Increased urbanization across India has created a massive waste management challenge. The country generates 60 million tons of solid waste each year, and only a small fraction of this waste is collected and treated. A large portion of non-processed biological and solid waste is dumped into overfilled landfills, or left in undesignated open spaces. Currently, the state of Tamil Nadu processes less than 10% of its municipal garbage. Poor waste management practices lead to pollution of land, groundwater, and air, which directly impacts community health and livelihoods.
What we’re doing to help
VOICE Trust has partnered with the Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu, to educate several villages about environmental pollution caused by waste accumulation. Our projects educate women’s groups, students, and communities to minimize food and plastic waste and remove and reuse or recycle organic debris. These projects include:
- Dust to Dustbin Biowaste Recycling: When waste is not disposed of properly, it can spread infectious diseases, pollute the air, and block local water source flow. Many families in Trichy were dumping their waste directly into local waterways. To create solutions for proper waste disposal, VOICE Trust worked with local governments to implement a “Dust to Dust Bin” program as part of the Swachhta Action Plan. We circulated instructional brochures about segregating and allocating biodegradable waste at the source to thousands of residents, and distributed over 300 dust bins. VOICE Trust is proud to have had the opportunity to work with the Department of Environment to help Trichy residents enjoy healthier and more sustainable lives.
- Plastics Reduction: VOICE Trust has operated as the Environment Coordinator for student-led environmental groups in the Trichy District since 1998. We work closely with the Department of Environment to educate and support local communities and large student organizations on hands-on plastic removal from areas across Trichy District. In 2019 the “Message on Wheels” campaign against plastic pollution was initiated to explain the harmful impacts plastics have on the environment and communicate the importance of reducing single-use plastic bags. To date, over 7,000 cloth bags have been distributed to keep plastics from local streets and waterways. VOICE Trust has also conducted workshops to strengthen the “Plastic Pollution-Free Tamil Nadu” campaign to empower more teachers, students, and women’s groups to prevent plastic pollution. The workshops include focus on choosing alternative sustainable materials instead of plastics.