Becoming a smart city is not just about having the best civic facilities, but it is also about how a city can make the best from its waste. Pune produces more than a 1000 tonnes of garbage daily that is sent to the landfill without being segregated or recycled. The Institute of Natural Organic Agriculture (INORA) is doing its bit to encourage city farming and waste management through organic and holistic methods. With a team of social entrepreneurs and enthusiastic volunteers, INORA has made its way to housing societies, schools and industries in the city wherein they have installed methods and ways for people to segregate the waste at the source and use efficient technology to process the waste.
Manjushree Tadvalkar, Managing Director of INORA, feels that we cannot depend upon the local corporation or a local civic body to entirely deal with the waste, “We first start off by creating awareness in housing societies and schools about the gravity of waste and what it does. Each and every individual generates waste but there are simple ways to manage it. The result is good, we can use the output to have a rich garden.” She also mentions that as far as a smart city is concerned, there has to be a strict policy management. “There is no policy as far as waste management is concerned,” she adds.
With the available technology, Tadvalkar asserts that here is a need for a proper system to be in place. This system will facilitate the implementation of policies. “First, we need good governance. People should know what their role is as well as what role the corporation plays. Outreach is where you educate people and create awareness about the situation so that they follow the system. They must know the penalty for not doing the needful.”
INORA treats more than 60 tonnes of waste every day. It takes some very small steps to reduce your carbon footprint and reduce the usage of plastic amongst people in urban and rural areas. “We have made an effort to reduce the use of plastic bags by enabling self-help groups to make paper bags and stitch cloth bags from old cloths,” explains Tadvalkar, who feels that implementation of such things is much easier in villages than in urban parts. She also gives a small way in which a society can start being more waste efficient, “The first is segregation of bio-waste from plastic. If you want to take it to the next level, then you can have your very own composting system that you can place in your balcony or terrace.
Gardening is one of the most popular stress busting activities and INORA caters to various gardeners in the city, helping them to grow various herbs and vegetables. They are gardening over 8 acres in Pune. “Take a little bit of soil and add all your kitchen waste into that. You can enrich your soil using a starter culture as well. There are so many pollution reducing plants that you must keep in your house for rich circulation of oxygen,” says Tadvalkar as she signs off.
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