Swachh Diwali celebration paves way for ‘Waste to Food’
Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban under the aegis of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is running the ‘Swachh Diwali, Shubh Diwali’ campaign across the country. Cities are focusing on celebrating an eco-friendly Diwali by signing up for the Swachh Diwali Signature campaign and pledging to use locally made products, donating unused, old items to RRR Centres, using eco-friendly alternatives of single use plastic. Under the campaign, Assam has taken a unique initiative to manage the waste that occurs post Diwali. Traditionally on Diwali in Assam, people light earthen lamps on banana trees and leaves at the entrances of residential and commercial establishments. For this, the stems of the banana tree used on Diwali night are of no use the next day.
The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban team in Assam has made a special plan to eliminate waste post Diwali. To avoid this, a simple waste management process as been adopted by the urban local body. To ensure post Diwali cleanliness, Assam has adopted the principle of 3Rs to transform ‘waste to food’. The banana trees, stems and leaves that will be left unused the next day after the traditional Diwali celebrations will be handed over to the national parks around urban local bodies for use as fodder for elephants.
Where there are no national parks in the vicinity, the citizens will cut the banana trees into small pieces and hand them over to the urban local bodies for disposal. From there, the municipal staff will hand over the stems of these trees to cow shelters or ‘waste to compost’ pits located in the center. To eliminate such waste, there are already 104 central compost pits at various places and over 6000 domestic composting pits.