Dhruvika writes on sustainable practices in various sectors for BuzzOnEarth. Get in touch with her at dhruvika@buzzonearth.com. Sometimes she reads her emails too.

Kerala, the southern state of India is experiencing the worst flood of the century in the region. The unusually heavy rainfall in the monsoon has resulted in the death of more than 300 people and left many homeless and devastated.

The help came flooding in from around the world. Tonnes of relief packages wrapped in plastic and packed in carton boxes are being sent to the flood-hit areas as quickly as possible. But that leads to another problem. The amount of trash of packaging material is huge and can cause more trouble and pollution.

To avoid this, Roshan V K, a Bengaluru-based techie from Kerala devised a plan called “Recycle Kerala”. The program is to simply take the dry waste littered or discarded around the relief camps and put it back on the truck it came from while they’re returning from the flood-hit areas.

There are huge amounts of wrappers, plastic bags, bottles, aluminium foils, papers that are generally discarded irresponsibly when there’s a big crisis at hand. “Recycle Kerala” aims to help Kerala keeping the beautiful state and clean and unpolluted.

The waste is taken to recycling plants in the outskirts of Kerala or the ones in Jigani and Yelahanka.

“The idea struck after watching a video of the Malayattoor-Kodanad bridge in Ernakulam district when the authorities tried dumping the plastic waste and debris back into the river, despite nature actually giving them an opportunity to clear the mess,” said Roshan.

“Tonnes of relief material, mainly plastic bottles and bags, are littering at the relief camps with no measures taken to clear it. I started a Facebook page and created a WhatsApp group with volunteers in different districts of Kerala and informed them to send the waste from the relief material back in the same trucks…I spoke to the truck drivers and some dry waste recyclers in Bengaluru and they are ready to co-ordinate till the recycling plant” he added.




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