Recycling Guide - How To Recycle Efficiently In India

Posted on March 28th, 2023 03:00 PM
Recycle Bin

Understand What Can Be Recycled

The first step to recycling is understanding what materials can be recycled. Common recyclables include paper, cardboard, plastic, glass & metal. However, not all types of these materials can be recycled, so it is important to check with your local municipality

> Paper

Paper is one of the most commonly recycled materials. This includes office paper, newspaper, magazines, and cardboard boxes. However, not all types of paper can be recycled, such as paper with a wax or plastic coating, or paper that is soiled with food or grease.

> Cardboard

Cardboard is another material that can be recycled. This includes corrugated cardboard used for packaging and shipping, as well as cereal boxes and other similar materials. Cardboard that is soiled with food or grease cannot be recycled.

> Plastic

Plastic is a commonly used material that can be recycled, but not all types of plastic can be recycled. Different types of plastics have different properties, and therefore require different recycling processes. It's important to check the recycling symbol on the packaging to determine if the plastic is recyclable or not.

> Glass

Glass is a recyclable material that can be used to create new glass products. However, not all types of glass can be recycled. Glass that is broken, contaminated with other materials, or has a different composition than standard glass cannot be recycled.

> Metal

Metal is also a recyclable material that can be used to create new products. This includes aluminium cans, steel cans, and other metal objects. However, not all types of metal can be recycled. Metal that is contaminated with other materials, or has a different composition than standard metal cannot be recycled.

Find A Recycling Program

Once you know what materials can be recycled, you need to find a recycling program in your area. Check with your local government or municipality to find out what programs are available. Some communities may offer curbside recycling pickup, while others may require you to drop off your recyclables at a designated location. You can also approach your local scrap shop and donate/sell your collected recyclable materials.

> Check with local municipality or waste management facility

> Curbside pickup or drop-off

> Pay a visit to your local scrap shop

Learn About Recycling Guidelines

Each recycling program has its own guidelines for what can and cannot be recycled. Make sure to review these guidelines and follow them carefully. Some common guidelines include removing lids and labels from bottles and cans, and not recycling plastic bags.

> Review program guidelines

> Remove lids and labels

> Do not recycle plastic bags

Set Up A Recycling System

Once you have found a recycling program, set up a recycling system in your home or office. This can include designated bins for different types of recyclables, such as paper, plastic, and glass. Make sure to clearly label the bins and educate everyone in the household or office about what can be recycled.

You can coordinate efforts to collect recyclable materials in one place. Depending on the type of waste materials, different NGOs & organisations can be supported.

List of NGOs & Organisations For Recycling

Here’s a list of NGOs & organisations that are doing incredible work in recycling & waste management, and pioneering innovations to reduce waste and promote a circular economy.

> Ecokaari - https://www.ecokaari.org/

EcoKaari is a social enterprise that focuses on creating a sustainable community through bottom-up development. The company helps in recycling by collecting & upcycling waste plastic into handcrafted fabrics using traditional Indian crafts such as Charkha (spindle) and Handloom. The fabrics are then handwoven by women and youth from humble backgrounds.

> Skrap - Skrap.in

Skrap, a Mumbai-based waste management company, offers end-to-end recycling & waste management solutions for events and offices by tackling waste at the source. Using data on waste generation, they customise a plan to reduce waste and recycle as much as possible. At the 2018 YouTube FanFest, they recycled, composted, or reused almost 80% of the waste generated. They have also worked with Bacardi NH7 Weekender and SBI Green Marathon.

> Paperman - Papermanfoundation.org

Paperman, established in 2010, aims to speed up recycling in India. They launched a mobile app that allows people to connect directly with local ragmen to sell their waste for recycling. Their Circular Economy Model not only promotes recycling but also supports non-profits as the money generated goes towards partnering with local NGOs. They also conduct public awareness programmes to promote recycling.

> Saahas Zero Waste - Saahaszerowaste.com

Saahas Zero Waste, an NGO based in Bengaluru since 2001, has grown into a full-fledged organisation that diverts 53,000 kg of waste from landfills every day. They handle bulk waste from MNCs, residential communities, universities, and tech parks by providing end-to-end turnkey projects. The waste is sustainably managed and recycled to create products like clothing, stationery, bags, and backpacks sold on their website.

> Citizengage - Citizengage.co

This Bengaluru-based organisation, founded in 2015, assists food chains and restaurants in managing their waste at the source. They collect rejected waste, provide staff with data-driven feedback modules on proper segregation, and maximise waste reuse & recycling. Citizengage has a mobile app that allows customers to track their waste quality and quantity through user-friendly graphs, and has diverted over 9,000 tonnes of waste from landfills.

> Plastics for Change - Plasticsforchange.org

Plastics for Change, the first recycler certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation, links waste-pickers to global markets and assists brands in switching to high-quality recycled plastic for their packaging. Their mobile app provides urban waste-pickers with access to fair market prices, and they are expanding into coastal communities to tackle ocean plastic. They recently partnered with The Body Shop to adopt ethically-sourced, recycled, and fair traded plastic.

Reduce Waste & Promote Sustainable Products In India

Recycling is just one way to reduce waste. Another effective way is to use reusable bags, containers and water bottles. Instead of using single-use plastic bags and bottles, investing in a good quality reusable option will not only reduce waste but also save money in the long run. Reusable containers can also be used for packing lunch or storing leftovers, eliminating the need for single-use plastic wrap or containers.

Additionally, care should be taken when deciding as a consumer to buy products with minimal packaging. This can be achieved by choosing products that come in recyclable or biodegradable packaging, or by buying in bulk. Buying in bulk not only reduces packaging waste but also saves money and reduces the frequency of trips to the store. Additionally, choosing to purchase products with less packaging can encourage companies to shift towards sustainable packaging and reduce their environmental impact.

Spread the word

Share your recycling knowledge with others. Encourage friends and family to recycle and educate them on the benefits of recycling. You can also volunteer with local organisations to promote recycling in your community.

> Encourage others to recycle

> Volunteer with local organisations

> Spread the message on social media

> Promote sustainable products in India


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