Waste is NOT waste.

The Vyalikaval Community work in March 2017 has taken a different turn. We are working in partnership with Keta Kant who is working on a thesis project on community and waste management.


The H shaped strip:


Our Objective:

The intention of our project is to help the community realise the importance of waste and its management, and finally making “reusing waste” into a practice. Through this we want to spread awareness about cleanliness and hygiene.

How we are doing this:

We meet everyday from 4 to 7 pm.We clean the place everyday in the beginning of the sessions.  Then we start segregating the wet waste and dry waste collected from the community itself. We collaborate/teach the community children to collect, wash, dry, and make craft with the waste materials. We have been making planter products through these collected waste materials such as bottles/plastic covers, chips wrappers, tin cans, and natural materials like sticks and coconut shells and fiber. We finally put plastic bins in the intervention area for people to segregate their wet waste from their dry waste and dispose in the bins directly. We play some games with children and explained to the older children about what we want to do in the community.

After the H strip was cleaned on the first day:


Collected, cleaned and dried waste material:


Children working with the material:

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One sample planter sowed with Ragi.



What is working/what is not?

Currently what seems to be working is that community people and children are  showing interest in the project. Over the past week and a half we have been able to make some sample planters. We have also put bins in the walkway between the buildings in the H shaped area.

Children showing us how to directly place the waste into the bin:


What is so far not working is that the small children are extremely excited and want to participate and we do not know as yet how to manage their noise and the fact that we feel they are disturbing the session. We also realise that we have not fully communicated with people in the community about what we are doing and how we are doing this project. We have also been going slowly as we don’t have all materials in one place. We need proper materials like big bottles/big bins/cutting tools to be able to complete what all we plan. We have also not started composting yet and need to plan this further.

What are the next steps?

  • Make better sample planters to show the rest of the community people.
  • Interview the community with questions we have come up with to understand their needs of the space.
  • How do we make our products durable and long term? This is a question we are going to be addressing by experimenting more with the materials and designing final products.
  • After interviews are conducted and the products are completed, we design the space. We look at the space through our artistic director’s eye, and see how and where to install our products.
  • We are also looking at making it into a garden system. What kind of plants are we putting?
  • We have to figure out water supply/ cowdung(gobra) supply/ maintaining the garden/semi automatic system/irrigation)
  • At a later stage we also want to experiment with new planting methods with the help of community children and learn about aquaponics and wiking beds.

Blog post by Yelu.S. Vijaykumar and Santosh with the help of Keta and Arzu.

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