Smart Village Movement: Waste management in Meghalaya

The pristine and picturesque regions of North East India, East Khasi district of Meghalaya, in particular, have a large inflow of tourists each year, who bring in tons of plastic waste into the region. Waste management in Meghalaya is carried out by ragpickers, who resort to an easy way of waste disposal which is to burn it.

With over 6000 villages in Meghalaya alone, the amount of waste that is improperly disposed of is massive. It is a must to ensure that there is conscious disposal of plastic waste across the region. For the same, Recykal, in collaboration with Berkeley University and support of the Meghalaya Government, introduced Smart Village Movement, to bring awareness about plastic waste management in Meghalaya.

Recykal’s digital platform will enable the local authorities in monitoring the waste generated and channelize it with ease, and simultaneously the platform will empower locals to dispose of plastic in an environmentally and economically beneficial way.

We work beyond our digital platform, towards creating awareness on waste management and help people take up sustainable practices, starting with proper disposal of waste.

Our recent demonstrations with the ragpickers made them understand that they were not just burning plastic, but burning money.

Our awareness program with them resulted in ensuring they had the required understanding to make money out of waste and also the environmental implications of burning plastic waste.

Our second awareness campaign was with the students of Tirot Singh Memorial School in Mawkdok, Meghalaya.

India is considered to be the youngest country in the world, and more than 35% of our population are children. When children are self-aware, their thoughts and actions have an impact on the system and their surroundings, making it important to educate them on the importance of waste management. The interaction with students led to setting up a collection center at the school, where students will deposit the collected plastic waste, which will be further picked up by local kabadiwalas.

The unawareness of waste segregation is high. Smart Village Movement aims to strongly establish the importance of plastic recycling and bring back the beauty in Meghalaya.

Our initiative in Meghalaya resulted in:

  • Creating impact in 100+ villages
  • Across 3 Block
  • Partnership with 5 schools
  • Empowering 5 kabadiwalas
  • Collaborating with 1 recycler and 1 aggregator

We believe in a holistic approach to ensure a robust waste management system is in place. For this, we collaborated with the villagers and students at the grass-root level, and with government officials – Deputy Commissioner of Shillong-Meghalaya, Director of CPCB of North East India, to ensure every key stakeholder in the system is actively participating in disrupting the way we manage waste.

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