Youth leads citizen participation in the national campaign for segregation of waste at source

Published: Oct 20, 2022, 4:47 pm IST

New Delhi: The goal of the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0’ is to make cities garbage free. One of the key aspects is to segregate waste at source. This key step will help to reduce the amount of waste that goes to legacy dumpsites.

Sustainable waste management being one of the critical challenges, the priority is to shift from the current practice of dumping and burning to sustainable waste management practices that promote segregation, collection, recycling and a circular economy. With rapidly changing urban landscapes, ecosystems, population migrations, and ever-increasing households and establishments, it is essential that behaviour change is reinforced from time to time among citizens.

October is the month of festivals and with behaviour change at the centre of the campaign, MoHUA launched thematic activities to propel segregation of waste at source campaign. The core activities involve dissemination of key messages to the citizens through public outreach, door-to-door messaging and engagement with schools.

Traditionally on Diwali, most households undertake home cleaning. Children as change agents have been long established under Swachh Bharat Mission and are known to impact overall community behaviors. This Diwali the school children can gift swachhta ka uphaar to their family and friends.

Urban Local Bodies are being encouraged to organize public outreach activities to garner the attention of the residents to promote the practice of segregation. The core activities include – door-to-door messaging with support from NGOs, SHGs, schools, colleges, youth organizations, RWAs, other civil societies, volunteers, etc demonstrating proper segregation covering all wards.

ULBs can arrange separate storage systems to be fitted in the collection vehicles – wet (green), dry (blue) and any means of the collection – partitions, large bags, cane baskets, plastic/metal bins, or others. These core activities will ensure collected segregated waste remains segregated until processing facilities.

The special activities engaging school children have begun and will go on till 30th of October. Selfie points are being created using installations representing pair of bins -green (for wet waste) and blue (for dry waste). ULBs will engage with the public/school children through tongue-twister challenges. Participants can be challenged to repeat quickly ‘Hara Geela Sookha Neela’ as many times as possible. Mobile Vans/trucks can play “Humein Garv Hai” song and promote messages on clean/SUP free Diwali.

To encourage student participation in promoting segregation of waste both at school and at home, some of the activities planned are ‘Bins Out of Waste’ – Students can be encouraged to collect a bin from home and create art out of it at school using different painting media, students can participate in the Toycathon challenge (Register on https://innovateindia.mygov.in/swachh-toycathon/) where they can be asked to bring in 5-6 segregated dry waste items from home and create toys out of waste.

To encourage Home to School Connect, students can create two labels each – green for wet waste and blue for dry waste with messages on segregation at source written on them. The finished labels can be taken back home and pasted on their bins meant for wet and dry waste. Students can also create labels for their homes that can be stuck outside their house proclaiming ‘My house segregates waste’. This can serve as an indirect platform to remind and motivate their visiting friends and family to segregate.

In a massive drive, in the first 72 hours more than 10 lakh children have already been engaged. Participating schools can register on the website sbmurban.gov.in. Each school can be awarded a certificate of participation after the activities.

Celebrating eight years of accomplishments of SBM-Urban, the Hon’ble President of India Droupadi Murmu, on 1st Oct 2022, urged the citizens of India to join in the ‘Segregation of waste at Source’ campaign that focuses on reinforcing correct waste segregation practices among the different sections of the society. As a part of the two-week long Swachh Amrit Mahotsav, MoHUA rolled out the national campaign for segregation of waste at source on 2nd October, Gandhi Jayanti.

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