Half-Yearly Report 2018-2019 - Waste Warriors Dharamsala
supported by HT Parekh Foundation
Our Co-Founder Jodie started the weekly waste collection from Triund in 2009 and it's probably the cleanest hiking destination in India as a result of our efforts. The mountain camp is a 4 hour hike from McLeod Ganj and with over 10,000 people including numerous schools visiting each year it can get extremely littered.
Each week we recruit volunteers to clean the hiking trail and help with the segregation of waste from the chai shops and guesthouses. The mules that take the supplies up the mountain bring down the segregated garbage.
The waterfall is a popular tourist destination visited by hundreds of people each day during the main season and as a result gets very dirty. Many people head there to wash their clothes and until we began working there was no-one to clean up the mess left behind. We have installed dustbins which our staff empty and collect waste daily from the businesses. We recruit volunteers to thoroughly clean the path on a weekly basis and retrieve the garbage that has been thrown over the side.
Each week we organise a clean-up drive in the local community. We choose an area to clean, recruit volunteers and ensure the waste we collect is segregated so we can recycle as much as possible. Our volunteers thoroughly enjoy the experience and nothing can beat the feeling you get when you walk away, leaving an area cleaner than you found it. We are in one of the tourist hot spots of Himachal and can't imagine how dirty it would be if we weren't there to take care of it.
We run a door-to-door waste collection from businesses and households in Bhagsunag and the surrounding areas to stop dumping and burning of waste. We want to expand so that even more people can benefit from the service. We generate essential income from this initiative and have massively improved the cleanliness of the areas we collect from. Collecting waste from people’s doors is the best way to ensure that it’s disposed of properly! We collect from around 200 places in the tourist season and as there is no vehicle access our boys have to carry the garbage on their backs, sometimes for several kilometres.
We have installed dustbins all over Bhagsunag and empty them on a daily basis. They are strategically placed, painted in a decorative and visually appealing way and are secured so they do not get stolen. They have become an integral part of the community and are absolutely essential if an area is to stay clean. We would like to install dustbins in other areas too once funds allow.
We have a waste drop off point at Galu, a popular trekking crossroads. Hikers now have a place to put the trash they have accumulated whilst on their hiking trips. Our staff ensures the bins are emptied regularly and maintained. The signboard educates people about responsible hiking and encourages them to think about the waste that they generate. Our motto is "Take only photos, leave only footprints"