(With inputs from Mridula Baidwan and Vasundhara Agrawal)
In our endeavour to manage the Aravali Biodiversity Park based on ecological principles and to ensure minimal contamination of the natural resources contained within, we are already involved in various practices. We source leaf compost from the communities and colonies in Gurgaon, which are then used to make organic compost that is totally free of pesticides. The water for irrigating the saplings is treated sewage water that is sent to saplings through a drip system, so there is minimal wastage and optimal utilization of water as a resource.
However, on account of visitors frequenting the Park on a regular basis, there is some waste bound to be generated within. It includes plastic bottles, glass pieces, polythene bags and other material that may be of non organic origin and nature. Though we have installed dustbins at various areas in the Park, it has not helped address the waste generation issue. Some people still continue to disregard using the dustbins like responsible citizens. To solve this problem, we constituted a waste management team two months ago. It is headed by core members Vasundhara Agrawal and Mridula Baidwan (Madhu).
We have also installed dustbins of a new design and durable make, called ‘goblins’, designed by Mukul Goyal with collaborative support from Swanzal, Iamgurgaon co-founder and creative head. It consists of a dustbin mounted on a small pillar that is buried in the earth. The face of the dustbin facing us curves down to a wedge shape towards the bottom so that all waste automatically moves to the bottom. There is a convenient hatch behind the dustbin that can be easily lifted up to access the waste and collect it. It is a simple yet ingenious design to facilitate easy removal of garbage.
To tell you more about how waste is managed and segregated within the Park, we had Vasundhara and Madhu write about it themselves.
‘The Aravalli Biodiversity Park in Gurgaon has approximately 450 acres of land belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon. The IAG team took the initiative five years back to restore a stone crushing and garbage dumping site on the Nathupur Hill Area to its original state as a native species city forest, where the Park now stands. MCG readily consented to IAG’s move of planting and maintaining native saplings at the Park. Approximately 65,000 trees, shrubs, bushes, herbs and climbers have been planted so far, with major funding and cooperation from a number of corporate enterprises. They have been helping us with cleanliness drives at the Park. Of course the in-house gardeners are regularly contributing to keep the park clean as well.
Garbage or waste management is essentially the responsibility of MCG but we had been facing major hurdles in the disposal of the same at the Park. We thus decided to undertake the challenge of segregation and disposal of waste generated as well as dumped there by visitors, on our own. To this end, three bins have been placed keeping in mind the feasibility of collection. The waste is segregated in to three components – 1) plastic and bottles 2) Paper 3) glass. This is done by our workers and placed accordingly in two marked bins.
We are collaborating with a firm named Extra Carbon for the disposal of the non-biodegradable constituents of the garbage. The garbage is collected on a weekly basis by Extra Carbon personnel and further segregated at their warehouse and delivered to manufacturers for recycling. In this manner, we are ensuring that the Park remains a zero waste zone. Hope the recycling effect will extend to all of Gurgaon and strengthen the Swacch Bharat Campaign.’
‘In continuation with our commitment to make the environment green & clean we have started our own process of waste management at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park. We have a dedicated team, part of our existing Forest Revival Force, which is engaged in collecting the waste from the park on a daily basis. While collecting the waste we have also started a simple process of segregating waste into 2 parts, one for plastic & the other for the balance dry waste .The majority of the waste at BDP falls in these 2 categories. We are already using all the leaf waste for making our own compost.
Once collected and segregated, the waste is put in 2 master bins from where it is taken out of the park on a weekly basis or when needed. This is done by a private agency called Extra Carbon, which specializes in waste disposal.
Much as we love all the walkers, joggers, dog lovers etc coming to the park, we certainly do not appreciate any kind of littering. We would be delighted if everyone coming to the park can join our campaign for keeping the Park waste free and helping us in our effort to turn this place into a beautiful native forest.
After all it is MY PARK & I AM A RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN.’
Cleanliness is next to godliness.Keep our Aravali forests clean.