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First Dry Plastic Waste Collection in Kandivli, Lokhandwala, Mumbai

Recent news reports have indicated that open burning of dry waste by societies and land-owning agencies in metropolitan cities like Delhi NCR and Mumbai have continued unabated.

Amidst this chaos are a few societies that are adopting better waste management practices to secure a brighter future for all of us. One such society where resident-driven dry plastic waste collection activity has been initiated is Octacrest CHS LTD, Lokhandwala Township, Kandivli East, Mumbai. On 28th October 2018, residents of the housing society successfully collected MLPs (Multilayered Plastics) and dry plastic. In total, three big cartons with approximately 300 different packaging materials were gathered, a sign of the vast variety of plastic products that pepper our everyday consumption habits. This event was made possible with the active participation of residents as well as the guidance and help of Team Eco Santulan.

The society is focusing on collecting MLPs and other dry plastic packing in the initial phases of the collection drive and intends to gradually move towards becoming a zero waste society. After the collection of 3000–5000 pieces of MLPs, it will be collected by the NGO Safai Bank of India.

Multilayered plastic waste
MLP waste collected during the drive

The whole campaign was started to encourage residents to work towards better waste management and divert recyclables from entering the landfill sites. We see and hear news of landfill sites being over limit and catching fire, which poses numerous threats to the environment as well as human health. Such drives are a good way to control and improve the waste situation that India is facing.

“I am very happy to be a part of this initiative. In the future, we hope that more and more people will come forward and this green initiative becomes even more successful in our society”, says Safai Bank Coordinator and a resident of Octacrest.

“This is a very good initiative and will create a mindset among consumers to be more aware of the waste we generate. People will also know what is good and bad practice”. (Resident, Octacrest)

As per an old Indian proverb “Boond Boond se sagar banta hai,” the road taken by this society will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the environment and on the mindset of the residents and society members who have started to move in the direction of a zero waste society.

An organic waste-to-compost system was started on March 2018 in Octacrest CHS, and at the time of writing this article, 25 tons of organic waste was diverted from landfill site and converted into compost instead.

Within 6 months, the society worked in the direction of managing their organic and dry waste, e-waste, tetra pak, etc. Example set by societies like Octacrest will have a ripple effect on its surrounding neighborhood, which would be a win-win situation, whether from the residents or the environment's point of view.

It’s commendable to see society-level cooperation and residents turning up for this green initiative. We congratulate the society for taking these initial steps, which will be beneficial for all of us in the long run. But we still have long way to go as a country, and Team Eco Santulan hopes to help other societies transition towards a zero-waste neighbourhood and eventually, a zero-waste country. (Team Eco Santulan)

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