IISc's Colourful SWaMII Segregates Solid Waste

Its new solid waste management system is being implemented across campus now

Published: 14th December 2015 04:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2015 04:39 AM   |  A+A-

BENGALURU: Walk into any of the various departments at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and it is hard to miss the multi-coloured waste bins neatly arranged in the corner. They are part of an initiative from the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), which aims at achieving a ‘sustainable and smart’ solid waste management system.

Named SWaMII -- short for Solid Waste Management Initiative, IISc -- the project was started at the Department of Civil Engineering on a pilot basis in January and has been adopted by several other departments hence.

Under the initiative, a set of colour-coded waste bins are placed at key locations inside a department and the faculty, staff and students of every department are instructed to use only the said bins to segregate and dispose of trash. Housekeeping staff of the department will maintain these bins, which will be emptied by SWaMII staff daily.

waste.jpgAnother key aspect in the scheme is that non-segregated waste will not be collected. Under SWaMII, six bins are used, of which three are generally placed in the departments. While green bins are for organic waste, yellow and blue bins are for plastic and paper waste respectively. The red bin is placed in toilets for sanitary waste, and two grey bins are for glass and e-waste respectively. Larger bins, which are colour coded similarly, are used by SWaMII staff for collection of waste.

Andal Jagannathan, consultant at CiSTUP, told Express that SWaMII was fine tuned after the pilot phase in January. Brochures detailing the responsibilities of various department personnel were distributed in July. The system is now in place in several academic departments and will soon be extended to the hostels and other buildings, she said.

The implementation of SWaMII is in different stages in different departments. “However, we are encouraged by the response we are receiving. We have a waiting list of the departments that we are yet to brief,” she added.


The waste thus collected is disposed of in a scientific manner. While wet waste goes to an aerobic digester, other waste such as experimented soil, metal filings and cardboard are separated. Since July, over two tonnes of paper, 1,200 kg of plastic and about 1,000 kg of cardboard have been segregated.

“Considering the response we are receiving, it is likely that all departments will have such bins by February,” Andal added.


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