Urban solid waste management

Tons of waste are invading Indian metropolis and most of them are not disposed of properly, thus producing air, soil and water pollution that often  puts in danger the humans and the surrounding environment. Traditionally, waste collection in India is carried out by the most marginalized groups of the population, often by the so-called outcasts, who work in precarious security, employment and income generation conditions.

femS3 is working with Waste Wise Trust (WWT) a non-profit organization that provides socially and environmentally responsible solid waste management services to the corporate sector and residential communities in Bangalore. The pilot project aims to develop a market-based solution for waste management capable of creating economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

In Indian cities, waste collection is usually made by the poorest, as their one and only source of livelihood. Due to a lack of rights and social exclusion, these communities are abandoned, while they would need help from the local government, from the social enterprises and from the civil society to see their role recognized.

To improve the social inclusion of the waste pickers and their recognition in the formal economy, femS3 and WWT are trying and raise the local institutions awareness and create a sustainable urban waste collection model. The project is thus working both on the technical and entrepreneurial empowerment of the workers, and on the creation of a recognized organization that will catalyze waste pickers, protect their rights and represent their interests.

Creating employment and recognizing the waste pickers social and economic contribution are tools to empower their professional skills and institutionalize their role. Through vocational training, capacity building, employment and waste materials selling, femS3 and WWT are working on connecting the answer to basic needs to social inclusion.

We are currently working with WWT staff on:
• analysing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
• reviewing constraints and look at the market potential
•  identifying capacity building (institutional capacity and staff capability) needs
• mapping opportunities and identify suitable partners to take the new vision forward

“We transitioned from informal waste collection activities to an organised mode of managing waste through seven dry waste collection centres. FemS3 opened us to new possibilities of market based solutions and thus scale and impact on livelihood and environment”. Anselm Rosario, Chairman, Waste Wise Trust.