Parivarthana (Transformation) – from Trash to Treasure aims to create sustainable waste management models. This intervention creates socio-economic and environmental impacts. The unit runs with the help of the student volunteers and aims at sensitizing the students and faculties on a range of issues regarding waste management with a focus on reduce, reuse and recycle waste generated on the campus. Using “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” as a guiding motto of Parivarthana, Parivarthana aims to develop an understanding within the students and the community about the value of waste segregation. Propagating the idea of waste as a resource, Parivarthana utilizes dry wastes by converting them into beautiful and useful handmade, eco-friendly products. These products produced are marketed and proceeds go towards generating revenue benefits for the underprivileged women who work for Parivarthana. Parivarthana is all about Decentralized Waste Management Practices which primarily focuses on education and awareness to student community, recycling of waste paper and tetra pack, composting unit, bio-gas plant for energy generation from food waste, creation of livelihoods for the CIGs (22 women annually benefit), environmental education to community through awareness rallies and street plays, school eco-conservation programmes, formation of streetwise eco-clubs (about 250 slum children), and organizing exposure visits for various stakeholders.
Parivarthana Unit is the decentralized, waste-management unit in the campus of CHRIST (Deemed to be University) which dates back to the year, 2008. It creates both, a social as well as an ecological impact. It is an organized effort in ensuring the proper waste-management practices with the help of the women working in the unit and all the students of the campus. Its main objective is to ensure that Christ University is a zero-waste campus by recycling all the materials that it can. It consists of 5 verticals, which are described below:
On a daily basis, CHRIST (Deemed to be University) produces around 1000 to 1200 kilograms of waste. Waste segregation is one of the most important processes of waste management and thus, proper waste segregation is necessary for the functioning of the unit. Different types of waste are recycled in different ways and thus waste-segregation is the first step of the bio-recycling process. Waste is collected from waste-disposal bins that are placed at different points on the campus by the staff working at the Parivarthana Unit. The waste is segregated into wet waste and dry waste, with the wet waste being further divided into cooked food and raw food. The cooked food goes into the bio-gas plants and the raw food goes into compost pits. The compost thus generated is used as manure. The dry waste is segregated into 17 different categories. Waste materials such as plastics, cans and tetra packs, are sent for further recycling to bigger recycling units which the campus is yet to incorporate, and the paper waste goes to the paper recycling unit situated within the campus.
Paper Recycling Unit
Answer sheets, question papers, excess newspapers and much more, a large variety of paper waste is produced on our campus. The paper recycling unit on campus personifies ‘best out of waste’ by creating beautiful products from old paper. All the paper waste of the university goes into the Paper Recycling Unit, where the waste undergoes further recycling and is converted into various products. First, the waste is torn into small pieces and mixed with waste cotton, from the cotton industry, cotton and water. They are taken in a ratio and then processed for almost 2 hours in the hydro-pulper machine. The pulp is then evenly spread on the wireframe of the Univet machine, which is placed on top of cotton cloth. When a bunch of 40-50 papers mixed with the cloth is accumulated, they are placed in the pressing machines to ensure that the paper is of a thickness suitable for the various products that are to be made from this paper waste. The paper from the machines is smoothened, the edges and sizes are adjusted by the cutting machine, and the papers are then given colours by mixing acrylic colours with cornflour. The papers are then used to make various products such as envelopes, folders, diaries, and more. These products are sold on campus as well as outside campus, and the money collected from the sale of these products is directed towards the women working in the Parivarthana unit.
The wet waste on campus is treated and utilized after converting it into compost manure. The food and vegetable waste, such as cauliflowers, pineapples, orange peels etc, that is accumulated on campus is first chopped into small pieces to make the process of decomposition easier. Dry leaves and kitchen waste are then spread in alternate layers. A spoon of bio-inoculum is mixed with a bucket of water and sprinkled on this mixture daily to initiate the chemical process of decomposition. The contents of the compost are mixed three times a week and the water is drained periodically. Proper decomposition also requires that the mixture is regularly aerated. Once three-quarters of the tank is filled, the mixture is covered with leaves and water is added if the moisture levels are low. The lid is then closed. Once the process is complete, the contents of the tank become a homogenous mixture which is then transferred to gunny bags. The compost had now been converted to manure which is sold to external buyers and added to the plants on campus.
Water Treatment Plant
In a university campus consisting of around 20,000 people, waste water constitutes an enormous part of the waste generated on campus. At a time where water scarcity is at its paramount, water treatment becomes the need of the hour. All the waste water on campus is treated and reused at the Parivarthana unit. This enables the university to become a truly zero waste campus and greatly reduces water wastage. The water treatment plant at Parivarthana uses an elaborate process to ensure that the water is safe for use. This process begins with the contaminated water from the entire campus being accumulated in the bar screen chamber, where large particles such as plastics and stones are separated. The water then flows up to 2 tanks. In the first tank, this water is treated with potable water. In the second tank, the water undergoes a process of aeration. This water then passes down to the settling tank where the impurities settle at the bottom. Once this is completed, the water goes to the Sand filter tank for filtration. The next step of the water treatment process involves the water going through the Dual Media filter tank which consists of anthracite coal filters to enable the process. The final filtration process happens when this water passes through the UV filter tank, where the UV rays are used to kill any more impurities that are present. The process of water treatment is now complete, and the clean water is passed to the collecting tank, from where it goes to the storage tank. Every day, around 3 to 4 lakh litres of clean water is produced in this process which is then used for the gardening of the Dharmaram Ground. Thus, the Parivarthana water treatment plant effectively uses modern technology to ensure the safe recycling of all the waste water generated on campus.
On a daily basis, approximately 500 kilograms of food waste is collected on campus. They are then placed into the Bio Gas plant, which has a sewage collector, consisting of an upper and lower chamber. The collector is a floating dome structure, where the domes have a floating gas holder. The food waste flows from the lower chamber to the 2 domes which can hold about 150 kilograms of waste, and from the upper chamber to another dome, which can hold about 300 kg. The bio gas is formed through anaerobic respiration that takes place inside the domes and is collected in the gas holder. This bio gas then flows through the pipes to the kitchens in the Dharmaram campus, where it is used for everyday cooking. The bio gas plant, on a daily basis, produces around 25 kilograms of LPG.
SHG at Parivarthana
Parivarthana unit is a perfect example of the “unity that binds together” because of all the people working there. The most recent one, in 2019, includes the formation of a Self-Help Group within the Parivarthana Women Common Interest Group (CIG). The main purpose of the SHG is to orient women towards holistic empowerment and financial stability.