In Bangalore, an anonymous group of citizens have a dare:
Show us one Indian city that can boast of one kilometre of clean street – with no open garbage dumps, no missing footpath slabs, no urine stench, no paan (betel leaf) stains on walls? Bangalore, we challenge you, is the only Indian city that now has 4km of streets clean from these four civic ills.
To date, the “Ugly Indians” have “spot-fixed” 104 sites in Bangalore, primarily in the central business district, where they have also installed 150 waste bins and seven free-to-use WonderLoos (ecologically friendly water-less toilets). They challenge you to beautify your city.
The full BBC news story, dated 29 November 2011, can be viewed here.
Watch the new Shuddham video, celebrating the wonderful work done by the Shuddham “Beautifiers” to help keep Pondicherry’s Raj Bhavan neighborhood clean and to help create a model for urban waste management that can reverse the epidemic of filth that plagues India.
Construction of the new resource center is well underway, and Phase I should be completed by April. The center will contain discrete areas for secondary sorting of inorganic waste for recycling, conventional composting, vermicomposting, and research and development. In this latter section, we will be looking at high-value ways of extracting value from our waste streams, preferably right here within our community.
The fuel briquetting experiments are one example of our R&D efforts; studying the feasibility of replicating Goonj’s Not Just a Piece of Cloth program for the reuse of scrap cotton from local clothing companies is another.
Stay tuned for news of the opening!
Research is underway here at Shuddham to explore the feasibility of converting a portion of our segregated waste stream (principally paper, cardboard, and sawdust) into biomass fuel briquettes. Early prototypes, pictured above, were formed under consdierable pressure using an old motorcycle cylinder and piston, and a hydrolic press.
A more traditional forming-and-drying method is also being tested.
The formulations are being combustion-tested at Aprovecho Research Center — the world’s leading experts in biomass cookstove engineering — to ensure that the briquettes do not give off undue quantities of carbon monoxide and harmful particulates when burned.
Biomass remains the most common cooking fuel in the villages of India — including those around Pondicherry. In fact, most of the Shuddham “Beautifiers” use biomass cookstoves in their own kitchens. It would be a nice re-use of our combustible waste stream to create cooking fuel.