Monitoring – The key to Sustainable Waste Management

“It took us about 6 weeks to achieve over 95% segregation at source” says a member of the volunteer team at one of Saahas’s client sites on Sarjapur road. She emphasizes that 100% segregation is a rather elusive target and there is the constant need to monitor segregation and collection systems.
In the early stages of the implementation of the waste management programme in a residential complex, it is essential for volunteers to monitor the process on a door-to-door basis. The volunteers are required to accompany the house-keeping staff when they go to collect waste from the individual households.
This is done to ensure that waste segregation is done properly by all the households. It also helps identify those households that have not been segregating properly and to help them overcome whatever problems they might be facing in this regard.
By accompanying the house keeping staff, volunteers can also establish the pitfalls in the collection system and guide the staff accordingly.
Once the waste collection process has been streamlined and residents as well as house-keeping staff are familiar with the process, it may not be necessary to monitor on a daily basis.
However in large complexes, there are always new members moving in to the community. Similarly there are frequent changes among house hold help as well as house-keeping staff. It is essential to ensure that every new comer to the community is briefed about the waste management process. To do this volunteers often conduct short sessions on waste management and segregation during various community programmes and activities organised in the complex.
It is also important to have floor level or building level volunteers who can monitor the process on a regular basis to ensure that everything stays on track. Also it is important for residents and housekeeping staff to know who their point of contact is in a given building. In case a resident has problems with a neighbour or some housekeeping staff, he/she can report it to the concerned volunteer. Similarly housekeeping staff too know whom to contact when they have any issues.
Implementing effective waste management practices in a residential community is a challenging task. Even those communities that have achieved close to 100% segregation often see a fall in the success rate if the fall behind in the process of monitoring.
A motivated team that focusses on monitoring the waste management programme alone can ensure its sustainability and success.
solid waste center

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