Recently there were two events in which N S Ramakanth, aiming at Zero Garbage, went personally to help the organizers of the events and was very successful.
He was happy that at Chitra Santhe where he taught the volunteers on how to take care of the garbage, nothing went from the event to the land fill.
Another was the Vaikunta Ekadasi at the Kote Srinivasa temple: I quote from the letter he wrote to the Muzrai commisioner:
"This year we achieved zero waste management on the Vaikunta Ekadashi day where nearly 1 Lakh devotees had darshan of the lord from morning 3am to 2.30am on the next day. Due to segregation about one rickshaw load that is about 3/4th ton of food waste along with pure paper plates were sent for composting at Jaynagar plant. Next day about half truck load of flowers from temple/lords decoration (about 1.5 tons) also sent to Jayanagar compost plant next day. All this credit should go to CEO and the other temple authorities and last but not the least credit also should go to young and energetic Muzrai Commissioner who gave me full authority to give instructions to the staff. A word of appreciation also should also be given to the local corporator Mr Ganesh who was always ready to help me in carrying out my task."
The letter also details the many steps that are to be taken:
To The Muzrai Commissioner.
Sub: Immediate steps to be taken to make Kotai Srinivasa Temple zero waste.
1. About 8 to 10 baskets should be placed around the temple to preserve all flower rejects and Tulsi leaves. Once in a week every Monday arrangements can be made to send all the reject flowers to Jayanagar compost plant till your plant is ready.
2. Prasad distribution - If they use plantain leaves they should be preserved in a separate bin and sent to cows as feed.
3. On Mondays reject flowers sending to the Jayanagar plant can be arranged through the local corporators to whom the undersigned has already informed.
4. Some lacunae found at Kotai Srinivasa temple on the Vaikunta Ekadashi day on 1st January 2015
a. After the Prasad was distributed at exit sufficient bins with black garbage bags should have been placed at regular intervals along the fencing. Bins can also be chained to the fencing bar so that to avoid theft.
b. We had kept one waste picker per shift, from next year we must keep two persons per shift once we have our own composting plant we can send all the waste to the plant.
c. All reject flowers should also be sent to the compost plant.
Another letter which aims to make all temples in Karnataka adapt zero waste policies :
General procedures to be followed to make all temples in Karnataka a zero waste
1. Plastic should be banned, instead paper or cloth bag can be utilised. A nominal penalty about Rs.10 can be collected if any violation is found.
2. Flower/ Fruit/ Coconut vendors around the Temple should also not use plastic bags. Instead cane basket or plastic basket which can be reused should be used. The vendors can charge a nominal refundable deposit which can be returned after the basket is returned, they should be properly regulated by having 2 to 3 home guards posted around the temple. Controlling the shoppers around the temple can be done by the CEO’s in consultation with local corporators and the BBMP authorities. The undersigned is ready to help in this regard.
3. Type of waste produced in each temple with the waste generated daily/weekly/ monthly and quantity also should be asserting.
4. Flower rejects and Tulsi thrown out after the pooja also should be quantified weekly/ daily.
5. Kitchen waste/ food waste / prasadam waste and other organic waste can be measured and quantified.
6. Disposables like plastic plates/ styrofoam plates/ cups/ donnes should not be used to distribute Prasad or food, instead only decomposable leaf donnes / pure paper plates / areca nut / plantain leaves should be used.
7. Separate baskets may be placed for depositing used flowers/ Tulsi in temples.
8. A letter should be written to the local BEO’s to spare some volunteers (NSS or NCC) during special occasions, necessary voluntary badges can be given to them.
9. Segregation of dry/ wet organic waste should be made mandatory and separate bins should be placed for the public in different parts of the temple.
10. Arrangements should be made either to compost or convert it to biogas at the earliest. Biogas plants or preferable wherever free food is distributed to the devotees regulary.
Thanks & Regards,
N S Ramakanth
Expert Committee Member BBMP (Nominated by GOK) as per High Court Order
Technical Committee Member DMA