If you are heading to Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru tonight for the eighth match of IPL season 11, you will witness how an international platform like the Indian Premier League can be leveraged to kindle sustainable waste management consciousness among masses. In between those loud cheers and deafening music, there will be volunteers in "green" ensuring housekeeping and zero waste concept in the stadium.
More than 40,000 cricket enthusiasts swarm Chinnaswamy stadium during every cricket match. After every match, 3-4 tonnes of mixed waste is generated, which can’t be recycled and hence, find its way to the landfill. In order to curb this, a novel initiative by the name “green protocol” is all set to be implemented in today’s match. With this implementation, the waste will not only be reduced but also routed for recycling, leaving nothing for landfill.
The zero waste concept or Green Protocol aims to resuscitate one of the 5Rs of Zero Waste (refuse; reduce; reuse; recycle; rot)—reduction of solid waste management hierarchy. Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) in association with Hasiru Dala Innovations—a non-profit engaged with marginalised waste workers in Bengaluru—are all set to host the first “green match” in the city. According to Mr N S Ramakanth, expert member of the committee that is spearheading this initiative says, “Today, the first IPL match will be played in Chinnaswamy stadium. A well-trained team of volunteers will ensure zero littering and proper waste management”.
Separate bins will be kept for dry and wet waste. With effective propagation among the crowd, they will make certain that the waste reaches its earmarked bin. Volunteers will be seen interacting with the crowd, advising them to carry out source segregation and making them understand the importance of effective waste management. Posters all around the stands promulgating the idea of source segregation and its benefits will facilitate the propagation.
Non-biodegradable plastics will not be permitted inside the stadium premises. The food vendors have been asked to use areca leaf plates and corn starch plates as opposed to disposable plastic cups and plates. The left-over food will be properly stored and distributed to destitute the following day.
“We are working closely with the event management company and the Royal Challenger’s Bangalore team. We will make sure that if not all, a substantial amount of waste is prevented from going to the landfill. The remaining organic wet waste will be routed to the biogas or composting plant while the dry waste will be circulated back in the recycling chain,” says Mr. Shekhar Prabhakar, managing director and founder, Hasiru Dala Innovations.
“Nothing generated will be categorised as waste,” adds Ramakanth. Even the flex banners, brandished in the match will be collected later on and utilised to provide rooftops to slums or for preparation of carry bags and grow bags.
All the upcoming IPL matches in Bengaluru will follow this zero waste concept.
Green Protocol has been appreciated for curbing waste on several occasions. First practised at an international workshop on zero waste in Kovalam in 2000, it has since been replicated and implemented in institutions like Thiruvananthapuram assembly, religious festivals like Attukkal Pongala, and sporting events like last year’s India-New Zealand T-20 cricket match in Thiruvananthapuram, and National Games.
Such an initiative is essential for city like Bengaluru which is facing serious garbage disposal problems. Once hailed as garden city, Bengaluru generates a gargantuan 4,500 TPD of waste of which 2,000 TPD is treated, processed or recycled and rest finds its way to the landfills. In the absence of proper infrastructural facilities and open dumping practices in the city it is difficult to curb growing waste-related issues.
Not only is the waste posing serious problems to the structures constructed on these old dumps but also the groundwater quality is deteriorating due to improper leachate management. Adding to its woes are the factors like increasing population and the growing necessities of the Information Technology sector.
Talking about the future of such initiatives in Bengaluru, Ramakanth says, “I will make sure that Green Protocol is implemented in all the major events of Bengaluru. I have already implemented this successfully in the last two marathons that were held in the city. This year’s Marathon, which will be held on May 27, 2018, shall also adopt green protocols.”