SN Tripathi Memorial Lectures (2011)…

'Combating Climate Change Through Waste'
Recycling- The Unsung, Unnoticed Heroes- The Kabadis...'

Ms Bharati Chaturvedi

Waste Recycling to fight Climate Change: the International Experimen


Chile has a population of 16 million. It has done a remarkable work in waste recycling. It has formed the small groups of all the waste pickers and gave them space to run a small business of recycling.The municipality has invested lot of money and efforts in waste management as it feels that waste recycling is a key to combat climate change.Kabadis are very important in this regard and their moving with waste in tricycle or a gunny bag is not an aesthetic choice. "Chile beinga developing country must develop more and more and hence it must find ways that are aesthetically, socially and environmentally acceptable" says the Mayor.They also discuss with the recyclers to find the most economic solutions to waste recycling especially in case of poor municipalities. This is the way Chile is translating its concerns into practice.


Columbia is also very active and effective in waste recycling. The recyclers take the waste in special rickshaws which has become an aspiration of recyclers. The new law in Columbia also supports recycling as a measure to fight climate change.


The country has decentralized system of waste recycling.Each ward has a self contained waste handling system so that the entire waste reaches one place from where it is compost. It is a mechanical process and is highly effective. The other alternative the country follows is through informal sector. They are given cards and space to do the job. That is how the country is quite progressive on managing its waste.


The country is highly vulnerable to the climate change. It has made conscious efforts to create green energy. It has Lychets from the landfills where all the condensation comes and mixes up with the waste to turn into a toxic soup at the bottom which normally pollutes the ground water. These lychets are very big problem. The government feels the vulnerability of the country hence is quite conscious to combat climate change. As per the government, the waste pickers do a great job by picking up the waste. Government has created proper facility for the waste pickers to wash , clean themselves before they go back to their homes so that they do not pass on any infection to their family members.


In 2009, the country came up with a law that no food waste will go to landfills. It sounded funny in the beginning but they succeeded finally through awareness creation and participation of the citizens. People felt that they have to be good citizens. They have a policy to allow the waste pickers to informally pick up the waste from the offices etc, bring them to the depots where it can be sold.