In some pockets of India, new sustainable alternatives are developing which could potentially revolutionise how waste is treated. One of which, SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling) is the country’s first co-operative of self-employed waster collectors predominantly from low-income backgrounds.
Based in Pune and originally intended to improve the life of waste pickers from a social point of view, the co-operative is encouraging a new sustainable model of waste disposable while improving the livelihood of those who had previously earned their livelihood rummaging through dangerous landfills.
The issue of waste management in India is of massive concern and as the country becomes more wealthy and modernises, it also produces more waste. Many cities have a garbage crisis with rubbish spilling out of bins on the streets, which in turn seeps into the water system and spreads disease. Widespread dumping and littering goes almost unchecked.