Techie initiates ‘Recycle Kerala’ to clear waste

Techie initiates ‘Recycle Kerala’ to clear waste

Waste dumped at a relief camp in Kerala.

Tonnes of relief material packed in carton boxes are sent to Kodagu and Kerala on an hourly basis ever since the fateful floods ravaged these areas.

Ever wondered what would happen to the wrappers, paper, aluminium foils, plastic bags and bottles accumulating at the relief centres?

A Bengaluru-based techie from Kerala, Roshan V K, came up with the idea of "Recycle Kerala" to pick up the dry waste from the relief camps and put them back in the same truck while returning from the flood-hit areas. 

"The idea struck after watching a video of the Malayattoor-Kodanad bridge in Ernakulam district, when the authorities tried dumping the plastic waste and debris back into the river, despite nature actually giving them an opportunity to clear the mess," Roshan, working with ABB in Bengaluru, said.

"Tonnes of relief material, mainly plastic bottles and bags, are littering at the relief camps with no measures taken to clear it. I started a Facebook page and created a WhatsApp group with volunteers in different districts of Kerala and informed them to send the waste from the relief material back in the same trucks.

"I spoke to the truck drivers and some dry waste recyclers in Bengaluru and they are ready to co-ordinate (bringing the waste back) till the recycling plant," he added.

Recycling plants in the areas bordering Kerala and in Jigani and Yelahanka have also agreed to receive the dry waste. The idea to bring back the waste started just two days ago and the first truck carrying waste from relief material will leave Kerala on Thursday morning. "At the moment, we are doing it for only Kerala. We can extend it to Kodagu if we get volunteers there," Roshan said. 

Shobha Raghavan, COO, Saahas Zero Waste, said their plant at Jigani has the capacity to segregate up to 20 tonnes per day. "We collect all kinds of clean dry waste, plastic, paper and even metals, provided they are transported till our plant," she said.

Managing waste the right way 

* Existing government mechanism inefficient to bring back the waste

* Furniture, beds, sofas from abandoned houses can also be sent

* Saahas Zero Waste in Jigani ready to accept dry waste

* Volunteers needed in Kodagu to have a similar set up