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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rethinking Waste Management
Hi Everybody
Not been writing actively for a while. Need to read more i guess.....

Recently a business channel had a program on waste & waste management activities in India. The program was quite informative & it showcased activities being undertaken to manage various types of waste by government & private players.
It also highlighted how a urgent attention is needed by both government & private players to manage & recycle waste.

The program got me thinking.
Is managing & recycling waste, only way to solve the problem.
How about before managing & recycling, let's step back & look at why do we have waste in the first place, its proper disposal & collection activities.

Government & Private players, no doubt should make efforts to manage & recycle waste but i think this problem should also be looked at from the front end :

Why have waste - I want to understand - Why waste is waste - is it because it has lost its economic value or life.
Is there a way to develop items (bottles, bags, packaging, material, etc) which can be used again or have multiple extend their life.........with one usage motive complete they can transform into another.
Is their a business opportunity to use waste/unused products.........
-- Can a business be created which uses scrap or waste material so that these items are used again. Check out Delhi based Green the Gap ( which utilizes cartons, leather, etc to create beautiful lifestyle products as well as generate employment locally.
--Can there be ebay kind of platform for swapping old & unused items with a charitable angle to it so that people feel good when they donate/give away their old & unused items.
-- Can there be a business which actually takes your old & unused items & provides you with incentives on new ones. Check out Future Group's effort on swapping old items with new
-- What's the diff between people who take care of environment & those who not. Can companies appreciate their effort. How about making them role models.

Managing Disposal - Without proper segregation from the customer end what happens is that huge time is wasted in waste segregation of diff type later.
What measures can be taken to instill a behavior of proper segregation right at the customer/home end so that it reduces unnecessary effort by government personnel.
Can we make sorting & segregation fun. have a look at the following video from the Fun Theory & check out their effort to make returning plastic bottle a fun experience.

Apart from ongoing government efforts, I think the problem of waste management should also be dealt with instilling a proper behavior among individuals to minimize their wastage, proper segregation & having products which have multiple usages. Lots more can be done & i think this problem should be seen as an opportunity for business & government.

Video Source -
Photo source -