With fast urbanization, India is confronting huge waste administration challenge.
More than 377 million urban individuals live in 7,935 towns and urban areas and create 62 million tonnes of civil strong waste per annum. Just 43 million tons (MT) of the waste is gathered, 11.9 MT is dealt with and 31 MT is dumped in landfill locales.

Solid Waste Management is one of the fundamental services given by the municipality in the nation to keep urban focuses clean. Be that as it may, almost every single municipal authority store strong waste at a dump-yard inside or outside the city erratically. Specialists believe that India is following a defective arrangement of waste disposal and management.

It is believed that the key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and to ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery.
Social entrepreneurship which can be another medium to deal with India’s growing concerns of waste management especially since there is wide scope of making profits while contributing to the society as the sense of morality is increasing due to realization of environmental damages associated with a rapidly growing economy.

Gvriksh organised a panel discussion on Waste Management to elaborate on following points:
• Discussion on difference between Recycling and Upcycling and how our long term goal should be upcycling.
• Scope for recycling/upcycling in India
• How masses in India are organically inclined towards recycling/upcycling things themselves
• Operation of social entrepreneurship in field of waste management and how it can help in the ultimate goal
• Importance of waste segregation for efficient waste management
• The Challenges faced by NGOs and Entrepreneurs in context of educating the masses about value of products created through recycling/upcycling

Panel comprised of esteemed participants in the field of social work/entrepreneurship and few of their opinions are stated below –

Ms. Tripti Shinghal, Founder, Gvriksh (Moderator) said that practical waste management techniques should be part of school curriculum to indoctrinate awareness amongst youth who are the future residents of this planet. Also, social entrepreneurship should be promoted as it is the practical way of supporting the environment through sustainable businesses while also contributing to a one’s self need of earning a living which ultimately helps in growing the economy. There should be a separate privileges associated with creating and selling upcycled products in terms of government policy, separate category in e commerce stores and most importantly public support.

Dr. BC Sabat – Sr. Scientific Officer – Department of Environment, Delhi Govt. presented various opportunities for social entrepreneurs/NGOs dealing in upcycled products.

Mr. Abhishek Gupta – Founder – Clean India Ventures – “Get out of your comfort zone broaden your opinions. Lets work together to make Bharat Swach!”

Ms. Gauri Sarin, President, Approach Intl & Founder, Forum for Women Leadership for Better India (FWLI), India – “The time has come to put our heads together and create integrated awareness & go to market approach for the recycling, upscaling & segregation of waste with all stakeholders. Huge entrepreneurial opportunities exist, the potential has to be tapped and informal sector can also go up the value chain”

Ms. Ruchi Rastogi, Founder, Craftprenuer and Hunar Foundation felt that Aggressive marketing and platform for upcycled products is the need of the hour. For an NGO marketing support is also needed to succeed.

Ms. Nilanjana Das, Founder Director, Action Center for Transformation (ACT) Green India – “Building Awareness is important to help the change mind set on waste management and creating acceptance of the idea of an Upcycled Product.”

Ms. Monica Sharma, President, Human Kind Foundation – “A good platform for awareness and learning about various initiatives by different organisations for mother earth. There is a need for more such meetings to upscale different products and waste management schemes.”

Mr. Dev Bhardwaj, Founder, Kisanmanch.com suggested that new education policy should be framed by Government of India. Solid waste management, recycling – upcycling should be made mandatory by the help of strong legislation.

Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal, Alf News expressed that effective waste management schemes can be beneficial in generating employment in the country. Upcycling brings a lot of scope in his context.

Mr. Rajesh Goyal, CEO & Founder Director, IIP -“It should be mandatory for all business setups to give a special space for upcycle products including online. There should be regular seminars, workshops & skill development courses at nominal costs so that under privileged people can also be elevated to next level”

Mr. Gaurav Joshi, Cofounder, Extracarbon – “First time attended a round table with go to market strategies on waste management, recycling & upcycling. It also provides a perspective that stakeholders involved should work together. Focus areas can be different but the end results would be win-win for all. Such focus group can be helpful in paradigm shift also.”

Ms. Namita Banka, Founder, Banka BioLoo – “Lets enjoy our stuff a little longer before we dispose. Buy quality and sustainable product with longer shelf life and workability. This will help reduce the quantum of waste generated on daily basis.”

Ms. Divya Gupta, Founder, Leafy Tales expressed that great work is done by a lot of social entrepreneurs. The need is now to collaborate and join hands to complete the value chain of upcycling and recycling.

Ms. Archana Mohan, PHD researcher, Anthropology was of an opinion that Waste Management-Segregation, recycling & upcycling should be treated as normal rather than cool or fashionable. Building awareness & proper infrastructure, including marketing is needed to reach wider audience.

Radhakrishnan T.R. Aiyyer, President, Voluntary organization for Welfare of Labour & Unprivileged Class recommended that Corporates, Civil societies , Government authorities and Residents of the city should come together on the same wave length and allow the synergy thereby harnessed to be directed at fighting the solid waste to put a solution in place.

Ms. Sarla Garg, Director, Sadhu Forging believes that Segregation of waste is instrumental to effective waste management which is the only solution for our environment and earth.

Dr Vandana Mehta, Doctor suggested incorporating progressive steps towards waste management in NCERT syllabus. Use of non-biodegradable things should be limited. Also the field of farming and taking up farming as a career choice should be promoted.

This discussion was done to connect various initiatives and opportunities towards waste management in India – which is the need of the hour.