A unique community initiative of Sadashivnagar residents, Sada Zero started of with a bunch of people to convert waste as a usable resource and also bring in awareness about recyclable and reusable materials. This citizens' efforts has motivated other areas to follow suit.
Dasarathi GV, a volunteer of Sada Zero has been part of this initiative since 2010. "We are now in our third year. We started as a self sustainable unit covering 40 houses. But over the years, we convinced 500 more residents, forming half of the locality, to be part of this initiative. However, only 40 per cent of the waste is getting recycled and 60 per cent still goes to the dump yard."
Presently, the community aims to convert more than 90 per cent of waste into a resourceful product, so as to reduce the load on dumping yards.
"We are trying our best to increase our capacity for conversion. With a waste collection centre now coming up in Malleswaram, it makes it easier for us to send the garbage for further segregation and treat it accordingly. " he explains.
Dasarathi and a handful of volunteers are now chalking a plan for their next initiative.
"We are now giving importance to waste segregation. Once this is set right, we want to concentrate on the leaf and wet waste and make arrangements for composting in our area only. We are also attracting a lot of participation from youngsters for creating awareness on the need for segregating waste at source and making waste materials more resourceful. Quite a few have come forward and are going full throttle. Youth or old, what is important now is : the locality should get into zero-waste management mode. In fact, a few areas of Bangalore like Kormangala, Ulsoor and Sanjaynagar have been influenced by our initiative and are now trying to follow this method in their locality," he adds.
Though local residents have participated in this initiative with enthusiasm, it is disheartening to note that some volunteers have been pulling out of this system. "Initially we had around 35 people but today there are only a handful. I feel sad to say that there is no willingness on the part of citizens to keep their city clean. We thought we would increase our strength from 35 to 100 volunteers but it didn't work out that way. So, a few of us, are trying to make a difference. But when it comes to the issue of segregation, the local participation has been fantastic," he concludes.