26th July 2014, Joint Commissioner of Mahadevapura, Bangalore formally inaugurated the Shriram Spandhana’s, solid waste management facility, ‘EcoDrive Center’. It was a big day for the Eco drive volunteers who had worked for weeks not only to spread awareness on waste management practices but also to set up the infrastructure for in house waste management. Every day they manage nearly 500 kgs of waste.
Spandhana is a sprawling 12.5 acre complex that has 504 households across 33 blocks. Today the complex has achieved close to 95% segregation and has an end to end waste processing facility which includes an in-house OWC, secondary segregation of dry waste in appropriate streams, BBMP vendor pickup of rejects as well as capacity to process and handle compost. The expertise of agencies like Saahas and Vennar was sought to run the facility as well as advice on best practices
About half a dozen volunteers came forward to form the core team of EcoDrive that worked to put together the entire facility. Setting up the infrastructure took them about 6 weeks and the cost incurred was about Rs.17 Lakhs. Every household in the complex contributed Rs.3,500 for this purpose. In addition to the core EcoDrive team, there are about 20 block level coordinators who are working to ensure the sustainability of this system.
Colour coded bins and brochures with details of segregation were distributed to each and every household. The residents, housekeeping staff, household helps were all trained in the process of segregation over 2 weekends. Around 20-25 children too were also involved in the programme to spread awareness through competitions and activities like coding bins and so on. To ensure that the collection mechanism is efficient, the team opted for the door to door collection or what is called waste collection at source
Interestingly, the Eco Drive team also worked to develop software with a detailed reporting and management system. This was integrated with email and SMS. This helps them provide feedback on a daily basis to every resident on their performance for the day.
A 2 week pilot was launched on 24th March with 8 of the 33 blocks participating in it. The scheme was rolled out to the entire complex on 7th April. It took around 3 months to achieve operational stability. The project is now on maintenance mode.