In today's world, plastic has drawn criticism from almost all corners of the world. But at the same time, it has proved to be indispensable in certain fields. So rather than aiming at 'plastic free', Keshav Srushti has started working towards achieving 'plastic neutral' villages- both, in Wada district as well as in Uttan, around Keshav Srushti. Till date more than 12 metric tons (MT) littered plastic waste has been collected involving school students, college students and morning walkers. In a record time of 45 days, we have made 50 villages in Wada plastic neutral. Our dedicated vehicle visits every village once a week.
Our monthly collection of plastic waste is around 700 KG. This is expected to increase once outdoor consumption increases. We are exploring a possibility of installing a shredder, washing unit, small single screw extruder with palletizes and hand molding machine in Keshav Srushti. This will help us to start an innovative activity for our visitors - "Be a plastic recycler for a day". We are designing a paver block making unit using the littered plastic. All India Plastic Manufacturer's Association (AIPMA) has supported the drive by providing us the technological as well as financial support. M. C. Kakaria Charitable Trust has donated us the vehicle required for collecting the litter. The Supreme Industries Ltd. has supported the initiative by donating the big size dust-bins needed at Uttan as well as Wada.
Keshav Srushti started developing City Forests using 'Akira Miyawaki' method since June 2018. So far, we have developed 19 city forests covering 48,025 sq. ft. area with 23,544 trees with the financial support from HDFC Life and Rotary Club. Akira Miyawaki is a Japanese method of afforestation in which only native plants are used on the concept of 'potential natural vegetation'. Around 600 trees are planted per 1000 sq. ft. of land. The forest develops in just 2-3 years and the afforestation growth is 10 times faster than the conventional forest. The team of Prof. Dr. Parvish Pandya, Director, Science & Conservation, Sanctuary Nature foundation and former vice principal of Bhavans College studied the effects of the city forests at nine sites in comparison with a garden and a street in the nearby area, and found the following: • The temperature in the Miyawaki forests was 2-4°C lower throughout the day. • The humidity inside the forests was 2-9 % higher than surroundings, thus helping to maintain a cooler environment. • The Nitrogen content of the soil of Miyawaki sites was on average higher by 10 KG/ACRE suggesting that the soil is rich and suitable for plant growth. • Potassium content of the soil was higher by about 45 KG/ACRE resulting in better quality of the plants. • Phosphorus content of the soil of the Miyawaki forests was higher by about 10 KG/ACRE leading to better growth and development of the plants. • pH of the soil in the forests was about 5.5 to neutral which helps in growth and reproduction of the plants. • The moisture of the forest soil was 1-2 bar higher. • The particulate matter in the forest air was consistently recorded lower by about 10mcg/ cubic meter, giving a healthy environment. The pollution is less as the plants absorb most of the carbon particles. • Miyawaki plantation can prove to be ecologically important area as it harbors variety of biodiversity including birds, butterflies, bugs, beetles, spiders and dragonflies. All these important organisms are extremely important for maintaining ecological balance. Miyawaki forest can be developed in as small as 2000 sq. ft. of land.
Above findings stress the need of developing more such green islands throughout the city.
After training the villagers to segregate the waste, Keshav Srushti found the need of treating the wet garbage properly so that it can be used most efficiently. Indian Compostable Polymer Association (ICPA) approached Keshav Srushti to initiate a project, which is broadly to demonstrate end-to-end solution with certified compostable organic waste bags where the organic waste is converted to valuable compost. The resultant compost generated can be used as soil-conditioner / fertiliser in agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, etc or wherever applicable leading to sustainable solutions to wet waste management, circular economy and thereby reducing plastic waste pollution. The entire project shall demonstrate not only to establish a 'Model for a Zero Waste Environment' in remote villages but also will establish that the generated compost is a valuable resource which can generate revenue as a soil conditioner. This can then be extrapolated further to villages under Keshav Srushti. Kitchen waste is collected in a compostable garbage bag and a teaspoon of Bioculum is added. We are being guided by BASF, Germany in this open composting project. So far, we have made 4.5 tons of compost using the kitchen waste in Keshav Srushti. We use the same for our city forests. The villagers are being trained and involved in this technique. The compost made by them will be purchased by us for the city forests. The economic benefits will help in sustaining the villagers' interest.
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