Zero Kuppai – Cleanup and Waste segregation – the last one year

Our ambitious Mission #cleanSrinivasapuram to cleanup Adyar estuary area and promote segregation in various communities in Chennai have all been progressing greatly. We have contributed directly and indirectly to the source segregation efforts at various higher income apartments and colonies in Chennai too by doing talks, presentations, innovative campaigns and connecting them with all the resources required. And our has evolved quietly to become a one stop shop for every community’s segregation needs.
But Srinivasapuram and Nochi are our two pet communities where we have been engaging persistently. Here follows a quick summary of our work at Srini and Nochi.
Mission #CleanSrinivasapuram – The Adyar estuary:
The cleanup at the beautiful Srinivasapuram community surrounded by the beach, Adyar river and backwaters of Adyar Poonga has been going on relentlessly ever since it was started one year back in January 2017 and will achieve the mission sooner or later with the multi pronged approach (If not anything, definitely the sea creatures that will breath and live easy, will thank us, wont they?).


The work for the mission is not limited to cleanups though thats the primary focus – we are actually doing three categories of work there if you look closer:
1. Cleaning up the different heavily polluted stretches along the banks week after week
2. Talking, sensitising and appealing by our cleanup act to the people dumping in every stretch to ensure it remains clean, along with initiating our own private door collection of solid waste throughout the area. Segregation launched at a few 100 homes to start with, with some success. This has definitely reduced the dumping of waste into back waters. But there is a long way to go.
3. Working continually with the govt to improve conservancy operations there – in particular placement of more bins (lack of which is the primary problem) and bringing Amphibian machines(accessible only via waters) to clear up the garbage strewn stretches so that it remains clean all time.
Nochi nagar solid waste source segregation:
At Nochi nagar we had only covered 300 of the total 600 homes in 2016 and over time segregation by those 300 homes too had gone below satisfactory levels while we were busy with mission #CleanSrinivasapuram. We decided to take up the remaining homes at Nochi and also try a few interventions with all the learnings gained over the years and put a system in place to ensure near ideal segregation that goes on, on its own.
Photo bins and bags were distributed to most E block residents for Rs.50 each

We planned the following meticulously for the new 300 homes at Nochi and have been executing them with E block already covered, D block is the only pending block at Nochi.
1. Only when door collection of waste is 100% can segregation succeed. We put up PVC channels(one for each of the 5 blocks) to collect the very smelly raw sea food waste, that cannot be collected by any other means.
2. Introduction of cloth bags and banning plastic carry bags at the 20 odd Nochi shops which serve a big majority of the locals – as the bags often used to pack waste, get in the way of segregation and also enable easy littering through the window.
3. Portable CCTV camera based random monitoring from the terrace to stop littering
4. And lastly, removing the road side bins after covering the whole community of 600 homes – the only way the households dispose waste then would be at the door and only by segregating by the method.
Door collection above, done best by our volunteer Naveen well supported well by the team taking turns and going with him.

We also hope to take the learnings and outcomes from this model Nochi effort back to Srinivasapuram which is a much larger 5000 household community and succeed in segregation and cleanliness there too. In fact there are learnings to take to every community living along Chennai’s canals and rivers and unfortunately dump solid waste into them.
We did cleanups at Nochi too and for the first time the local youth joined in great numbers. They say they got inspired by our work to start their “NN trust for people” and are doing cleanups and wall paintings on their own to beautify their place.

There are a number of ongoing efforts for cleanup and segregation which can do much better with more involvement from you all. If you could even do a few hours volunteering, please register here below to join us. We shall keep you posted through an email group and/or a Whatsapp broadcast list.

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