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Updates 2014 - 2015

Survey on Water and Waste Collection (Corbett, April 2015)

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The Uttarakhand Environment Protection and Pollution Control Board (UEPPCB) has authorized Waste Warriors to conduct a survey of how hotels, inns and lodges in the Corbett Landscape area dispose their solid waste and waste water. The project is underway, and will be carried out in two phases - the first phase of which involves the mapping and classification of hotels, inns and lodges and the development of a questionnaire. The second phase includes data collection and compilation. Through this survey, we will gain an understanding of the current practice of waste management and how solid waste is disposed in these organizations. Though the survey is for recording purposes, it will be used in the future as a tool to make recommendations on how these organizations can better manage their waste and waste water.

 

Rajpur Transformation Project Launch (Dehradun, 14 February 2015)

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We’ve teamed up with Rajpur Community Initiative, dedicated to improving Rajpur, to start a Revival Project. In the past, Rajpur was known as one of the most beautiful parts of the city. However, littering and open dumping has changed this scenario. Our goal is to transform Rajpur and to restore it to its former glory.

On our first clean-up, we collected 25 bags of waste, 10 of which were recyclables. In our commitment to keeping the area clean, we will be sending two waste workers to clean up the area every day, as well as host monthly clean-ups every second Saturday. This project is currently being funded through personal contributions of the Rajpur Community Initiative Society members.

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Clean up with Doon School (Dehradun, February 2015)

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We joined forces with The Doon School to clean the land opposite the school's main gate. After a brief session about waste segregation, 25 students, 2 teachers and Waste Warriors CEO Jodie Underhill, cleaned the heavily littered area, armed with garbage bags, gloves and litter grabbers. A small group of children from the neighbouring area also joined in the clean-up. The students gathered for a de-briefing session at the end of the clean-up drive to discuss how to keep the area clean in the long run. The boys decided to submit a proposal to the Cantonment Board and the owners of the land, requesting permission to put dustbins and signage to deter littering. Students also felt inspired to work in the slum below - this will be phase two of the project.

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Republic Day Clean-ups in Dalanwala (Dehradun, January 2015)

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In celebration of Republic Day, we joined the The Dalanwala Residents Welfare Association (RWA) and hosted a series of clean-up events in Dalanwala. Over 100 volunteers came to clean with us, including a large number of local residents, children, and members of the RWA, Apna Parivar, Welham Girls School and Nagar Nigam. We thoroughly cleaned the open plot by Dwarka Stores. With the help of so many hands, we managed to collect 25 large bags of waste. This showcases the beginning of our joint commitment to clean Dalanwala.

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Bharat Petroleum Foundation Day Clean-Up (Dehradun, 20 January 2015)

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We joined forces with the Petrol Pump and LPG Distributors of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. to undertake a clean-up campaign at Gandhi Park in celebration of the Foundation Day of Bharat Petroleum. Sumit Sharma, Assistant Manager (LPG), Khushwinder Singh, Manager Sales (Retail Petrol Pumps) and Jodie Underhill, CEO of Waste Warriors, were joined by 40 plus employees of Bharat Petroleum for the clean-up. It was an exciting start, and we look forward to doing more clean-up campaigns with Bharat Petroleum in the future.

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Training Session for Forest Guest House Staff (Dehradun, 17 December 2014)

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On December 17th 2014, we conduced a 2-hour training session on Waste Management for 33 members of the Government of Uttarakhand’s Forest Staff of Eco-Tourism. We covered important topics such as proper waste disposal, and segregating and managing waste. The staff was also briefed on the “Solid Waste Management Rules” that every Municipal Corporation in the country is expected to follow. We opened up a discussion about the problems the staff were facing for managing waste in the guesthouses that they ran, and discussed possible solutions and how they could implement them.

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Paint & Dustinbin Renovation Project (Dharamsala, 11 December 2014)

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Over a period of only a few days, one of our short-term volunteers, Amy Sanam, completed an entire painting and dustbin renovation project! Amy painted a Waste Warriors sign, and completed one of our unfinished murals. Now, after putting it off for a year, we have finally started to re-paint all our dustbins. Many thanks to all our volunteers for the incredible work they do!

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Showcase of Nokia’s Create to Inspire Event (Dehradun, 8 November 2014)

On Saturday, November 8th 2014, we hosted the first showcase event of the ‘Create to Inspire’ program at the Scholar’s home school. With a turnout of 122 people, the event was full of energy.

The ‘Create to Inspire’ program, which is fully funded by Microsoft/Nokia, aims to teach students from grades 5-12 about environmental sciences using 14 different tool kits with various exercises. Furthermore, these exercises strongly promote using dance, theatre, music, photography, art and film as learning tools, thus encouraging creativity. Over 50 schools are enrolled in the program.

During the event, students from participating schools presented an activity from each of the tool kits – they performed plays, showed videos and photos, and gave presentations about the activities they had done in their school related to bio-diversity, their carbon footprint, etc.

Parmath Niketan Ashram Clean-Up in Rishikesh (October 2014)

In the spirit of Swacch Bharat, we did clean-up projects not only in Dehradun, Dharamsala and Corbett – but in Rishikesh as well! We were joined by 100 Rishikumars from the Parmath Niketan Ashram for a clean-up drive around the railway station. H.H. Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji and Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati also participated in the clean-up with great energy and enthusiasm.

Before the cleaning commenced, Amit, from Zero Waste Inc, explained the importance of waste segregation to the Rishikumars and volunteers. The group did a fantastic job of segregating waste, but when the Municipality’s waste collection truck came, everything was dumped into the same vehicle, because there was no system in place for recycling. Swami Ji has pledged to help change this. We are now working with the ashram on a few projects, including transforming the area in and around the Ram Jhula bridge, and a cow rescue program.

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FSL Volunteers Join to Clean Waterfall: July-August (Dharamsala, 9 September 2014)

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Field Services and Inter-Cultural Learning (FSL) has partnered with us to ensure that the Bhagsu waterfall area remains clean. In July and August 2014, FSL brought many volunteers to help clean the area, which is full of garbage from excessive tourism. In July, 16 volunteers did a massive clean-up, managing to collect 17 bags of waste in only a few hours. In August, we had another FSL clean-up, in which 11 volunteers collected 9 bags of waste. We are grateful to all the volunteers, and FSL India for ensuring that cleanliness is being maintained at the waterfall.

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Waste Collection in Purkal & Jaspur Village (Dehradun, September 2014)

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Jyoti Mamgain and Shalini Sharma, students of Purkal Youth Development Society Learning Academy, took matters into their own hands when they sent us an action plan proposing how to deal with waste in the villages of Purkal and Jaspur where their school is located. We were incredibly impressed by their plan, and agreed to help them put it into action. We provided them with our truck, and members of our team, to help them start a waste collection service.

The first phase of the plan was to collect segregated waste from each household - so students started by preparing information sheets showing what should go in each bag. Two weeks later, we held an awareness session in each of the villages, which included acting out a street-play that the students had created about waste management. The villagers responded very well to this initiative, and now, we have a bi-monthly waste collection service. We are very proud of the efforts of Jyoti, Shalini, their teacher Neha, as well as all of the students who worked hard to ensure that this project was a success!

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Create to Inspire: Education Program (Dehradun, August 2014)

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We’ve joined forced with Microsoft/Nokia to conduct a revolutionary 6-month educational program for schools, called ‘Create to Inspire.’ The focus of this initiative, which is fully funded by Microsoft, is to provide guidance to teachers on how to conduct environmental science classes and activities. It is geared towards students from classes 5-12. Seventy schools across Dehradun have been chosen to participate in the program, which ultimately aims to change the way that Environmental Sciences is taught in schools, in order to give young people a greater understanding of how they can protect their environment. We held our first induction workshop for teachers at Scholars Home on 26th August.

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Gandhi Park Launch (Dehradun, 19 July 2014)

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On July 19th, we launched the Gandhi Park Project, in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Dehradun Nagar Nigam. We put dustbins in place as a way to mark the occasion. Week one of the project was a huge success, as we managed to clear the backlog of piles of garbage scattered around the park. We also made and filled 3 composting enclosures. An important part of our campaign includes raising awareness about the importance of cleanliness so we started with the vikram drivers and their passengers, who tend to throw a lot of garbage in the area. We are very grateful for the donation of Rs 60,000 that we received from a number of CII company members as it allowed us to cover the costs of this three-month project.

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The Effects of Garbage Pollution on Water: A Scientific Study (Dharamsala, 8 August 2014)

Win Cowger, an undergraduate student at Iowa State University, came to Dharamsala for two months to conduct research on the effects of garbage pollution on drinking water. Win and our Waste Warrior, Vivek Sharma, worked on the study together. They started by mapping out all the streams in the Bhagsu area, using a GPS. Then, they surveyed locals in order to gain a better understanding of what they thought about the amount of waste in the area, as well as how effective they felt the waste collection services were. The purpose of the study was to understand the reasoning behind why local people dump their garbage into streams, as well as how it affects the water. These surveys are still in process, and we are continuing to update Win as the situation in Bhagsu progresses.

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TVE Nokia Film Screenings (Dehradun, June 2014)

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To kick-off our Television for Environment (TVE) and Nokia film screenings festival, we held an event for our interns at the Waste Warriors Headquarters in Dehradun. We showed a film called “Scavenging Dreams,” directed by Jasmine Kaur and Avinash Roy. The film gives audiences an insight into the lives of waste workers in Delhi, many of who are children, and shows the harsh reality of how waste is managed in India. After the film, we discussed the problems that waste workers face, and brainstormed ways in which we could work towards improving their situation and working conditions.

Then, on June 21st, we screened the film at the Times Institute, Career Launcher and the Aptech Institute. The goal of these screenings was to make young people, between the ages of 18-25 years, more aware of environmental issues.

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Clean-Up Drive at Behl Chowk (Dehradun, 14th June 2014)

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We’ve taken on the major challenge of cleaning up the large, illegal dumpsite on the open plot of land opposite the Sony and Whirlpool Showrooms at Behl Chowk. We’ve done a few cleanups events in this area, and joined forces with various other organizations, including a local NGO called MAD – Make a Difference by being the Difference, with whom we managed to collect 40 bags of waste. After a few clean-ups, thanks to the efforts of our staff, volunteers and daily rate workers, we managed to collect over 3000 kg of waste.

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Poster Removal Drive at Darshanlal Chowk (Dehradun, 14th May 2014)

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Thousands of illegal posters are plastered all over the walls of Dehradun. One of the beautiful murals that we created was hidden because of such posters, despite a commitment that private owners of the area had made not to stick anything on the wall. Thus, Waste Warriors CEO Jodie Underhill, our interns from IIM Indore and local volunteers conducted a poster removal drive in order to restore the wall to its original beauty.

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Triund Clean-Up Hike (Dharamsala, 5-6 May 2014)

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On the morning of May 5th 2014, we started the 9 km hike up to Triund with our volunteers, many of whom had prior hiking experience. On our way up, we collected waste in the area. When we finally got to Triund, we spent another few hours cleaning up before sunset. As the sun set, we winded down for the evening.

The next day, despite of the rain, our volunteers kept collecting waste, and segregated it as best possible. However, since the weather was not improving, we decided to call it a day and quickly started our journey back home. Because of the weather, this was one of our more challenging hikes; we are truly grateful to our volunteers for staying positive throughout!