Haridwar and Rishikesh, India

Aviral - Reducing Plastic Waste in Ganga

Aviral means "continuous" in Hindi. It is our commitment to curb the flow of plastic waste into the Ganga river.

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Haridwar, India: As part of the Aviral programme, plastic waste management advertisements are plastered around the city to raise awareness of waste segregation and collection, including on this e-rickshaw.

Haridwar, India: As part of the Aviral programme, plastic waste management advertisements are plastered around the city to raise awareness of waste segregation and collection, including on this e-rickshaw.

Overview

Aviral—which means "continuous" in Hindi—refers not only to the never-ending flow of the iconic Ganga river, but is also the name of our pilot project along its banks in Haridwar and Rishikesh. These cities have a combined population of 450,000 people and attract 50,000 tourists a day. These numbers swell to tens of millions during major Hindu festivals, drastically increasing the amount of waste produced.

Location

Haridwar and Rishikesh, India

Local Partner

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Piloting waste management solutions along the Ganga

The Aviral - Reducing Plastic Waste in the Ganga programme adopts a multi-pronged approach that spans infrastructural and educational needs to develop sustainable and scalable plastic waste management solutions. Through a thorough baseline assessment, the team identified much-needed data on waste quantity, categorisation, and flow for the two cities—working closely with local municipalities. These insights allowed the team to design a waste management system targeted at solving the cities specific issues. The team is now working on implementing and piloting these designs for each city, while planning the construction of a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) to enhance the existing efforts made by the Urban Local Bodies. 

In tandem with the infrastructure work, we are also conducting training workshops and awareness campaigns at the local level. Aiming to enlarge the impact of this capacity development activities, we are fostering the exchange of best practices and know-how across India through webinars and study trips engaging with municipality officials.

“What I find unique and motivating is that this project actually gives an opportunity to work with key stakeholders—like municipal corporations, citizens, schools, and others—to find and implement the sustainable and innovative solutions to address the challenge of plastic waste, and see tangible results.”

Kamna Swami, Project Lead, GIZ

Investing in a cleaner Ganga

To engage the citizens of Rishikesh and Haridwar, our local team runs education and awareness campaigns on plastic waste segregation at a household level, and motivates them to participate in cleanup activities. In 2021 alone, nearly 5 tons of waste has been collected during Aviral cleanups.

Where in-person meetings are not possible, we turned to social media platforms and online sessions to continue outreach with the community. We contributed to the Ganga Box in collaboration with the Namami Gange Programme to develop a learning resource for school children and teach them about waste segregation, collection, and recycling with fun activities.

We also ran school engagement activities with over 8 schools across 2 cities, including virtual modules on the different aspects on the waste management system. In the first 3 months of the programme, we reached at least 300 students—helping grow the next generation of sustainability champions.