1330 kg waste collected from the Sandakphu trail and segregated
Our Green Trails team from Sandakphu trek sent us some very impressive waste management statistics last week.
The team stationed in Jaubhari, works on waste management and upcycling activities with trekkers and villagers.
After the Sandakphu trek season, our Green Trails teams have been relentlessly cleaning the villages in and around Jaubhari.
Here are some statistics.
What happens to the waste we collect?
The waste collected is meticulously segregated into recyclables and non-recyclables by our team members.
We always segregate the recyclables further to transport ones that the kabadiwalla will take.
The rest of the recyclables largely comprised of plastic waste and glass bottles.
Most of the reusable plastic bottles were made into bottle brick stools.
The rest were taken to the nearest recycling center and handed over to the kabadiwalla.
Despite sergeation, we had quite a lot of landfill waste. 56.8% of waste collected was non-recyclable landfill waste.
Our team ensured the non-recyclables were safely disposed to the nearest landfill in Siliguri.
Landfills are not the answer
But our team is determined to ensure as much as possible that we don’t send waste to the landfill.
After all, nothing is waste if you segregate!
So our fellows and intern continue to educate the villages about segregation at source.
Making dustbins out of waste and distributing them to homes
You might have read about the efforts to provide dustbins for the households in Jaubhari.
Our team has been making new dustbins to ensure each family has enough dustbins to segregate dry and wet waste properly.
This will greatly reduce the time and effort required from our team on segregating waste.
But for this to become routine, we have to be persistent.
Associating with families to drive zero-waste ideas into every home
Each Green Trails team member is responsible for 4-5 local families.
Every week, they visit their families to discuss proper waste disposal mechanisms. Green Trails fellows Anas, Shivaprasad and intern Himanshu teach basic segregation.
They help in waste disposal and dry-wet waste segregation using the handmade dustbins they made.
Slowly but surely, we hope to reduce the segregation activity at base.
Meanwhile, upcycling sessions with them have taken a new turn!
Until now, we have been coming up with upcycling ideas to reuse plastic waste.
Our team discovered a woman who makes beautiful mats with the help of plastic wrappers. She has been making them for almost 30 years now!
She taught our team how to use the plastic waste strips from food packaging like Wai Wai to make baskets and mats. The team admitted the procedure is quite challenging.
They are working on honing their plastic weaving skills and perfect it in the coming weeks.
We want to spread this wonderful technique of reusing soft plastic waste into useful items that the community can use!
West Bengal Bhutia Development Board felicitates Green Trails
Plantation and awareness drive organized by West Bengal Bhutia Development
The local NGO West Bengal Bhutia Development (WBBD) board was immensely happy to see the impact of the Green Trails initiative.
Last week, Green Trails and Bhutia Development organisation got together to conduct an awareness drive in the region.
They distributed dustbins to the local shops and tea-houses along the trail, including Maneybhanjang.
The team made awareness signboards on proper waste disposal and management. They placed them along the Sandakphu trekking trail.
There also conducted a plantation drive in Kaiyakatta where saplings.
After the drive, our Green Trails fellow Anas met with WBBD’s leader.
He talked about our idea of ‘Sandakphu monthly garbage pickup’ that our staff is trying to set up.
Let me tell you a little bit about this project.
Green Trails had found that houses along the Sandakphu trail were willing to gather their waste.
This was as long as there were arrangements for it to be transported down.
For the many years now, villagers had been collecting waste and burning it because there was no system to transport the waste!
When WBBD heard about our project to help transport waste, they were keen to collaborate.
Together we hope to set up a system to find an exit for the waste collected on the Sandakphu trail.
With more collaborations and more proactive villagers, Green Trails team in Jaubhari are motivated to keep the momentum up!
Let us know if you have a green idea which we could employ in the mountains. We would love to hear from you in the comments section below.
What you should do now
1. If you want to work as a Green Trails Fellow: Read this article to learn more about it.
2. If you want to work with us: Head over to our careers page. We have lots of positions open. We also have lots of applications coming in. So the sooner you apply, the better.
3. If you ended up here by chance and were actually looking for treks to do: Then head over to our upcoming treks page. You’ll find all our Himalayan treks there.
4. If you want to see the 13 best treks of India: Then get our guide here.