I had an opportunity to do the Green Army Fellowship for three months duration from 08-07-2017 to 12-10-2017. This fellowship is basically designed by Thanal and Corporation of Trivandrum. It is originally a three month work.
The main thing I learned during the Fellowship is, the different techniques of waste management; especially composting. I could take part in installing Kitchen Bin in three different wards (Thampanoor, Poojappura and Kunnukuzhi) and follow-up it. By doing so, I got to interact with many people and make them aware of the need for composting.
The hurdles faced in decentralized waste management is another thing I learned during this time. Majority of the population is indifferent to the current waste problems and so it made very difficult for us to enlighten them about the need for segregation as well as managing our own waste without disturbing others.
Another thing I learned during my fellowship period was the quantity of waste that is produced by each of us in just one day. I visited three different Resource Recovery Centres (Sreekandeswaram, Chali and Kazhakkoottam) and I was shocked to see the waste that comes in there each day. So I understood the need and urgency in managing the waste as soon as possible.
From the legacy of this fellowship, I would like to implement some things in my life. First one is to continue segregating waste. Now I know the need for waste segregation and I would never hesitate to do so. Also I stopped throwing away the used materials and dump them in waste baskets only.
I want to stop burning all kinds of materials as soon as possible. But it is difficult for me since I reside in the village area and there is no collection centres here. But I try to reduce plastic waste (which is the main part of waste I’m dealing with in my home) and recycle paper waste.
I studied making some useful items from waste materials during my fellowship period. I want to continue doing so and hence reuse (or recycle) the waste.
This is needy time for waste management. If we continue do the present system, i.e; throw- away culture, it is going to affect us very badly and the results will be irreversible. So I recommend this fellowship to encourage the decentralized waste management in not only Kerala, but also in our Country.
There are some changes I would like to include in this Fellowship. Since this was a first attempt, many work we did was not included in the structure, for example, collecting waste materials from different RRCs. One more thing is that as this is very demanding, we won’t get enough time to prepare for anything new, for example, publishing a paper. I think this should also be revised.
Overall it was an honor to work as a Fellow in the Corporation of Trivandrum and help in making the decentralized waste management a reality.