Introducing the concept of waste management to a residential community takes time and effort. It calls for the involvement of a core team comprising the property managers, owners association as well as resident volunteers to launch a campaign that uses a combination of formal and informal methods to reach out to the entire community.
The waste management campaign begins with a two point agenda namely awareness and training. This campaign needs to focus not merely on the residents of the community but also other members involved in the process of disposal and collection of waste. This typically includes household help who work in the homes of residents as well as house-keeping staff employed by the community to keep their premises clean.
Awareness and Training Programme for Household and House-keeping Staff.
The core team on waste management organizes several formal and informal sessions to create awareness on the most essential aspect of waste management which is segregation of waste. Posters are put up in common areas and in some cases pamphlets are distributed to every household. Online /email campaigns are also launched in some communities. One of the most successful but time consuming effort is the organization of a door-to-door campaign to spread awareness on waste.
Formal sessions could include arranging separate sessions for residents , household help and housekeeping staff to introduce segregation as well as highlighting their role in the implementation of a successful waste management programmes.
Informal sessions could include having a short segment of segregation of waste during community functions and festivals. With ‘waste’ as the theme, competitions are arranged for children and adults residing in the community. These programmes are organized with the intent to create interest as well as discussion on the subject of waste within the community. Besides waste segregation is successful only when the entire family works towards it.
Training of household staff in waste segregation and disposal is very important as in several households it is these staff who actually dispose the waste. It is essential to for every resident to work with their household staff to introduce and implement waste segregation within their homes.
Similarly training programmes are conducted for the communities house-keeping staff to help them identify the different types of waste and avoid mixing of waste during the collection process. They are also trained to identify mixed waste. They can then report the presence of mixed waste to the concerned authorities so that the erring households can be identified .
Saahas works with several progressive communities in introducing and managing their waste management programme.