As a part of its Donate Waste (Kachra Daan) initiative, UC works with Residential, Office and Academic communities to Reduce, Segregate and Donate waste. Dry waste items are usually donated once a month on the last weekend. Items like papers, plastics, glass and metal are picked up by a waste recycler (Raddhiwala) from the local area. Electronic waste items are handed over to specialised e-waste recyclers. UC facilitates in linking the community with the waste recyclers. The value generated from the dry waste can be donated by the community to support some of the Health, Education or Environment projects supported by UC.

During these donation camps, residents also donate old books and clothes, which are then redistributed to people who need them.

UC also provides support to set up compost centers in these communities, so that their food and garden waste can be locally converted to organic manure, rather than being transported to landfills.

The Donate Waste initiative is very much a citizen driven initiative, which simultaneously delivers environmental outcomes and also resources to support other social causes.

Starting and Managing a Donation Camp

Starting a Donation Camp for Reusable and Recyclable items:

  1. Identifying the Donation Camp Location: This should be a kind of public place(School, College, a Community space with an Office or Residential Campus etc) which is easily accessible for the public in that area.
  2. Finalise the Monthly Date and Time for the Camp: It would be ideal to have it on the last weekend of the month e.g. on the last Sunday of every Month between 10am to 12pm.
  3. Mobilise a few volunteers who can participate in some of the above activities, in manning the donation camp and also participate in subsequent sorting and distribution of the reusable items to NGOs
  4. Identifying local Recyclers:Before the commencement of the initiative, we suggest the volunteers in the donating community to identify a local recycler who will take most of the paper, plastic, metal, glass etc waste items, and also explain to the recycler the purpose behind the initiative. UC team can also join the local volunteers in the initial survey. Once the recyclers appreciate the initiative, they would provide good support to this initiative including giving a better price for the donated waste. On the donation camp date, the recycler should come to the camp location, have the waste items weighed there, hand over the money of the waste items and take away the load in his vehicle. The value generated from the dry waste can be donated by the community to support some of the Health, Education or Environment projects.
  5. Identifying place(s)in the area, where some of the donated reusable items like clothes, books, toys etc. can be stored temporarily before they are distributed to NGOs.
  6. UC facilitates the distribution of reusable items donated to various NGOs in the city. It develops the information list of NGOs running homes/shelters/schools etc. for the underprivileged, to whom the reusable items can be distributed.
  7. Spread awareness about the camp to those working and residing in the area. Prepare a few posters about the initiative which could be posted in offices and residential communities in the area. UC team has some existing posters and these can be further customised for the local community.
  8. Managing the Donation Camp
    1. Send reminder emails to all the offices and residential communities in the area 3-4 days before the monthly Donation Camp date.
    2. Mobilise volunteers for the following tasks:
      • Managing activities during the camp (10:am to 12pm): have 3-4 volunteers who will receive items brought by donors, ensure that they are placed in segregated bags/bins and respond to any queries that the donors may have.
      • Provide logistics support(1pm to 4pm): 2-3 volunteers having personal 4-wheelers who can help move the donated reusable items to nearby storage center or NGO locations for distribution. Offices can also be invited to provide this logistics support.
      • Provide temporary storage space for donated items: Offices/Organisations or Individuals who can store 3-4 cartons of donated materials temporarily, for further distributions to NGOs within a week to 10 days, as not all NGOs can be reached out on the same day

Setting up and Managing a Compost center

Setting up the Compost Center:
  1. Procure Material for compost beds - steel sheets, bamboo poles, binding wire and posters. The design of the suggested compost beds keeps it portable(they can be moved to another location reusing all the material) and low cost.
    1. Number of Compost beds and Area: the community can start by setting up 2 or 3 compost beds, with 8*4 feet area each. We can leave 2 feet gap between the two. After some initial experience in managing the compost beds, the community can add additional compost beds based on the volume of kitchen/garden waste generated.
    2. Material:Each bed can be made with an enclosure of corrugated steel sheets. We can use the standard 8*2.5 feet sheet with 24gauge(Jindal steel or any other brand). These are available at Wholesale Hardware markets. Each sheet would cost about 700 to 800 rupees. One compost bed of the 8*4 feet area would need 3 such sheets and would therefore cost about 2400 per bed. About 12 bamboo poles of 4feet height can be procured locally for erecting each bed.
  2. Arrange 2 or 3 workers or housekeeping staff, along with a crowbar and spade, to do a bit of digging for placing the bamboo poles.
  3. Some young volunteers from the community too are welcome to join the effort.
Managing the Compost Center:
  1. Have the material mixed daily by the workers using a rake, including the content from the bottom.
  2. Ensure right moisture levels.
  3. Once a bed is full, start filling in another bed the fresh waste and let the contents in the old pot just cook(break down) for a few days.
  4. The natural openings at the bottom of the compost bed allow any excess water collected to drain off. And as long as the moisture level are maintained at the right levels and the compost is thoroughly mixed every day or on alternate days, there should not be any issue with odour or other pests.

Donation of bulky items

Interested donors who wish to donate in kind, large and bulky items, can now post this information on UC website for NGOs to know.

Donation of Clothes

Some points to think about before we decide to donate old clothes:
  1. Am I giving away good to use clothes, so that I can find an excuse to shop for new clothes? Would it not be a good idea to rather spend that money to buy and give something that an NGO or a Social Cause really needs?
  2. Let me only give clothes which are in neat condition. I give them possibly because they do not fit me any longer, but can be worn with dignity by anyone else. Let me not give any undergarments or soiled clothes.
  3. Too many clothes donated by too many people on a single day pose a challenge for NGOs to manage the collection. They do not have adequate resources to store, sort and distribute these clothes in one go. Such a large collection would be ideal when there is a natural calamity to respond to quickly. At other times, it would be better to donate these clothes on a regular basis at the monthly collections camps organised by UC ( www.yousee.in ) or at Goonj offices ( www.goonj.org ), making it easier for them to manage the logistics involved.