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Wealth out of Waste (WOW)

ITC's Wealth Out of Waste is a recycling initiative that works towards spreading awareness about recycling, and encouraging people to segregate and dispose waste responsibly

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12 11

Written by DeletedUser

Indian Business conglomerate ITC has launched a new initiative titled 'Wealth out of Waste' (WOW) in 2007. It was started in a small way, but has spread its wings now.

WOW is an internationally recognised initiative by Bureau of International of Recycling. BIR is a world wide international trade federation representing the world's recycling Industry, promoting recycling across the globe.
In this programme, WOW reaches out to schools, institutions and homes through its awareness building teams, about source segregation of waste. After a stipulated period of time, the WOW team goes back to collect the waste kept aside by schools/institutions/homes, and pays them for the recyclables collected. While many countries have advanced systems of waste collection and regulations on source segregation, awareness in India regarding recycling and its benefits is low. There are basically two types of waste: dry waste and wet waste. About 40% of the dry waste can be recycled while wet waste can be converted into compost and can be used as manure.

The WOW programme seeks to not only build awareness, but also to encourage people to segregate their waste at the source which is their households. This reduces the amount of waste filling up the landfills - and provides industries with clean raw materials.For example, ITC's Kovai unit is exclusively dependent on recycled fibre,as are some machines in Bhadrachalam as well. By end 2011, ITC PSPD would be using close to 210,000 tonnes of waste paper per annum. WOW helps ITC collect this raw material from India.

Recycling of waste has huge environmental and economical benefits. Recycling of one tonne of waste paper saves 17 trees and 7,000 gallons of water.Through WOW, ITC helps to deal with various issues like environment protection, reduction of global warming, improving green cover, reducing landfills, improving ground water quality, general health and hygiene, reducing garbage handling costs, better civic amenities and providing cost competitive raw materials to industries.

The birth of WOW

While continuing to increase the green cover through its plantations programme, ITC recognized the need to decrease the pressure on new resources also - especially when recyclable material is available in India. At our factories, we adopt the "Reduce-Reuse-Recycle" philosophy in all our operations - however, we wanted to increase the scope of this philosophy beyond the boundaries of our factories.

ITC launched its Wealth out of Waste programme to discourage recyclable waste from going into landfills or getting burnt which pollutes the environment.WOW has been designed to manage waste from individual households and civic bodies level. As per a study conducted by ITC, on an average an Indian city generates around 2,500 tonnes of waste every day. Since there is hardly any recycling, the waste is used as a landfill, causing large scale air and water pollution.

The collection of recyclables is predominantly from households, commercial, corporate offices and educational institutions.There are over 100 corporates supporting WOW and more than three lac households across South India are participating in WOW. In order to inculcate the habit of source segregation among young children, WOW has taken up spreading the idea of recycling in schools and the immediate plan is to cover at least two lac school children in the year 2010-11 across south India.


WOW initiative started in a small way in April 2007 with an average monthly collection of 100 tonnes per month is now spread across South India with an average monthly collection of 5000 tonnes per month with a potential of collecting 10,000 tonnes per month by the end of 2012 within South India.

WOW is fast spreading across cities in southern India like Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Kochi, Coimbatore, Madurai, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry and Guntur. Encouraged by its success in southern states ITC plans to take its 'Wealth Out of Waste' (WOW) program across the country.

The collection of recyclables is predominantly from households, commercial, corporate offices and educational institutions. There are over 100 corporates supporting WOW and more than three lac households across South India are participating in WOW. In order to inculcate the habit of source segregation among young children, WOW has taken up spreading the idea of recycling in schools and the immediate plan is to cover at least two lac school children in the year 2010-11 across south India.


WOW way

ITC's WOW teams in different regions conduct awareness sessions in schools, residential societies and offices - explaining the benefits of source segregation.The WOW team provides bags to collect the recyclables classified as paper, plastic, glass and metal.

While collecting the recyclables, the WOW personnel accurately weighs the recyclables and immediately reimburses the individual with cash which are at competitive rates.The material collected is then channeled into an appropriate recycling stream - the paper waste is sent to ITC's units, for recycling into a wide range of paperboards, while the other materials are responsibly transferred to relevant industries. This collection activity not only helps recycling, but helps many people find gainful employment as waste collectors and as volunteers spreading the idea and concept of WOW in their localities.


Source -  http://www.itcgreenpapers.com/Wealth_Out_of_Waste.aspx

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DeletedUser

The knowledge these communities may develop as a consequence of source segregation must be amazing. Not only waste is allocated out of communities through a profitable transaction, but WOW for sure helps them building new attitudes towards the nature of the contact human beings should have with trash. I've never been to India but one of the things that stands out when you see pictures, are kids co-existing with garbage. A company focused on recollecting waste must find it tough to effectively achieve its goals in (some places) in India, so this program must be brilliant in that (educational) context!

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DeletedUser

well, in India, reusing and recycling are implemented more out of necessity rather than awareness, but since people are already doing it for some reason, we could just reinforce their action with stronger sense of purpose.

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DeletedUser

well, in India, reusing and recycling are implemented more out of necessity rather than awareness, but since people are already doing it for some reason, we could just reinforce their action with stronger sense of purpose.

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DeletedUser

I never posted this one 3 times!!

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DeletedUser

HEY! I didn't want to pull your leg :) It's strange that you can't delete your posts in Open Ideo.

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DeletedUser

haha you are funny mate! Ye true, i cant delete it, perhaps OpenIDEO could delete it for me. Such a shame, seems like i am spamming!

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DeletedUser

....I didn't know it was out of necessity! I thought these systems for waste recollection hadn't been effectively articulated for such a population. Wow.

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DeletedUser

Yes Milo, it is purely out of necessity, they start out to do it without no choice, some do well, so barely survive. But, in either case, they survive on a daily basis.

But, one example of how organised the system is that, they mark areas for themselves and will not allow other rag pickers to scavenge into their areas. It is an informal agreement.

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