We generate garbage. It’s our responsibility to take care of its proper disposal and management. Now we can’t all open recycling and treatment plants. But here’s what we can do –

We must make a conscious effort to pick up one piece of stray trash and put it where it belongs – in the trashcan!

Most people are not aware of the implications of throwing that plastic and other trash on the road. We’re not here to give you a lesson on that either. But we are concerned by the general lack of civic sense and feeling of community that we see around us.

There are lots of cleaning drives, lots of plantation drives – heck we do them ourselves! But these are temporary, and people are ungrateful. In our experience, it’s because they simply don’t seem to care or identify with the area that someone cleans for them.

So let’s change the damn thing. Let’s pick up the trash, just a piece a day, and clean the space we live in.

We invite anyone to participate – you can belong to any city in any part of the world! If you’re unhappy with the garbage outside your house, your school, your workplace, then just bend, pick it up, straighten up, chuck in the bin, and smile! :) 






At least 8 percent of Indian's landmass has become wasteland due to open garbage dumps.

Moreover, these dumps are breeding grounds for infectious diseases like plague, cholera, tuberculosis, jaundice, and numerous skin aliments. The unmanaged garbage leaves behind a spate of civic woes such as logging of sewers and uncontrollable emission of toxic gases.

In Indian climatic conditions, garbage left unattended even for 8 to 12 hours, is capable of giving birth to microbes enough in number to affect the health of the residents.

As each of us is responsible for creating garbage, it is imperative that we share the responsibility to manage it. Get organized and work towards making your colony a Zero-Garbage Area. Vatavaran can help you do so

Right here we are sharing Vatavaran Model for Soild Waste Management which can be replicated in different colonies and areas. You can be the one who starts the waste management in your colony today!! 


Vatavaran Model for Solid Waste Management

(Legally valid document under CREATIVE COMMONS)

Version 1:  Residential Colonies


To make all residential colonies of Delhi Zero waste colonies.

The meaning of zero waste colony is that waste produced in a colony finishes within the colony.  No waste from the colony goes to land fill sites.  All its components get utilized there.


  • Who is it For?

For any of the 8 categories of housing colonies in Delhi ( annexure 1)

Be it  Flats or Bungalows, Be it  low to high income colonies, Be it  unauthorized colonies , urban villages , slums etc.

The model has the flexibility to work in all kinds of residential areas by varying the work force, processing and storage area of the locality and method adopted to deal with biodegradables.


  • How to set it up?

Research , Training and Implementation :

 Research -(at least a fortnight but not always needed)-


·       Study the size of the locality

·       Number of kitchens

·       Amount od waste generated every day

·       Type of waste generated

·       Patches of waste land in the locality which after required modification can be utilized for different activities related to the work

·       Area where Composting can take place/ or wormipit can be started / biomethation plant can be installed

·       Area for storage of recyclables

·       Area for use by the cleaning team where they can change , rest during two breaks every day.

·       Level of awareness related to wastes and its  segregation  amongst the residents.


  • Training( for the work team ) by Vatavaran

 After selection of the team  it would be trained in soft skills (how to talk , address , behave while on duty), time management ( importance of punctuality , discipline & efficiency) looking after their uniforms and protective gear ( washing , repair, folding &storage at the end of the day ) , managing their bank accounts( Getting them familiar with banks , cheque deposits , withdrawl and use of ATM ), segregation ( biodegradables , kinds of paper , plastics , glass & metal etc)  bailing ( making tight packets of uniform dimensions which are easy to transport by workers)  storing ( what to store in storage bags , what to only tie and what to store in drums / barrels etc)   composting ( anaerobic , barrel , wormietc).

If opted for wormicomposting then training in  handling earthworms and if opted for waste to energy machines then training its operation and upkeep.


  •  Training For the residents by Vatavaran


·         In source segregation

·       Getting Police Verification of all team members

·       Monitoring day to day working of the team

·        Starting bank accounts for every member of the team in a bank in or nearest to the colony.

·       Creating sensitivity towards the work force.


  • Implementation Essentials-

Supervisor gets a teachers attendence register, on the first half of  left hand page makes five columns for names , addresses , telephone number , education, date of joining and pay . This is going to be used for as long as possible for every day attendence . The last column on right hand side page would be for  signatures of the workers every month after getting the pay cheque  and comments by the supervisor.

·       The team   will get  photo  identity cards with Vatavaran Logo  , Name , Adhaar Card Number ,  telephone number , blood group etc.

·       Three sets of uniforms of Vatavaran colour  to be provided for summer , winter and monsoons. Uniform must have vatavaran logo conspicously placed.

·       The carts  designed by Vatavaran are light , sturdy , easy to clean and park.


  • Working-

·       Team reports for duty at 8am Supervisor  takes attendance

·       Changes to uniform  with gears etc

·       Team divides into two predecided groups. Both groups must finish the assigned work within the stipulated time . The 1st group starts cleaning the main roads of the colony . The second group move to  apredecided area with the required equipment and cart to collect waste from door to door and clean the stairs , yard , front of the house.

·       Segregate what ever has not been segregated by the residents on the cart.

·       Both groups move back to the team area .



·       Storage of recyclables in , bails , storage bags or drums.

·       Team moves to the area where biodegradables are dealt with.

·       Move back to the colony to clean smaller roads , lanes , green areas etc.

·       Maintain the Vatavaran area.

·       Clean & store the cart &  implements etc.

·       Wash ,  change,  wish each other well and leave the colony.



  • Essential Features

·       Environmentally sound , earth friendly , employment generating , economical .

·       Changes people's attitude towards the waste they produce and inculcated responsibility towards the waste they produce.

·       Based on Indian ethos , and reduces the class difference in society



  • Trouble Shooting

1. Supervisor is the person overall incharge of smooth working of the scheme.

2. Nodal residents are the most active people who act as a buffer between the team and residents .

3. Each worker of the team has the potential and scope of going up in the hierarchy  as the supervisor of another area.


4. The service chargeswould depend upon three factors - the type of house , how much green area does the house have and the approximate amount of waste generated per day .



Last words-


Considering the results achieved by the centralised approach towards garbage management, it is becoming increasingly evident that community based decentralised system may be a way out of the mess. Community involvement is not an option anymore but a necessity. Merely bringing in newer and more expensive technology cannot control the garbage problem. The need is to look at options that are indigenous and engages the concerned communities and at the same time can create employment opportunities. 

Other things you can do and lookout for:

1.       If the dustbins get knocked over by street animals, have them bolted in. Ask your local association in charge

2.       If there’s no cleaning or disposal system (or an insufficient one), talk to the municipal corporation in charge

3.       Have a cleaning drive combined with an awareness campaign to reach out to everyone around you and tell them about the significance of solid waste management.


If you’re in New Delhi, India, you can contact us and we can help you out with all of this to the best of our abilities: info@vatavaran.org

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