THE waste generated by all us in our daily life can also be turned into gold has practically been proved by Jan Adhar Sevabhavi Sanstha of Latur. The Sanstha is associated with Sevavardhini Pune.
Majority of the Vilasnagar residents used to earn their livelihood by picking the waste and other articles like broken glass, papers, metal scrap and the like from the garbage and selling them to the wholesale scrap merchants. In order to find out a positive solution, the Jan Adhar Sevabhavi Sanstha started an innovative programme based on the principle of self-employment, co-operation, education, protection and dignity.
In order to generate self-employment opportunities for these people the Janseva Solid Waste Management Co-operative Society was formed. The Society was started with 165 women members in 2003. Today, about 15 self-help groups of women are engaged in collecting the waste in Latur city. These women collect the waste from house to house in Latur city every day. The waste is collected making use of ‘Ghanta Gadi’ (a waste collection vehicle ringing its bell on arrival).
People are requested to keep the trash ready and preferably segregated in organic and non-organic or wet and dry waste, specially the leftover foods, vegetable and fruit wastes, etc. Though, while collecting, the waste is segregated as dry and wet, the segregation is not total. The collected waste is brought to a common point where it is further segregated. The waste mainly contains organic waste, plastic bags, metal, broken glass, construction waste and many more things. At present the waste material that can be recycled, such as glassware, metals, plastic bags and packing material is sold through a remnant purchase, sale centre.
The organic matter which is decomposable is used for making fertilizer in vermicomposting pits. The vermicomposting pits are the compost pits charged with a population of specific type of earth-worms, which convert organic matter into very fine and best quality manure. Besides all these waste materials there is some material such as stumps of the tree, coconut shells, peels of banana, leaves of trees, and crop wastes which cannot be decomposed readily. This material can be used for briquette formation.
The organisation mainly works for those who are deprived of basic needs such as food, clothes and shelter. This voluntary organisation strongly believes in the motto of self-employment, co-operation, education, protection and dignity.
The members of the Sanstha studied the work of waste collectors and by consulting the experienced people of waste management, another voluntary organisation named as Janseva Dirty Waste Management Co-operative Ltd was founded in December 2003. The office bearers of the Sanstha started working as supervisors. A survey was conducted through these people and the mode of working for waste management was decided. Waste collectors were also imparted training for personal presentation viz wearing of neat clothes and aprons, masks, protective hand gloves, neat and clean hair keeping, soft gentle language or contact through supervisors in case of controversy or trouble.
One worker with one ‘Ghanta Gadi’ collects waste from about 300 houses. The service is not free. Every household is charged Rs.10 per month for the service. Thus Rs 3,000 collected from 300 houses in a month is distributed amongst the worker, the supervisor, and some amount is kept for running of the NGO. The break-up of the earning is 70 per cent, 20 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.