Green Temples—Circular Economy in Waste Management
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ITC through its social investments brand “Mission Sunehra Kal” initiated sanitation and solid waste management (SWM) interventions, which are aligned to Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission. ITC’s solid waste management (SWM) intervention focuses on “minimizing waste to landfills” and processing waste close to the generator, in a financially sustainable manner. Whilst the company has models for large cities, small towns, rural catchments and temples, operational in 13 districts of 8 states, this paper focuses on its Green Temple SWM model and documents the approach and outcomes of the intervention. Green Temple SWM programme focuses on closed-loop waste management system which processes temple waste into usable products (biogas and compost) that can be used within the temple premises. The first Green Temple SWM intervention was initiated in 2017 in Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai, and as part of the project, biogas plant and one bio-composter were installed near the temple premises. The programme focused on capacity building of the temple authorities and local volunteers to take up the programme and independently operate and maintain the initiative in the long run. In addition to this, through Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activity awareness about solid waste management was spread amongst devotees visiting temple, vendors selling temple offerings near the temple premises and local communities to ensure clean and hygienic environment. Post the successful implementation of the Green Temple project in Kapaleeswarar Temple, Chennai, during 2017–18, two new Green Temple projects were initiated—in Anantha Padmanabhaswami Temple, Chennai, and Srirangam Temple, Tiruchirappalli. The Green Temple SWM case study highlights a model that is sustainable, replicable and scalable across locations.
KeywordsGreen Temple Circular economy Closed-loop waste management Zero waste temple and waste to landfill
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