A town in Tamil Nadu with a population of about 20,000 people has become environmentally sustainable and litter-free. Mahabalipuram, a UNESCO declared heritage site, just 55 km south of Chennai, has about 5,000 households.
Here almost 85 per cent of the waste is segregated at the source and diverted from reaching the landfills.
Hand in Hand (HiH), a Tamil Nadu-based NGO, convinced residents of this town the benefits of waste segregation. In India, about 150,000 tonnes of waste is generated every day. Of the total amount of municipal waste collected, an average of 94% makes its way to landfills, and only 5% is composted. The solid waste management wing of HiH aims to facilitate local bodies to manage India’s burgeoning garbage menace.