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This is a recap of what has been happening
at the WW Corbett Project
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THE CORBETT PROJECT - AN INTRODUCTION

Waste Warriors Corbett was started with the aim of providing a waste management service to the 100 villages around the Corbett Tiger Reserve. We began this massive task in October 2013, and can gladly say that 2014 was a very important and successful year for us.

In a little more than a year, we have managed to include 14 villages in our area of work and collect waste on a weekly or bi-weekly basis from 490 homes, 215 shops, 12 schools & 7 hotels. This is just the beginning and we still have a long way to go but are confident of success.

MEET THE BOSS


Minakshi Pandey, the founder and Program Manager of the Corbett project, has lived on the edge of Corbett Tiger Reserve for the last 15 years. Having managed an award winning jungle camp there, she is a nature enthusiast, who has witnessed the massive tourism boom and the consequent waste problems in all the villages around the Corbett Landscape.

In October 2013, after visisting the Dehradun and Dharamsala projects she decided to do something about it and launched the Waste Warriors Corbett chapter. 

OUR SUPER SPONSORS
CLUB MAHINDRA

 
We sent our Corbett funding proposal to Mr. Anand Mahindra and in September 2014, we received an email that Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL) would be our official sponsors.

Started in 1996, MHRIL launched its flagship brand 'Club Mahindra Holidays', which has 40 beautiful resorts at exotic locations in India and abroad. 

We are very happy and extremely grateful for their support and as a result of their financial assistance, the Corbett project has grown in leaps and bounds. Owing to this support, we are in a position to expand this project and impact more lives by reaching out to more villages.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

We emphasize on the importance of reaching out to as many children as we can. Not only do kids learn a lot about waste, they also act as our first point of contact in household waste collection. 

The kids are super quick at understanding everything about waste segregation. So, it is always fun to meet them and conduct educational programs which include the waste segregation game, crafts from waste exercises and banner making activities. 

CLUB MAHINDRA FUNDS

Thanks to the funds from Mahindra we've been able to purchase essential equipment in Corbett and are about to buy a new truck too. We now have t-shirts and litter grabbers for the entire Waste Warriors team plus we have enough shirts for volunteers and interns too. Many thanks Club Mahindra!

 

TRAINING PROGRAMS

Since our aim is to reach out to 100 villages around Corbett Tiger Reserve, the best way to reach out everywhere is to invest time and effort in capacity building exercises.

So, we started training local villagers and business in the basics of waste management. We did not expect this to be an easy task, however, people are catching up.


Currently, staff in some of the hotels we work with are well equipped in the rules of segregation and always keep track of weighing the amount of food waste.

We also trained the registered drivers & guides of Corbett Tiger Reserve on the basics of waste management.

THE FOREST DEPARTMENT

We have been very pleased with the support we have received from the Uttarakhand Forest Department and are sure that our collaboration will yield excellent results. This association started with the sustainable waste management training we gave their registered guides and drivers.

In addition to this, we also managed waste at the Uttarakhand Bird Fair, which was organized by the Forest Department. Thanks to their help, we have now expanded our waste collection service to Chunakhan, Pawalgarh, Sitabani and Choti Haldwani, the locations we worked in during the bird fair.

 
We have been given waste storage space in the Kalhudungi Forestry Department compound. Recently, we also initiated waste management service for the Ramnagar Forest Division Office in Ramnagar, which is a small 20-room office with 50 employees. 

GENERATING EMPLOYMENT

At the villages around Corbett Tiger Reserve, there are very few employment opportunities. This means, a lot of young people migrate away from their homes in search of jobs. 

We are happy that we are generating jobs for these people and currently employ 26 members of staff which include waste workers, field assistants, supervisors and project assistants. 

We have also started forming self help groups for women so that they can complement their meagre income. 

IsCOOL AT BHAKRAKOT

At the Waste Warriors Corbett HQ, in Bhakrakot village, we have evening classes for children of the village happening everyday.

Apart from waste related education, we also work with them in general capacity building, english speaking, maths, crafts and reading. 

The kids are a lot of fun an they enjoy all the teachers that they get - right from volunteers, interns to regular WW staff. 

OTHER SUPPORTERS

 
Prior to receiving funds from Club Mahindra, we relied on donations from friends, family and well wishers and we will always be grateful to them. A list of donors is available on our website. Special thanks goes to TOFT Tigers and Terra Incognito Ecotours for their support.

People have helped in a number of other ways too by giving us office space and helping us to set up new projects and expand our operations. We have also had great volunteers that came and pitched in time and energy to help the project grow. We would not have been able to reach the stage we are at without their help. Thanks a million guys, you know who you are!

WASTE COLLECTION SERVICE

One of the first activities we embarked upon was providing waste collection services to the villages around Corbett Tiger Reserve. Most of these villages do not just have households, they also have shops, schools, home-stays and hotels.

We started our household waste collection by approaching the children of the village, who promptly collect waste in the bags we provided them and bring it to us on collection days. Currently, we provide door-to-door waste collections services for all homes & hotels of the villages, once every two months. 

We have expanded this service to 11 villages so far, with the biggest village being Dhikuli.  

SEGREGATION AT SOURCE

While waste collection is important, we also want to ensure that we can recycle as much as we can. We provide specially printed re-usable drawstring bags donated by Tesna Tech to each household.

We implement waste segregation at source using these categories - DRY (recyclable), WET (organic) & REJECT (non-recyclable). It is then collected by our staff and loaded onto our truck which was kindly donated by Mahindra.

All the waste we collect is further sorted, stored, recycled, composted, processed or disposed of responsibly. Only non-recyclable waste is sent to the trenching ground. 

DECENTRALISED COMPOSTING

Most of the waste generated in India is kitchen waste. Though most households in the villages have animals to feed food waste to, the hotels were just throwing away all their organic waste. So, we started creating decentralised composting units with the help of the farming community. Simultaneously in a few of these farms, we are also introduced organic farming methods through self help groups and the department of agriculture.

We have created 55 composting enclosures so far in the 14 villages we provide a service to.

OUR MAHINDRA TRUCK

 
Thanks to support from Anand Mahindra himself, Mahindra and Mahindra kindly donated a brand new Bolero truck to the Corbett Project. The Dehradun Project received one too! 

The truck thankfully handles the mountainous road up to our HQ and is constantly in use collecting waste from resorts, hotels and villages, transporting food waste to our composting areas, picking up bags after our clean-up sessions, taking equipment to our educational events and training sessions and taking recyclable waste to the scrap dealer.

Thank you so much Mr. Mahindra, it's great to have your support. 

THE DUSTBIN PROJECT

 

During the course of our initial work around the Corbett landscape, we found that every school we worked with had no system of waste disposal within the school or classrooms.

Children were simply meant to drop their litter right where they sat so if you entered any classroom or staff room during school hours, each resembled bomb sites, with little scraps of paper all over the floor. 

How do you tell children not to litter, when they have nowhere to throw their waste?


So, we started the dustbin project for schools and provide them with simple metal can dustbins. This has proved to be very successful since the schools no longer resemble a post Diwali street! We have donated 42 dustbins in schools to date. 

THE UTTARAKHAND SPRING BIRD FAIR

 
Waste Warriors was responsible for the waste management at the 2nd Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival 2015, organised by the Uttarakhand Department of Forests in the Pawalgarh Conservation Reserve from 4th to 8th February 2015. The Festival took place at five locations namely Chunakhan, Kyari, Pawalgarh, Sitabani and Choti Haldwani.
 
We had teams at all five locations of the festival and started with pre-festival clean-ups. Waste collection bags and dustbins were placed at the exhibition, fair, museum, guest rooms and homestays. A total of 3000 people visited the Chunakhan exhibition over the five days many of whom visited our  stall including Dr. Sonal Mansingh.
 
Many local schools as well as schools from Nainital, Mussoorie and Dehradun participated in the bird watching and helped to clean the trails. Special thanks to Club Mahindra and the Forestry Dept for sponsoring the event waste management.

SCHOOL WATER FILTERS 

Since health and sanitation is very much within the purview of waste work, we realized that children from the local schools end up drinking water that is not boiled or purified. 

This could lead to severe infection and cause health hazards, so we decided to tackle this issue as well.

We started donating & maintaining water filters for various schools. We also ensure that these filters are cleaned on a monthly basis. We launched this scheme with the support of
Marc Hildreth, Nair Lakes and Madhushre Nanda.

We have 7 schools in our panel so far & have provided water filters for 4 of them. 

OUR HOTELS AND RESORTS

We provide a waste collection service to hotels and resorts in exchange for a donation. Staff are trained to ensure they understand the system and that waste is collected and stored separately. We are extremely grateful to the above for understanding the importance of waste management and signing up to our service. It is through them that our decentralized composting also began. We continue to add new places and these can be viewed on the Community Partners page on our website. 

TRANSFORMATION PROJECTS

We organise and manage transformation projects in the villages around Corbett Tiger Reserve. Owing to the lack of any waste management system in all these villages, a lot of trash is scattered around the beautiful landscape. We clean up the garbage and paint and beautify buildings that need a little Waste Warriors magic!

These projects give us a chance to interact with villagers, shop owners & hoteliers and introduce them to the importance of civic pride.

VOLUNTEER WITH US!


Although we currently employ 26 members of staff, we are always on the lookout for volunteers,not just to help with the field work but also for office work, documentation, strategising and planning. We welcome volunteers or interns who can join us. More information is available on our website.

If you wish to work on a particular aspect such as women self help groups, educational programs or training, you can mention this to us via email. 

Drop a line at corbett@wastewarriors.org if you are interested. 
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