How is this Municipal Commissioner creating several “Zero Waste Wards” in his city?
One of the biggest challenges that the Municipalities (ULBs: Urban Local Bodies) face is whether to play the role of a facilitator or to execute themselves. Municipal bodies have multiple charters to cater to and due to the inherent complexities of the waste management domain, the municipal bodies struggle to manage resources, infrastructure, and field operations. Moreover, governance poses a great challenge since there is often a lack of transparency in the supply chain logistics; no data on waste tracking and the absence of feedback mechanisms. Waste is also a behavioral challenge. Wherein there is a lack of awareness and sensitization amongst citizens in understanding the real problem associated with waste.
Some of Sudhir’s high level challenges in the city include:
- Municipality as a facilitator requires governance support
- Lack of trained man-power to carry out capacity building for domain stakeholders
- Systemic approach needed for Information, Education and Communication campaigns
- No financial sustainability in the waste eco-system to attract the right talent and enterprises
- No institutionalized common platform for all stakeholder interactions
Making impact at every level
Role of Platform Commons
The Commons Platform is a technology-led social inclusion initiative of Mindtree working in the SWM domain. Its prime focus is to enable dignified livelihood opportunities for waste-pickers and improve environmental outcomes through traceable waste, disposal & processing, thereby leading to a reduction in landfills. Commons Platform works with waste-picker communities, non-profits, Government organizations, and citizens to co-create solutions in the SWM domain.
The Platform Commons team collaborated with Sudhir Mishra and his team from the Municipal corporation to carry out scoping of the waste eco-system in the city. The team proposed a “Zero Waste Ward” model for the city with a focus on building traceability in the Municipal Solid waste eco-system and generating livelihood for the waste-pickers working in the informal sector.
The Platform Commons and the Municipality started with a 5 ward pilot in the city covering 2000 households. After the successful completion of the pilot now the operations are being scaled to 50 wards in the city. All the stakeholders including waste-picker communities, non-profits, citizen are engaged in expanding the project throughout the city.
Platform Commons team helped the Municipal team with:
- Building efficiency, traceability and sustainability SWM operations through IGG technology deployment
- Capacity building of the ULB leadership team via deep handholding to improve SWM operations
- Establishing eco-system of SWM stakeholders for greater impact
- Integrating ULB operations to a centralized digital governance