Integrating the Informal Sector in Municipal Waste Management
Solid Waste Management Department Pune Municipal Corporation

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Pune was an emerging industrial hub after 1970s. This transformation resulted in rapid growth of the city. Increasing migration and development resulted in pressure on basic services such as water supply, sewage and solid waste collection. In 1988, the PMC had to appoint contractors for picking up the garbage in the city. Between 1992 and 1995, the PMC mechanized the system of waste collection and the waste was dumped openly at various sites. However, in 1996 the Kothrud Garbage Depot had to be shut down after agitation by local residents and citizens groups. ‘Municipal Solid Waste Management and Handling rules 2000’ by Supreme Court made door to door collection (DTDC) of waste - a mandatory service for PMC. On the other hand recruitment of the new staff was a constraint due to fund flow. Coping with the rising demand for service with the limited staff strength was the challenge for the Pune Municipal Corporation.At the time, however, thousands of informal sector wastepickers were scavenging from containers, dumps, and the landfill to retrieve recyclable waste. They sold this to make a living. As per the initial data collected 90% of them were women, dalit (erstwhile untouchable caste), illiterate and economically from the poorest sections of the society. Many were harassed by municipal staff and police when they went out looking for recyclables. There was also rampant exploitation of the women and children wastepickers were common. Pune, the eighth largest city in India, is urbanizing at a rapid pace. This rapid pace is straining city systems and budgets, leaving officials scrambling to improve the quality and management of its services. This is particularly evident in solid waste management, where not only is the quantity of waste growing but the composition is also changing to include more plastics and other non-biodegradable waste. At present, the city produces an average of 1,600-1700 metric tons of waste every day. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is entirely in charge of waste collection and disposal in the city; however, it includes no separate systems for recycling. Waste pickers – poor members of society who sort trash for valuable recyclables and other items to sell – are the city’s main line of defense in reducing waste sent to landfills. Waste pickers may also be the solution to improving the solid waste management system and lessening city costs. To take advantage of the value of these sanitation workers, the Pune Municipal Corporation entered into an agreement with waste pickers to decentralize door-to-door collection of waste in the city. Partnership with waste pickers’ cooperative In recent years Pune has taken a proactive and incorporative approach with waste pickers. The city endorsed identification cards for the workers, allowing them access to waste without police hassle and raising personal self esteem. Then, in 2007, the PMC and the waste picker trade union Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) jointly promoted the creation of SWaCH, a cooperative of waste pickers and other urban poor.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
In recent years Pune has taken a proactive and incorporative approach with waste pickers. The city endorsed identification cards for the workers, allowing them access to waste without police hassle and raising personal self esteem. Then, in 2007, the PMC and the waste picker trade union Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) jointly promoted the creation of SWaCH, a cooperative of waste pickers and other urban poor. In 2008, the PMC signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with SWaCH to decentralize door-to-door collection services for households, shops, offices and small commercial establishments. The members of the cooperative often work in pairs and are in charge of door-to-door waste collection for 250-350 households. Waste pickers receive segregated waste (separated between wet or organic waste and dry wastes such as plastics, glass, paper, etc.) from house-holds /property. They further segregate the recyclables to be sold in the re-cycle market; non-recyclable waste is dropped at feeder points. SWaCH also provides other waste management allied services such as composting of wet waste in spaces provided by the societies themselves. SWaCH is authorised to provide door to door waste collection and other allied waste management services by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The scope of SWaCH includes collection, resource recovery, trade and waste processing. SWaCH seeks to provide decent livelihoods in the recycling industry. It is a one of its kind model that brings together the waste generators and makes them more involved with waste management, the wastepickers whose livelihood has been upgraded, and the PMC which is helped by the door to door service that SWaCH offers. It is a dignified and sustainable de-centralised, waste management model in the country. SWaCH also provides other waste management allied services such as composting of wet waste in spaces provided by the societies themselves. It is cost-effective model as it saves money otherwise spent on handling and transportation of waste. The waste pickers save Pune city Rs. 12 crores per annum in waste handling costs alone. The model is energy efficient and environmentally benefitting, as SWaCH waste pickers re-cycle the waste and reduce the quantity of waste sent to landfills. This reduces carbon and other green house gasses responsible for global warming. SWaCH collects more than 600 tonnes of MSW per day and about 130 tonnes of waste is sent for composting everyday and 150 tonnes is recycled. Important stakeholders involved • Pune Municipal Corporation is the key stakeholder in implementing the initiative as a finance provider for administration and management cost • Citizens – in this user fee based model citizens are the important stakeholders and wastepickers are directly accountable to them • Wastepickers – Earn livelihood and provide environment friendly labour • Other supporting organisations and partners in networking – Janwani, Parisar, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Kalpavriksh, Karve Institute of Social Sciences, Local Mohalla Committees, Alliance of Indian Waste pickers (AIW), Global Alliance of Waste Pickers (Global Rec)

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
SWaCH is promoted by Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) that organized 9000+ waste pickers /waste collectors to work with dignity and created a sustainable de-centralized, waste management model in the country. The SWaCH model is a Pro-poor Private Public Partnership that integrates the city’s most vulnerable and marginalised citizens and protects and upgrades their livelihoods, whilst simultaneously offering citizens an accountable, efficient and much required service. By recovering a user fee from the service recipient directly, the SWACH model also increases community participation and ownership of the system and of the waste generated. SWaCH members divert large quantities of recyclables from the landfill, thereby mitigating climate change and enabling resource recovery. Apart from doorstep waste collection swach carried out following E-waste Collection : Quantum Over 250 MT of E waste diverted for safe handling ST Dispo Bags V Compost : This programme educates citizens and facilitates the creation and maintenance of compost pits in the neighborhood in a suitable space provided by the citizens. Over 240 MT of organic waste from 10,000 households handled monthly V Collect :This programmes encourages the donation and collection of unwanted household material that cannot be thrown in daily garbage. It serves the dual function as a handy service for middle class households and also offers some useful household items for urban poor. Other Initiatives :Zero Waste Institutions and Green School Programme Over 75 MT of old clothes sold to 10,000 + urban poor families Nirmalaya Collection: 125 wastepickers, diverted over 500 MT of Nirmalaya from the rivers over the past 5 years

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The goal of the best practice was to integrate the informal sector in door to door collection and to upgrade their livelihood. By authorizing the informal sector wastepickers to collect municipal solid waste, the municipality allowed erstwhile street waste pickers to get first and rightful access to waste. The waste they collect is less contaminated as compared to picking out of containers or dumps. More waste can not only be recycled but it also fetches better prices in the market. It is also an effective health initiative as wastepickers collecting out of containers often had to battle stray dogs, rodents and pigs. Wastpickers now find themselves authorized service providers with a legitimate, recognized and respected role in waste management. They have better equipment and rather than being associated with the waste they collect they are seen as waste recyclers. It also strives to make residents – the waste generators take more interest in what happens to waste after it leaves their homes. This decentralized method of waste management has been shown to be effective in source reduction of waste and curb the “use and throw” attitude that is unsustainable in the future. Corporatized models of waste management are centralized and weights based and are in direct conflict with a decentralized model where the waste generator is made aware of the waste they generate. Thus many societies now compost their waste and/or run biogas plants that make excellent use of organic waste and prevents it from going to the landfills To get the initiative off the ground, the kkpkp trade union leaders engaged with the elected representatives, and the residents of Pune. When the initiative first started only 2/3 elected representatives accepted this model. Currently however SWaCH works in most of the city. First, a free collection service was offered and gradually a user fee was raised. Waste collection drives and programmes were conducted all over the city and widely publicised in the local news papers by SWaCH and PMC. Continuous expansion drives were carried out to cover all the areas where there was administrative, political and citizen support. A website, newsletter, media coverage, innovate music programs, all become effective and necessary tools to continue to highlight the benefits of the model. Stage I: Establishment of model and signing of MoU Stakeholders: PMC, KKPKP and SNDT Women’s University Role/Activities: PMC help in visioning and facilitation of the model, pursuing model in the General body of PMC, KKPKP – facilitation of the model , consensus development between and amongst the member as well as potential members; Managing and administering the collaborative pilot experiment in 2006 – of door to door collection of waste via waste pickers; with support from SNDT University. Stage II: Establishment of SWaCH cooperative Stakeholders: PMC and KKPKP Role/Activities: PMC facilitation of administrative and legal procedures, kkpkp agreement on the guiding principles of the cooperative State III : Operational phase Stakeholders: PMC & SWaCH Role/Activities: PMC facilitation and monitoring , SWaCH Service delivery, dealing operational matters, training and capacity building of the staff and members, continuous expansion, reaching out citizens Stage IV: Expansion of the service Stakeholders: PMC & SWaCH Role / activities: PMC suggestion on expansion, SWaCH facing the field level practicalities on potential of expansion

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
• Pune Municipal Corporation is the key stakeholder in implementing the initiative as a finance provider for administration and management cost Responsibilities of PMC To make route plan of ghanta truck, cyclerickshaw, push carts and hotel truck with concerned staff of PMC and SWaCH Cooperative Lisioning with supervisor of SWaCH Cooperative and ensure all theS waste gets lifted daily To create awareness among the citizens for giving segregated waste to waste collectors and its proper disposal Gloves, masks ,scarves, chappals, aprons, caps and raincoats are provided to the waste collectors Separate dustbins has been provided for collecting and delivering the waste separately for the disposal Separate vehicles for transportation of wet and dry waste separately have been provided Once in a year medical check up of persons who are involved in waste collection and transportation and disposal. Medical insurance • SWaCH Cooperative Responsibilities of SWaCH Cooperative Oversee cooperative operations to ensure service efficiency, quality, and cost-effective management of resources. Developing efficient Grievance Redressal system Coordinate the resolution of specific policy-related and procedural problems Identifying waste pickers to work in the area by following appropriate processes of the cooperative. Expansion to 100% Households in new pockets and existing pockets that are being partially covered by current swach waste pickers Ensuring Segregation Setting up systems of attendance and replacement in case of absenteeism for waste pickers. Wastepickers – Earn livelihood and provide environment friendly labour • Citizens In this user fee based model citizens are the important stakeholders and wastepickers are directly accountable to them • Other supporting organisations and partners in networking – Janwani, Parisar, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Kalpavriksh, Karve Institute of Social Sciences, Local Mohalla Committees, Alliance of Indian Waste pickers (AIW), Global Alliance of Waste Pickers (Global Rec)
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The PMC as per the MOU signed with SWaCH and is liable to pay the following amounts each year to cover the administrative expenses of the initiative. Schedule of Payment from PMC: Year 1 - Total amount – INR 17,000,000.00 Year 2 - Total amount - INR 16,400,000.00 Year 3 - Total amount - INR 16,400,000.00 Year 4 - Total amount - INR 16,400,000.00 Year 5 - Total amount - INR 16,400,000.00 Total Amount of the 5 years - INR 82,600,000.00 There are approx. 100 staff members of the cooperative whose salaries are covered by the installments given by the PMC to the cooperative. In addition to this, several engineering colleges, schools, local corporates have been engaged with the initiative to assist in better designs of equipment, training of staff and wastepickers, and with small donations. SWaCH is also part of the national and global alliances of wastepickers that have been supported by WIEGO (women in informal economy globalizing and organizing) to disseminate the learnings of the model as well as learn from experiences around the world. Costs to the Pune Municipal Corporation The Pune Municipal Corporation entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with SWaCH in 2008 for a period of five years. As per the terms of the MOU, the PMC was to provide office space and to bear the costs of the following from the municipal budget as per a schedule. • supervisory and management • training costs and citizen IEC costs • collection equipment and safety gear to the collectors • welfare benefits for SWaCH collectors • a subsidy of Rs.5 per slum household covered per month The costs to the PMC as per the proposal were Rs.4.16 per household per month Costs to the service users Service users pay the SWaCH collector, a monthly user fee amounting to a weighted average of Rs.20 per household per month. Costs to the SWaCH Collectors • SWaCH Collectors contribute 5% of their monthly earnings from user charges towards the maintenance costs of the organisation. • SWaCH Collectors spend Rs. 1000/- per head per annum on the maintenance of their push carts The total cost to the PMC towards doorstep collection via SWaCH has been less than Rs2/- per household per month. This is atleast 8 times lower than any other city in India. The amount paid by citizens as user fee directly to SWACH wastepickers at the weighted average rate of Rs 20/- per household per month, is easily over ten times the cost incurred by PMC.   .

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
. Benefits to the residents of Uruli-Phursungi (Previous open dump site) In its first two years of operation, SWaCH helped divert 42 percent of wet waste from the landfill, into the lands used for farming as fertilizer Every year SWaCH members divert 35000 metric tonnes of materials into recycling before it reaches the landfill. Benefits to the Pune Municipal Corporation The PMC saves Rs.7 crores 22 lakhs in waste transport costs each year (90 MTPD diverted into recycling x 365 days x Rs.2200 per tonne) Savings of Rs.30 crores in door to door waste collection contracts (Rs.10000 minimum wage x 2300 workers x 12 months = 27 crores + minimum 10% overheads of service provider) Savings of 1 crore in tipping fees to waste processing operators The cheapest door to door collection service in India One of the highest recycling rates in the country Impetus to segregation at source, as the person interested in segregation is brought to the door step of the person with the duty to segregate waste. Benefits to SWaCH service users Affordable door to door collection service Service directly accountable to service users Responsive complaint redress system Benefits to SWaCH Members Dignity and worker status Protection and upgradation of livelihoods of waste pickers Employment creation for urban poor Regular hours of work Regular income Access to collection equipment and safety gear Environmental benefits to all residents of Pune Safer environment Reduced health risks. Enhancing recycling and climate change mitigation. Compliance with waste laws, especially Government of India Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Monitoring mechanism Reporting System Weekly report format. Sanitary inspector and Nuisance Detection Squad fine collection report. Notices to Societies for non segregation. Notices & fine to plastic bag sellers.(<50 microns) Legal action. Publication of Ghata trucks route maps Third party auditing Indicators defined for auditing Based on these an independent body ensure procedures are followed Mohalla Committee Friend of cleanliness Local residents become involved with the project The detailed tasks for monitoring and evaluation will include the following work 1. Streamlining waste collection: Ensuring all existing pockets of 150-250 are maintained, there is no leakage of waste. 2. MIS Data generation: Compiling monthly/quarterly updates of collection coverage, weights of recyclable waste collected, total organic waste and total waste processed in-house. 3. Citizen interface: Interacting with citizens to ensure all creases are ironed out. 4. Outreach: Conducting meetings, discussions, public programmes about E waste, Garden Waste shredding, composting, V collect, Recycle clothes, Nirmalya. 5. Outreach material: Designing, producing, distributing leaflets, posters, films, power point presentations. 6. Coordination with PMC: Daily, weekly and monthly meetings as per schedule with PMC administration at ward, prabhag and central level for secondary waste collection coordination processes 7. Waste pickers interface: Interacting with waste-pickers, conducting weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings, ensuring access to welfare schemes etc. 8. Training: Organising training programmes on organic waste processing, Sanitary waste disposal, safe waste handling, E waste etc. 9. Trouble shooting: Handling absenteeism, grievance redress, secondary system coordination and follow up etc. 10. Feedback and Monitoring : Documenting feedback via sms, emails, hard copies etc. 11. Reporting and Documentation: Reporting increase coverage pocket, area, ward, prabhag, household wise as per predefined formats

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Collection of user-fees from the citizens (better citizen outreach) - A letter from Municipal commissioner requesting citizens to cooperate with SWaCH members and pay the user fees was issued. - Continuous interaction of the waste pickers and SWaCH staff with the citizens to explain the model and collection of user –fee 1. Citizen Outreach Activities – Pamphlets ,Newsletters 2. Citizen Feedback 3. 24x7 Helpline number – 9765999500 for queries, complaints and feedback 4. Interactive website http://swachcoop.com/about-swachpune.html Segregation of waste by the citizens - Distribution of pamphlets and explaining the necessity for segregation citizens to segregate their waste by organising events, through radio programmes, and awareness strategies etc. - Very limited number of recycling points (sorting sheds) for waste pickers to segregate recyclable waste - Effective engagement with private companies that have provided money to construct sorting sheds. However, this continues to be an issue Conversion of a wastepicker to service provider - Meetings and Follow up meetings at the Vasti level (slum level), consultations, presentation on the benefits of the SWaCH model with KKPKP helped in legitimizing the model - Trainings for waste pickers on various issues related to their work including Communication, Health measures; Use of Equipments, Songs etc - Awards and recognition for SWaCH members - Case studies, Films, Reports and Documents that trace the change in conditions of work of waste pickers subsequent to the formation of SWaCH Political will to support the model Consultative meetings of SWaCH members with party leaders and elected representatives Support of the PMC officials Occupational Health and Safety of the wastepickers - Medical Camps and health checkups for waste pickers; vaccination drives - Enhancing their livelihoods through sale of ST Dispo Bags for collection of diapers and sanitary napkins - Health insurance is paid for by the municipality

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
Pune has the largest user fee based waste collection model in the country (Over 4lacs). SWaCH is presently working in 74 out of 76 prabhags across all the 15 administrative wards of the city. The Zero Waste Project is also implemented in 20 prabhags(40 electoral wards) Pune has the lowest per household per month outgoings for door to door collection. It costs the PMC only Rs 2/month/household in administrative expenses as compared to an avg. of Rs 25 incurred by other cities in India that have adopted professional waste management systems. Pune has the most ‘upgraded’ waste pickers who have learnt to drive tempos, run compost pits, biogas plants and scrap shops. 2300 wastepickers have been elevated out of poverty and into a semi-formalized waste management system, Pune has the highest number of decentralised organic waste management plants in the city - both biogas and compost and 130 tonnes is effectively diverted to the processing plants and 150-175 tonnes are recycled each day Benefits to the residents of Uruli-Phursungi (Previous open dump site) In its first two years of operation, SWaCH helped divert 42 percent of wet waste from the landfill, into the lands used for farming as fertilizer Every year SWaCH members divert 35000 metric tonnes of materials into recycling before it reaches the landfill. Benefits to the Pune Municipal Corporation The PMC saves Rs.7 crores 22 lakhs in waste transport costs each year (90 MTPD diverted into recycling x 365 days x Rs.2200 per tonne) Savings of Rs.30 crores in door to door waste collection contracts (Rs.10000 minimum wage x 2300 workers x 12 months = 27 crores + minimum 10% overheads of service provider) Savings of 1 crore in tipping fees to waste processing operators The cheapest door to door collection service in India One of the highest recycling rates in the country Impetus to segregation at source, as the person interested in segregation is brought to the door step of the person with the duty to segregate waste. Benefits to SWaCH service users Affordable door to door collection service Service directly accountable to service users Responsive complaint redress system Benefits to SWaCH Members Dignity and worker status Protection and upgradation of livelihoods of waste pickers Employment creation for urban poor Regular hours of work Regular income Access to collection equipment and safety gear Environmental benefits to all residents of Pune Safer environment Reduced health risks. Enhancing recycling and climate change mitigation. Compliance with waste laws, especially Government of India Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The initiative has been replicated in the following places - SWaCH has signed MoU with Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) on the similar lines of the door to door service. - Ahmendabad and Delhi Municipal Corporation interested in replicating the model. - Nepal and other Asian countries have come to Pune to see the initiative and parts of it will be implemented in those countries. - The Zero Waste Project executed in Katraj Kothi has been replicated to 20 prabhags (40 electroal wards) in Pune. The public-private partnership developed a new system for waste management in the city that Decentralizes solid waste management and Incorporates waste pickers – members of society that pick through trash for plastics to sell – into the formal system. In the new system, the municipal corporation continues several duties, including street sweeping and industrial waste collection. The change is in the system for household and commercial property waste, and complte integration of waste pickers into door-to-door services. Dissemination : Information about this initiative has been shared at various national and regional platforms. - Mr. Suresh Jagtap, Joint Municipal Commissioner shared the model as the “Largest user fee based eco-friendly door to door segregated waste collection system in India” with representatives of the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) from all the cities of India – at the National ULB consultation held in April, 2012. - SWaCH members have participated at various national and international events including the COP 17 meeting on Climate Change in Copenhagen in 2009 - SWACH has made its presence felt at the National Conference of the ‘Alliance of Indian Waste Pickers’ in Pune in April, 2012. Representatives and waste pickers from 13-14 cities across India visited the SWaCH model in PMC and PCMC - ‘Vasundhara’ Award was conferred upon SWaCH granted by the Maharashtra State Environment Ministry for the film ‘We SWaCH’. It won the first prize in the amateur category, at the Aapla Paryavaran Film Festival. - SWaCH won an award for the Best Environmental Project at the Vishwa Exhibition held in December 2011. - SWaCH won the Avni Mitra award by Talwarkar Trust in February 2012. - PMC SWaCH Model is been felicited by HUDCO Award 2013 - SKOCH Award 2013 in digital inclusion category has been awarded to PMC for this initiative - PMC SWaCH Model also received APTDC ( Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation) 2013 award - SWaCH and its initiatives have been documented and featured in works of many national and international organisations such as Inclusive Cities, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) etc - Eg1. Article on SWaCH campaign with the scrap shops in Pune - http://www.inclusivecities.org/blog/making-scrap-shops-part-of-the-solution/ - Eg2. SWaCH featuring on the British Council website – a film by Tanya Pinto - http://blog.britishcouncil.org.in/2012/04/02/films-for-the-future/ - Eg3. Article on SWaCH in Waste Management World - http://www.waste-management-world.com/index/from-the-wires/wire-news-display/1664955367.html - Eg4. Articles in leading daily newspapers - http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/society/article3253701.ece

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
PMC SWaCH PPP is the Path breaking model which could manifest from thought to reality. Successful implementation of the model is possible with joint efforts PMC administration, political will and the positive response from citizens and citizens group. The model is sustainable in long run as it helps build capacity of informal sector workers to cater to the service delivery of collection, handling and resource recovery, trade and processing of municipal solid waste. Financial support of local government body for administrative purpose. Third party inspection by involving corporate can help to develop professionalism among the waste pickers. Motivational training and Capacity building of wastepickers will develop professionalism and effective customer redressal mechanism .Other livelihood options like composting and better job opportunities will make the model sustainable. The present DTDC coverage of SWaCH and the positive response of the citizens to the services provided by the SWaCH including allied services such as composting. A wastepicker led, decentralized model of waste management is scalable and possible This can effectively upgrade the lives of wastepickers and also help local municipality Waste generators are willing to pay for services of the wastepickers. Waste generators can be mobilized to segregate waste at source and make decentralized waste management possible Decentralized waste management by the urban poor can be cost effective to the municipality

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Solid Waste Management Department Pune Municipal Corporation
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Suresh Jagtap
Title:   Joint Municipal Commissioner  
Telephone/ Fax:   912025501104 /9689931414
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   sjagtap@punecorporation.org  
Address:   Department of Solid Waste Management
Postal Code:   411005
City:   Pune
State/Province:   Maharashtra
Country:  

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