In recent years, Auroville’s waste problem has ballooned, much as India’s has, due to increased population and increased consumption. Our landfill, like nearly all Indian land mount, doesn’t protect the environment from leachate leaking to the ground and water tables. We also don’t take proper care of hazardous and medical waste in Auroville. But Auroville does have a system that collects, segregates and recycles waste, organized by the group Eco-Service, unlike most Indian towns which just collect and dump everything (including organic waste) into small local dumpsites, or they burn it.
Currently 90% of the households, units, and restaurants in Auroville utilized Eco-Service. Sometimes it’s collected by outside waste dealers but then dumped in Auroville canyons, or burned.
If everyone in Auroville utilized Eco-Service there would be a guarantee Auroville’s waste would be handled properly.
In Your Home
The most important place to start to improve solid waste management within the township of Auroville is with yourself.
You can begin to look for ways to reduce your waste.
Inevitably, however, you will most likely produce some waste. One way to handle your waste more responsibly is by using Eco-Service if you don’t already. If your waste is not handled by Eco-Service, there is no telling where it will end up – possibly in an Auroville canyon, or at the Pondicherry land mount where it will blow through Auroville in the form of toxic smoke.
When using Eco-Service it is important to know how to handle it properly so that it can be recycled.
Learn how to sort your waste properly by reviewed these recommendations: Eco-Service Recommendations.
Eco-Service does NOT collect organic waste. Households and communities in Auroville usually have their own composting system. These range from digging a pit in the ground and dumping in the waste to creating a Bokashi composting system to create rich compost.
In Your Community
It is important that your community adopts the standard Eco service blue barrels system including stickers and lid. If you would like to set up a waste segregation area in your community, you can contact Eco service, they will advise you on finding the adequate waste system. They will provide a training on waste segregation in English or Tamil for your community member and/or community workers.
Solid Waste Labels
If you want to get started on your own, Eco-Service provides stickers for various categories of waste. These are written in both English and Tamil with images attached.
Come and buy them! Stick them on your bins, and you are well on your way toward a waste segregation system!
- Bottles, Jars, Unbroken Glass
- Broken Glass
- Household Hazardous (This image is low resolution. A high resolution image is coming soon.)
- Leather, Metal, Rubber, Cloth
Depending on the specific needs of your community or unit, you may want to use some of the other labels as well:
Finally there are two posters which may be helpful. These include:
- Please Take To Pour Tous (This image is low resolution. A high resolution image is coming soon.)
- Please Remember… (This image is low resolution. A high resolution image is coming soon.)
In Your Unit
There are many ways your unit can work to reduce its waste and segregate it properly by coming to see at the Eco service if there are any material they could use.
Studies and Reports
- Talkin’ Trash. Starting in May 2010, some members of the Solid Waste Management Task Force began to publish weekly articles on waste in the News and Notes. Find these some of these archived in Talkin’ Trash (May-August 2010). You can find the rest on Auronet.
- A Campaign for a Litter Free Auroville, Auroville Today, January 2010
- Litter Free Auroville’s Trasion Show, Auroville website, January 2010
- Sort n’ Segregate – Eco Service’s Mantra, Auroville Today, August 2009
- Soma Waste Management Survey Results, March 2009
- Waste Management, Auroville website, December 2003
- Solid Waste Management, Auroville website, April 2002
- Auroville Solid Waste Management Strategy 2001-2005
- Village Solid Waste Management Strategy (Auroville Area) May 2001
- Solid Waste Management Research Document May 2001
- Table of Contents
- Chapter 1: Waste Management Within the Region
- Chapter 2: Waste Management Hierarchy
- Chapter 3: Towards Environmental Sustainability
- Chapter 4: Waste Management in Auroville
- Chapter 5: Waste Characterization
- Chapter 6: Business and Community Waste Planning
- Chapter 7: Increasing Reuse
- Chapter 8: Recyclable Resource Management
- Chapter 9: Eco-Service Development
- Chapter 10: Bio-Medical Waste Management
- Chapter 11: Hazardous Waste Management
- Chapter 12: Residual Waste Management
- Chapter 13: Financials
- Chapter 14: Community Consultation