Volunteering with Waste Warriors' Mountain Cleaning Project

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Volunteering with Waste Warriors' Mountain Cleaning Project

Postby WanderingFakeer » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:18 pm

Hello everyone, apologies for posting after such a long time. I was volunteering with Waste Warriors in Dharamshala and here is a short report on their project.

When we imagine the mountains, fresh air, chirping birds, and clouds are what comes in our mind. Sadly, the reality has changed over the time and the mountains have become a home of heaps of plastic bottles. Thanks to the rapid tourism, the fragile ecosystem has become worse over the time. The tourists are not the only ones to be blamed. The locals are equally guilty for ignoring the problem and not trying to find a solution when it started. And here we are, some of the must-visit places in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have turned into the plastic capital of the Himalayas.

When I first volunteered with the Dharamshala branch of Waste Warriors, I saw a change coming. The change was slow and at a very small pace but still, it was something that will create a positive impact towards the life in the mountains for good. We installed dustbins in different corners of Triund, Bhagsu waterfall and around the town to provide the tourists with the convenience of throwing their empty water bottles and packet of lays but things didn’t change.

To be continued
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Last edited by WanderingFakeer on Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Volunteering with Waste Warriors' Mountain Cleaning Proj

Postby WanderingFakeer » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:21 pm

In the last three years, the condition of the trail became worse. The amount of plastic waste has become so high that every Monday when we go for the cleanup, we find the garbage bins overflowing. Despite regular educational drives, door to door garbage collection modules and multiple attempts to sensitize the local shopkeepers our efforts failed in making things better. We expected a decrease in the waste over the time but it has only increased. The shops that used to give us a bag of garbage per week, now empty two to three bags in the same amount of time. The tourists don’t understand, the locals don’t stop them, everyone is equally guilty.

Despite the hurdles, Waste Warriors make sure that they don’t miss a single cleanup drive and go to clean the trail as per their schedule. Different volunteers join on different days; no one is sure about the number of people who will be coming for a drive and they are prepared to clean the trail in any case.
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Re: Volunteering with Waste Warriors' Mountain Cleaning Proj

Postby WanderingFakeer » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:21 pm

One of the biggest hurdles of the cleanup drive is the monsoon. When it rains, it sends the garbage on the lower slopes where climbing is dangerous and risky. The volunteers have to climb down these slopes and remove the waste. A small goofup and you can fall down hundreds of feet in the valley. I almost twisted my ankle after I fell down from a rocky slope.
When the cleanup is done, the volunteers have to bring these bags back to the collection centre which is also their head office. Post this the process of garbage segregation begins. Garbage segregation is important because each type of waste is sent to a specific recycling plant. The plastic bottles are sent to a different destination, the packets and tetra packs are sent somewhere else.
The last time we started this process, it took us 7 hours to fill individual sacks with the respective category of the waste. We segregated around 2000 kgs of waste in a single day. It may sound like a huge achievement but it is not. We missed Triund cleanup hike on the next Monday because of the rains and the fear of collecting double waste on the next Monday took over everyone.

You can read more on my blog - https://dailypassengerr.com/2017/10/31/ ... ecledganj/ and Instagram www.instagram.cm/untamed_bachelor
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Re: Volunteering with Waste Warriors' Mountain Cleaning Proj

Postby getpackingvinod » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:18 pm

wandering fakeer - you guys are doing a great job out there, and thank you for taking the time and efforts to clean up what we call our 'home'
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Re: Volunteering with Waste Warriors' Mountain Cleaning Proj

Postby yadavpreetrai » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:39 pm

Great Job Wandering Fakeer. Please keep updating this type of initiatives, so we can also participate
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