Auroville's EcoService manages solid waste for the international township of Auroville. An EcoService team collects waste from households, communities, guest houses, restaurants and units, and another team processes it at a sorting shed in Kottakarai. Waste is then either sold to recycling dealers, or landfilled at the Auroville landfill.
- To collect all solid waste generated by the community, as well as along main roads and public areas
- To process all solid waste generated by the community, recycling as much of the waste as possible
- To ensure overall that the community's waste has as little impact as possible on the environment
Network and Outreach
- To lead by example in positive solid waste management practices within the bioregion
- To network by acting as an umbrella group, connecting all waste-management related activities
Awareness Creation and Education
- To generate awareness among Aurovilians about the importance of responsible waste disposal and to work with them to create proper waste disposal systems in households and communities
- To work towards a "zero waste" policy
- To work with schools to develop and promote curriculum on waste
Research and Development
- To become a center of research in waste
- To promote 'waste to energy'
- To promote the innovation of products made out of waste and help to develop this market
EcoService's primary goal is to minimize as much as possible the impact of Auroville's waste on the environment. It pursues this goal by recycling as much of the community's waste as it can, and landfilling as little as possible.
At present, EcoService collects waste from approximately 2/3 of the Auroville population, while 1/3 of Aurovilians choose other methods for disposing of their waste. But of the waste collected by EcoService, about 60% is recycled and 40% landfilled.
If you feel interested in details about our work and solid waste management in general check out the solid waste management page.
Initiated in 1992 by Stefano, EcoService is currently managed by four executives, one coordinator, one driver, two collectors, and six waste-sorters. The four executives are Auralice, Gillian, Jayamurthy, and Suryan.
EcoService is supported by the Solid Waste Management Task Force, a group of people committed to best solid waste management practices, as well as waste topics cutting across a variety of sectors, including education, livelihood projects, and organic waste composting. This group meets regularly to discuss ongoing projects and update the community about waste issues. It is also affiliated with Soma Waste Management, an organization striving for improved solid waste management practices in the Auroville bio region. Soma supports EcoService outreach work, which instructs Aurovilians on how to manage their waste at home in their community, works with Auroville's medical facilities to improve medical waste disposal, organizes Task Force meetings and activities, and carried out a community-wide Litter Free Auroville (LFA) campaign in 2010. For more information on the LFA see [LFA on facebook].
Aurovilians are asked to segregate their waste at source, to maintain clean, organized waste disposal systems, and overall to work towards as close to a zero waste policy as possible. For instructions on how to sort your waste properly please view the EcoService Recommendations, or contact the Auroville Outreach Team who will help you set up your home or community waste disposal system.
Costs for waste pick up are Rs 60/bag for unsegregated waste and Rs 30/bag for segregated waste. If you would like to sign up to use the EcoService, please call Gillian or Jayamurthy, listed in Contacts.
Although the EcoService provides a basic municipal service for the township, it is hardly supported by the city's budget. It functions on the money collected from user fees (most recyclables sales are reimbursed to Aurovilians). EcoService's main costs are wages and staff needs, diesel and vehicle maintenance charges, and landfill costs. EcoService executives are now looking into fundraising in order to raise money to support EcoService, in particular to expand on its existing infrastructure. EcoService needs an additional load carrier, too. If you have fundraising ideas, or would like to help, click here.