood parks? 

    Arjun Jassal  this is aimed at small communities? or can it be done on a large scale? 

    Arjun Jassal  also how much land is required for these beds?? 

    veenanagpal  Monetary benefits - Vermi compost costs Rs. 17 per kg. It can easily be made by each household/institution. Institutions would save money in buying compost. Yes Arjun it can be done both at household level and on a very large scale. On a large scale it can be very profitable,... abroad vermi compost sells for $18-20 per kg. Ref - land reqd - it can be done in a single flower pot or in many acres of land depending on quantity of  biodegradable waste to be disposed of 


    extinct  I take it  that we are mainly talking about disposal or use of domestic and restaruant waste, the main source of biodegradable waste? 

    veenanagpal  Shashi, definitely it can be done in neighbourhood parks too. Yes extinct you are right! 

    shashi  what about plastics that litter our streets and choke drains causing waterlogging and diseases 

    veenanagpal Extinct also arboreal waste - burning of which leads to air pollution and lung diseases. 

    shashi  what is arboreal waste? 

    extinct  if we are talking about domestic waste, this kind of waste is not really a major  problem, or is that not correct? 

    extinct  existance of arboreal waste itself is a healthy environment indicator, isn't it? 

    veenanagpal  Shashi plastics are a definite problem... we at EEP are trying to concentrate on bio-degradable waste so that we can get rid of disease spreading litter on roads, flies, dogs, cattle.... bio degradable domestic waste is causing major disease problems 

    Arjun Jassal  but arent plastics also sometimes bunt? and arent the fumes from that very very toxic?? 

    veenanagpal  arboreal waste in urban areas is not a healthy environment indicator. its disposal only leads to air pollution - the way it is being tackled at present 

    extinct  you have put you finger on why biodegradable waste needs attention, Veena 

    shashi  Veena how about a tie up with another NGO - Environment Education which teaches garbage collectors how to shred plastics and weave articles of daily use


    veenanagpal  Arboreal waste is the waste generated from mowed grass, pruned trees, dead leaves etc 

    extinct  dry leaves

    veenanagpal  Shashi, good idea -maybe we could explore it separately 

    veenanagpal  Arjun a medium size project handling about half tonne of waste per day would cost Rs 15-20,000 and this investment can be recovered in less than a years time 


    shashi  Commander and Recycle pl. come in with your views/questions 

    veenanagpal  We have had some corporates like NTPC coming up to sponsor the GBH project and Xansa India in Noida is sponsoring the project in Govt., Schools. In such schools the project doubles up as vocational training. Would be happy if others could come up to sponsor the project specially in govt schools 

    commander  Sorry for the late entry. I am getting myself familiar with the point of discussion

    Arjun Jassal  is there any bank/institution that would be willing to fund such a project?? 

    veenanagpal  pt of discussion commander is how we can sensitize people to our garbage littered way of living and find some solutions for it   

    Recycle  Banks/Corporates should be willing to chip in under their CSR programmes

    Arjun Jassal  well it can be a very good CSR project, I can see why corporates would be intrested! 

    veenanagpal  EEP is not into commercial vermi composting. We are only creating awareness, and sensitising people I am sure banks should be interested in a commercial proposition. 

    Recycle  Wonder if some of the companies selling organic grains/vegetables will be an easy pick 

    veenanagpal  Yes, recycle, we would be very happy to be associated with corporate CSR plans of any company 

    commander  In Mumbai (Powai) , we trie the separating of the waste with fanfare. But the municipal lorry came and put everything in one bucket and took it. By seeing this, the hearts sank and I think the campaign had a natural death. We may have to enforce it at all levels-- not only the initial one. 

    veenanagpal  How about chipping in with your time and effort to find out this recycle? 

    Recycle  Sure I will be happy to do that 

    Recycle  Will advise outcome of my effort to IWC 


    veenanagpal  You are right about the Municipal efforts, commander - i.e. why we are talking of individual/.group/corporate/insitutional effort! 

    Arjun Jassal  yes with retailing become a very institutionalised sector, the volumes are increasing. I am sure so is the waste.. also it can be very good publicity for which ever company gets into composting.. 

    shashi  Arjun that seems to be a great idea - hyper markets - Spencers/Big Bazar inGgn. 

    veenanagpal  You are right Arjun. We would be happy to provide technical know-how for the project, and also provide Composter worms for any  company wanting to get into this... would be happy if you could chip in with your help in this area 

    veenanagpal  So what is the outcome - Arjun, Recycle, Commander, Shashi, can we expect help from you? 

    shashi  Veena in the schools covered by your NGO, are the children managing getting their parents to move 

    shashi  Veena you can surely count me in 

    veenanagpal  Yes some of them , have made not only their parents but also their grandparents interested in doing this at home 

    shashi  Change of course is a slow process 

    Arjun Jassal  well I would like to contact you and get to know more about the project ie the schools covered, how vermi composting can be done etc etc etc!

    veenanagpal  Shashi, at EEP we are also conducting one-day Environment workshops for corporates, colleges and schools 

    shashi  Arjun, contacting the Vasant Vihar and Def. Col RWAs in Delhi may be a good idea as well.  

    veenanagpal  Arjun pl call any time on our mobile 0811109798 or land line 0120-4340493 

    Arjun Jassal  yes that can be done 

    veenanagpal  Arjun pl correct my mobile number to read 9811109798 

    Arjun Jassal  thats 9811109798 right?? 

    veenanagpal  right 

    shashi  Arjun/Veena you could contact me any time on 9811827546 

    Arjun Jassal  will do so! 


    veenanagpal  Any questions suggestions before we end?

    veenanagpal  Arjun may I have your mobile no

    shashi  So we have talked about biodegradable and arborial waste as also plastics and bringing in corporates and RWAs 

    Arjun Jassal  my number is 9910150219 

    veenanagpal  Thanks guys, it was great talking to all of you - hope we can take this forward some way 


    extinct  ut we did not talk about bringing in the municipality 

    shashi  Exploring possbilities of starting a campaign for strengthening municipal laws as also media campaigns are the other steps contemplated 

    veenanagpal  Municipalities are almost extinct in the work they are doign 

    extinct  how about attaching economic value to clean practices, like carbon credits, for responsible communities? 

    veenanagpal  No more laws pl! We have a plethora of them. Let's talk of how we can get them to enforce existing laws 

    shashi  But we cant wish them away except where we can bring in private sector for collection/education 

    extinct  but municipalities are the largest waste disposal agency. to ignore them is correct? 

    veenanagpal  Extinct carbon credit scheme is a grt idea. EEP is currently working on a Paryavaran Yoddha scheme 

    veenanagpal  No way we can ignore the Municipalities - their work undone screams for attention all the time. Can we get them to do some work for a change 

    commander  I am unable to hold the net and hence signing off. 

    veenanagpal  commander saab, how about one for the road? 

    shashi  Commander good to have you on the chat 

    extinct  it is not correct that municipalities do no work. they quietly make whole cities work, i cannot say about ND but Mumbai? what do u say, commander? 

    veenanagpal  hi tiger kid, how about joining us quickly 


    extinct  we need to educate the municipality, not the richie rich flat dweller kid in school 

    veenanagpal  Okay that's one great idea - can we arrange a workshop/Seminar for the Municipality? 

    shashi  well extinct in Delhi so called elite schools changed mindsets of kids and their families on Diwali dhamakas alright 

    extinct  veena you must be joking. workshop seminar is for MVAs. you need to get real if you need to work with reality 

    veenanagpal  At EEP we are trying to educate children -rich and poor - from pvt schools and govt schools - sometime rich kids have very little civic sense. 

    veenanagpal  Yes children have also done much to convert people to organic Holi colours  

    extinct  about rich kids and diwali, - the whole problem was with rich kids. at the prices of fireworks, most of India hardly lets out a whimper 

    shashi  I personally do believe that the next generation are doers though that does'nt absolve us from doing our bit 

    Arjun Jassal  arent we missing the point some where??   

    extinct  veena, you want to have seminars for sweepers and you are happy that the Modern School kids use organic holi colours. do you think you are relevant? 

    veenanagpal  can we get to waste management,? 

    shashi  Thanks Arjun for pointing that out . Let us get to work and contribute whatever way whatever channel we can influence 

    extinct  have we heard of the story of the fair? 

    extinct  of the fakir? 

    shashi  Back to Waste Management - Media, NGOs, Civil So ciety, Schools, Colleges, Corporates CSR 

    extinct  he lost a coin in a dark spot. but he looked for it under the street light because it was better lighted there 

    extinct  similarly, shashi would like to do what he can, whether it is relevant or not 

    extinct  sorry shashi, but i thought the chat should stay relevant 

    shashi  Extinct I agree Municipalities and all waste managers need to be roped in as much as opinion makers 

    Arjun Jassal  guys this is really spiralling out of control!!! 

    extinct  they are not opinion makers, they are the doers 

    veenanagpal  I think we've all had our say really, we need to give it a thought and see if we can get back to each other with some kind of action plan 

    extinct  modern school kids and people who have trees in their gardens can do all the harm they want and it will not hurt 

    Arjun Jassal  yes I agree 

    veenanagpal  If that's okay with you guys, we can sign off 

    extinct  veena, you said it, more to the point would have been: let us appoint a committee 

    extinct  gbye all 

    Arjun Jassal  yup, I am signing off now.. 

    shashi  Veena/Arjun/Extinct thanks for coming in. Veena we will get back to you 

    veenanagpal  thanks for making us end with a laugh. good night 

    shashi  Fine will close the chat room 


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