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Community Based Solid Waste Management at Agra

This is one of the ongoing programmes of the Society, which is implemented within 1 km radius of Taj Mahal in Agra. The project is supported by NORAD and USAID. IES took active steps to strengthen and also to improve the existing Waste Management System at the project location and promotes public participation in waste management processes. IES has adopted an integrated approach, which includes production of compost from waste and its marketing, awareness generation, capacity building and involvement of private sectors in this programme.

Background and Objectives
This pilot project is based on ‘Trash to Treasure’ ideology. Under this program community volunteers are involved in door-to-door waste collection system. The domestic waste is converted to manure through composting and are being sold. The project is aimed at capacity building of stakeholders and replication of best practice model in neighbourhood areas.
The project has a demonstrative effect for other parts of the country. Domestic wastes are being converted into manure through the process of microbial decomposition. The output of the process i.e. manure is a source of resource generation for sustaining the project.
IES has adopted an integrated approach to implement the program, which includes the following:

  • Collection, Segregation, Transportation, and Disposal of Waste.
  • Production of manure from the waste and its marketing.
  • Awareness generation on the issues of Solid Waste Management.
  • Capacity building and involvement of Private Sector Organization.

Efforts have been made to strengthen the infrastructure for the management of Solid Waste in the project area and explore economic benefits from the activity through people’s participation. The main objective of the project is to strengthen the Solid Waste Management System through community participation and involving concerned institutions to ensure a close coordination among them. Through this project, the Society has demonstrated a Community Based Technology of converting waste to compost, which has been replicated in other parts of the city. Local Community and Municipal Corporation of Agra were also involved by the Society to keep the environment around Taj Mahal Clean and healthy.

Achievements
The Society has tired its level best to continue and sustain the ongoing activities of Solid Waste Management in the said project this year too. The project has now attained its sustainability and is now self funded.
The voluntary workers of the Society have continued with their usual practice of door-to-door collection, transportation, segregation, disposal, composting etc in the target area. The waste transported was then segregated into degradable and non-degradable waste. The degradable waste is then put into the pits, developed by the Society at TORA, for decomposition. A very simple and cost effective process of composting was adopted by the Society.
The methodology adopted by the IES is as follows:
1. The degradable waste is filled into composting pits at Tora.
2. This is then pulverized regularly to facilitate uniform biodegradation followed by sprinkling of water to maintain moisture content.
3. The waste turns into manure after a cycle of seven weeks.
4. The compost produced is taken out and dried under the sun, sieved, packed and then stored for selling.
The compost produced is marketed as TAJRICH Compost. The tajrich compost is provided to local farmers at a very subsidiary rates, which is easily affordable by the.
During this year, IES has organized few awareness and training programmes. Awareness camps at local schools and training programs for NGOs, ULBs/Municipal Staff were also organized. To involve farmers in the project, training programmes were also organized for them. The training programmes for farmers have improved their awareness level to use organic manure.
Community Based Solid Waste Management Programme at Agra is not turning waste to resource but also creating a congenial atmosphere for visiting the Taj Mahal. The project has the potential to contribute an ideal model, which could be replicated in different regions of the country and elsewhere for “Trash to Treasure” initiative.

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