Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Our apartment complex is in the process of rolling out a new recycling initiative, and for the most part, we enjoy the new system. The committee started by issuing everyone two trash bins, one green and one red, for the price of 200 INR. The green bin is to be used for "wet" waste, and the red for everything else.

Next they scheduled a training course for all the domestic help. I wish that they had also scheduled one for the residents, because I'm constantly asking my maid what's going on, but I'm probably one of the few that picks up my own trash. Most people have a morning and evening shift maid to do all the cleaning. We just employ one, in the mornings, and her main focus is sweeping and mopping the floors, because I hate mopping.

Some of the rules are a little annoying, such as soda bottles should be rinsed and dried before going in the red bin. The rinsing is not a problem, but do you know how long it takes to dry a 20oz soda bottle? It's not like you can stick a towel down it.

Also, I'm hearing from Lakshmi that many of the maids are annoyed with the milk and oil packages, as they are required to cut them open, rinse them out, dry them, and only then can they throw them away.

My only other complaint is the lack of communication, which may be because we don't know many people here, we speak a different language, or all of the above. We received a paper detailing what trash goes where, and it also listed the time frames of the twice daily pickup, with a note that on major holidays, only the morning pickup would occur. Well, I was prepared for that, but I was not prepared for the pickup to occur an hour earlier than usual. So on Diwali I had to scramble while a worker waited patiently outside.

The initiative also will dispose of newspapers, but Lakshmi told me you can recycle these separately and receive cash for them, much like aluminum cans in the US. She was nice enough to call them, and they come right up to our door and do the weighing on-site, so you get your cash right away! We made a whole 120 INR, which was almost enough to pay for half of our new trash bins!

Lakshmi (maid, in yellow), Sivithri (cook, in red), and the newspaper lady.

Lakshmi weighing the newspaper. (Ok, and posing just a little)


Stacey Bourne said...

This is great idea. Recycling helps to protect the environment because it could save animals and can also prevent disasters like flood, etc.

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