Circled Waste

In India, the lack of a waste management structure highlights the importance of informal waste pickers who play an integral role in waste management. In Indian households, women are responsible for managing the waste, where waste segregation is the foundation for better management and is most effective when done at the source. Failure to fulfil this intensifies the importance of waste pickers, who pick recyclable materials from this kind of unsegregated waste and sell it to scrap dealers to make money. They are practitioners of circular economy as they recirculate these materials back into the chain, which would otherwise end up in landfills.

The project is geographically based in urban Kolkata, India, looking into the improvement of municipal solid waste management in this region while socially integrating informal waste pickers, a class of workers who are silent and ignored practitioners of a circular economy. It is a study of how can a partnership form between waste pickers and households through an inclusive circular economy to close the gap between the two groups? How can digitalisation be used as a tool to implement this partnership by encouraging collaboration?

The project carries the potential to impact the community of informal women waste pickers in a positive way by integrating them into an organised framework, providing better working conditions by using the foundational concepts of an inclusive circular economy.

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