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A `green sanctuary' at Miranda House

By Bindu Shajan Perappadan

NEW DELHI, JULY 31 . The Capital is all set to take its first major "green step'' forward with its zero waste campus initiative. And while the city can already boast of a zero waste colony at Sarita Vihar, the new step to "catch them young'' will begin with Delhi University's Miranda House.

The college with a strength of 2,000 students and a teaching staff of 120 will lead the way for "green revolution'' in the University.

The project is aimed at creating a "green sanctuary'' which offers maximum waste recycling, minimum waste production and ensures that products are reused, repaired and recycled back into nature or marketplace.

"The project, which will be launched before August 15, will help communities and various groups achieve a local economy that operates efficiently, sustains good jobs and provides measures of self-sufficiency. The results of such programmes have shown increased profits resulting from significant cost savings, improved environmental performance and stronger local economies,'' says the co-ordinator of Toxics Link, Sanjay K. Gupta.

A beginning will be made with garbage segregation on the college premises and green and white dustbins will be kept at strategic locations. This will be followed by digging of three pits for composting. "For effective collection and disposal of waste from the campus, the college has 10 gardeners, 15 sweepers and has planted collection bins at nine different spots. As of now, the college has been spending Rs. 20,000 per year for disposal of waste. A solid waste management programme will also be implemented inside the campus. Also, we have set up a committee of like-minded students and teachers volunteers,'' explains Mr. Gupta.

And while at the policy level the group is demanding that there be segregation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable products sourced from the canteen, kitchen, and hostel and staff quarters, it has also demanded that there be a ban on plastic products like polyethylene bags, glasses, cups, spoons and plates on the campus area.

"The benefits of the programme are obvious. And while the economic profits are well pronounced, there will be saving of natural resources, cleaner ambience and better air quality,'' explains Toxics Link co-ordinator, Tanya Sengupta.

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