Solid waste management is one of the most basic essential services provided by municipal authorities. However, it is amongst the most poorly rendered – the systems applied are unscientific, outdated and inefficient. It is estimated that India will have to invest close to US$11 billion in solid waste management alone over the next 20 years.
Ambala stood at 308 out of the 434 cities in the Swachhta Sarvekshan 2017 and one of the principal reasons being, the waste management was not as per the Municipal Solid Waste Rules, 2016. In 2009 a centralized composting plant at Patvi was commissioned but was not successful as source segregation could not be achieved. Therefore it was imperative to develop a comprehensive Solid Waste Management implementation strategy.
The Municipal Corporation Ambala, coupled with Recity under Swachh Bharat Mission of Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs to bring about a behavioral change that would transform the Solid Waste management system in the city completely. OYE! Ambala campaign was launched to carry out 30% waste segregation at source in Ambala in 90 days
It was a common practice amongst the citizen to dump waste in the closest vacant public space or the open drains. On inspection, it was realized that despite having a clear agreement between the prevalent machinery of waste collection Door-to-Door and the Municipal corporation abiding by the SWM 2016 rules, the same wasn’t adhered to. As a result there was a huge infrastructure gap which paralyzed the solid waste management mechanism in the city completely.
The vision of the project was to achieve 30% segregation at source within 90 days, while having addressed the issue of infrastructure gaps and formalizing the routes. It was also aimed to run a holistic and comprehensive solid waste management campaign by bringing together the people, the government and the experts together to solve the problem collectively.
The entire project was divided into 6 modules, which were further divided into key systemic processes. The entire project is framed on the basis of these guiding principles and further expanded to showcase deployment in the Municipal Corporation Ambala area.
The IEC Campaign
As part of the program for Information, Education & Communication (IEC), three distinctive campaigns were run to target specific ideas of awareness about segregation - AAO ALAG KAREIN, enabling children to be warriors of waste revolution in their city - I AM BALA and the gratification of the waste workers to encourage them for best practices in segregation, collection and disposal - AMBALE DI SHAAN.
Out of the total households in Ambala, almost all of them were reached out to establish a 60% segregation at source. The infrastructure optimization, up-gradation and monitoring helped to attain a 95% segregation at Tricycles, in turn ensuring 91% collection.