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  Home >> Cleanliness >> Recommendations by Jyoti Mhapsekar of Stree Mukti Sangathan for Dry waste and waste pickers as on 14 Nov 2005

Recommendations by Jyoti Mhapsekar of Stree Mukti Sangathan for dry waste and waste pickers as on 
14 Nov 2005

In final copy, references to SMS will be omitted

1. Dumping sites  

Independent quick study of working conditions of waste pickers at dumping grounds with reference to following points  

         I.      Number of waste pickers working at dumping sites

       II.      The name of organizations they belong to

      III.      Security measures especially for women at dumping sites

    IV.      Health conditions of waste pickers

      V.      Safety gears and their use

    VI.      Harassment of waste pickers

   VII.      Quantification of effect of their work and its value

 VIII.      How much improvement is possible by better organization, Better supervision and better work -environment.

    IX.      Current and proposed facilities for their toilet, drinking water and storage of their material

      X.      Whether incentivisation to waste pickers is possible at dumping sites and also at various collection points ( as is being done at fashion street at present)  

We can suggest following remedies to improve the situation of waste pickers at dumping ground  

               I.      There should be strict ban on children entering dumping ground . All NGOs working with waste pickers should be instructed not to issue I-Cards to the youth below 18 years of age.  

             II.      There should be protection for women waste pickers on dumping ground. Most of the women suffer from the gangs working at dumping ground. Security force should take care of such unruly elements.  

            III.      SMS has submitted the list of 750 women holding SMS I cards to Dy. Chief Engineer SWM  two years ago. However lately the waste trucks are diverted to Mulund dumping site and few waste pickers therefore shifted to that site. However since still has maximum number of adult waste women waste pickers at Deonar and Mulund, SMS groups affiliated to PBVS (Federation of waste Pickers) and registered with SJSRY.  can take the responsibility of maintaining the facilities like toilet, drinking water etc. The proposal for dry waste shed at Deonar dumping site is also approved by Chief Engineer SWM. However due to lack of security and constant threat of theft, the proposal is not pursued so far .  

2. Kiosks for dry waste  

                           I.      MCGM should provide wooden kiosk for dry waste of following size with locking facility  at as many collection points as possible 6 length x 4 width x 10 height

                         II.      These kiosks should be maintained by waste picker groups registered with MCGM or with NGOs who can facilitate the working of such kiosks.

                      III.      The priority for kiosks should be the area where composting , vermi- composting or Bio -methanation  projects are  in working conditions or in the planning stage so that segregation at source is promoted and supply of biodegraded material to such projects can be ensured.

                      IV.      While giving contracts for such kiosks other women from such groups can be trained house to house collection and  composting so that they can further reduce the waste to be transported to the dumping ground.

3.  Sheds for dry waste  

               I.      MCGM should provide the space for dry waste sheds in each ward to the registered groups or to the cooperatives or organizations of waste pickers with NGOs as facilitators  

             II.      The spaces for constructing sheds for 8 dry waste sheds in 6 wards have been  already identified by Chief Engineer SWM and A.C. (Planning)CCDO- SJSRY and  the amount .and design sanctioned. However lack of coordination in various departments has delayed the follow up at ward office. MCGM is requested to expedite this process so that the funds for 2005-2006 can be utilized for the same.  

4. Survey of waste pickers in Mumbai  

The survey of BPL has been taken up by SJSRY department at present. But the experience in many cities shows that waste pickers are often not included as they stay in the difficult areas. As per our rough estimate there are 25000 waste pickers in Mumbai. SMS is already participating in SJSRY survey . but we feel that MCGM should carry out the extensive survey of waste pickers and  make their list for future reference. SMS is ready to give all the cooperation for this.  

5. EPR  

MCGM should immediately identify the products for which buy back policy can be possible.. SMS with the help of  PBVS is in the process of having an agreement  with Tetra Pak  Company for the collection of  the same from Mumbai. Most of the Tetra Pak (app. 100 tons per month ) is sent to dumping ground at present. SMS requests MCGM to give all the cooperation to PBVS to collect Tetra Pak from major consumers such as Railways and Airport Authority.  

6. House to house Collection  

As per Pune model MCGM should collect only Bio degradable  waste from the citizens, at least in the selected area such as public sector colonies. Instead the waste pickers should be incorporated in the house to house collection.

At present SMS is working in following wards with the help of 250 trained women.    

  Name of the ward                                        Type of work  

1)      A                                             Composting, Dry waste shed and tempo

2)      B                                             Composting,

3)      F (North)                                 Composting. Dry waste shed and tempo

4)      G (North)                                Composting

5)      G (South)                                Dry waste shed

6)      H(East)                                    Composting

7)      L                                               Composting

8)      M (East)                                   Composting, Dry waste shed (proposed)                          

9)      M ( West)                                 Composting. Dry waste shed and tempo

10)  N                                              Composting.

11)  S                                              Composting. Dry waste shed (sanctioned) and tempo

12)  T                                              Composting. Dry waste shed(non functional) and tempo

13)  K                                              Composting.  

SMS feels that if particular area is given to the waste pickers for  house to house collection of dry and wet waste and processing of the same , they can definitely bring almost Zero waste situation in that particular area provided the SWM Department  extends full cooperation to SMS in  micro planning and implementation of the project. Ideal population for area adoption should  be 2000 families. MCGM should aim to bring at least 100  public sector housing colonies before March 2006.  

6. Action Plan for the Area adoption Scheme  

Phase 1:  

Awareness program  

Awareness programme for the school children and citizens. SMS has developed awareness material to make people aware about the environmental issues connected with the solid waste management. SMS would like to go to each school and conduct an environmental workshop for the children. It would like to go to each building and convince and motivate the people for the segregation of waste through lectures, street plays, poster exhibitions, leaflets etc  


1.Training of the ragpickers in finer sorting of the waste,

2. Training of the rag pickers for manure-making process,

3. Construction of pits

4. Construction of tin shed.  

Phase 2:  

Activities at the site  

         House to house collection of the waste

         Segregation of waste arrived at the site.

         Further segregation of the dry waste into paper, plastics, glass, rags & all others on the basis of substances.

         Treatment of the organic waste under Technical expertise. Biodegradable Component, which forms bulk of the waste, will be turned into soil conditioner through this processing.

         Final treatment of waste

         Straining / sieving




Role of  NGO  

         Initial preparation for the project  

         Actual implementation of the project  

         Facilitation of the contract procedure with Hosing complexes  

         Training of the women (On job training)  

         Organising technical know how  

         Liaison with the Municipal authorities  

         Monitoring and Supervision  

         Marketing of the product such as manure and dry waste  

Support expected from  MCGM  

         Micro planning of the area along with SMS activists and volunteers for the route and the timing etc.

         Workshop for the safai kamgars and J.O.s (staff )along with SMS if area is general MCGM area

         Reporting and Accountability system  

          Provision of Tempo for the collection of dry waste  

         Issuing of notices to all the buildings, shop and establishments, hospitals in the selected area with proper time frame and follow up of the same  

         Involvement of the respective staff of Solid waste Department (down the line ) responsible for the said area. Presence of N.D.  

         Availability of  publicity van for propaganda of segregation of waste  

         Presence of Municipal officers of SWM in awareness meetings which will give

     authenticity to the project

         Provision of space for shed for storage of dry waste in  ward .

         Overall support to the model project at all levels  

( SMS tried to work out this proposal in M-west but could achieve only 50 % success due to lack of cooperation from M ward SWM Department.)  

If such projects are linked with SJSRY, women can raise the loans and can also get subsidies to construct pits or provide small Bio- Methanation plants to take care of 250kg. of biodegradable waste at a time.  

7.Public education  

Over last 30 years  SMS has successfully carried out various campaigns for the equality of women. In last 6 years SMS has carefully studied the issues of waste management and developed public education material such as C. D.s in English , Hindi, Marathi, Poster exhibitions (Hindi and Marathi),  brochures and also the training material. SMS activists have written several articles in local and national newspapers to spread the thought of cleanliness. SMS recently started training of both  waste pickers Municipal sweepers  in Thane Municipal Corporation.  

Given an opportunity SMS would like to start such a training for MCGM workers  

1.      Bio Methanation  

SMS at present maintaining 5 Biogas plants in Mumbai which are designed by BARC. SMS has gained considerable experience thorough these pilot efforts. SMS feels that these plants can be made successful only if the system of collection of segregated biodegradable waste is linked with plant and end use of gas is decided before starting such projects. 

Submitted by:

Jyoti Mhapsekar
Stree Mukti Sangathan


It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner