ITC to use rag-pickers to clean-up Bangalore

Bangalore, June 29 (IANS) FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) major ITC Ltd Saturday extended its ‘wealth out of waste’ programme to Bangalore by roping in rag-pickers and civic workers to make the city greener by cleaning up its garbage.

“As ambassadors of the programme, rag-pickers and civic workers will get at least Rs.3,000 more per month to sustain their livelihood by collecting garbage in 10 civic wards across the city and segregating them for recycling,” ITC’s food division chief executive Chitranjan Dar said at a function here ahead of the third anniversary of the ‘National Recycling Day’ July 1.

Involving Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the novel initiative, the pilot programme will cover all sections of society spanning households, offices, shops, schools, malls, hotels and hospitals.

“The programme will also cover post-consumer FMCG waste, which has become a major source of litter across the city. The civic corporation will provide dry waste collection centres in each ward to segregate wet garbage by its staff,” Dhar said.

The $7-billion company will also train rag-pickers and civic staff on segregating dry waste and sorting it into categories like paper, plastic, glass and metal for recycling.

“Each household, shop, office and other collection centres will be given durable polythene bags to collect the dry waste. Rag-pickers and civic workers will be paid market price for the quantity of recyclables they collect daily,” Dhar pointed out.

The programme seeks to generate awareness in the public about the reduce-reuse-recycle approach and inculcate the habit of source segregation, which is in line with the company’s sustainable natural resource management.

“The programme seeks to protect environment by improving green cover, reducing landfills and enhancing ground water quality for restoring hygiene and providing cost competitive raw material to paper, plastics, metal and glass industries,” Dhar noted.

According the company’s estimate, if 30 percent of daily garbage containing recyclables is separated at source across six cities, about 10,000 tonnes of raw material can be generated daily for paper, plastic and metal industry.

“The value generation can be Rs.50 crore daily if recyclables are recovered from towns and cities across the country,” the company said in a statement here.

Lauding the pilot project, BBMP commissioner M. Lakshminarayana said the programme was in line with the vision of making Bangalore a zero garbage city.

“It is essential to educate people and inculcate the habit of segregation of waste at source,” the commissioner said on the occasion.

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