“Why should I do it?” can be a very upsetting query to those trying to initiate a waste management programme in their community or workplace. This is particularly true in residential communities where some residents refuse to comply.
In every community there are a small number of people extremely committed to the environment . These are the ones who usually come forward to form the core group or the waste management committee. These people segregate waste in their homes and make an effort to reach out to others often come up with innovative ideas and suggestions to manage the waste generated within their premises.
There are several other members who do are open to the idea but are unsure of how to go about it. When the waste management team reaches out to them, these people are eager to learn and gradually begin to segregate and manage their waste.
However the biggest challenge in any community is that group of people who are averse to change and refuse to cooperate. The core team in any complex needs to have a comprehensive plan to deal with these residents.
In the initial stages, the waste management team tries to reach out to these people and explains the need and significance of waste management. Every time it is brought to the team’s notice that some residents are not segregating, some member of the team reaches out to them. After 3 such incidents, the resident is told that the next time they fail to segregate, garbage will not be collected from their house. The house keeping staff is also informed not to collect mixed waste from any household.
Some complexes reward complying households with a sticker on their door saying, “We segregate our waste” or “We help keep our community clean…We segregate our waste” and so on. In doing so, attention is highlighted not merely on the complying households but also those who refuse to.
One apartment complex even has a board that has the names of all those households that have been ‘blacklisted’…the name of people who refuse to be part of the waste management programme.
Every community has to work out a unique plan to ensure that all residents cooperate. It can be a long challenging task, sometimes annoying, sometimes bizarre and sometime just hilarious!