Rural & Urban Landscapes Free of Dry & Plastic Waste

Project Background

Centre for Environment Education (CEE) India in partnership and support from HDFC Bank envisages implementing a project on ‘Rural & Urban Landscapes Free of Dry & Plastic Waste’ in seven urban cities and two rural districts of India. This initiative is designed to partner in Urban (cities and towns) and Rural (village-panchayat-block-district) areas to Synergize the efforts with the Urban Local Bodies, State Pollution Control Board, Safai Mitras, the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Swachh Sarvekshan (an initiative of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) & other stakeholders, to minimize negative impacts and risks to environment and to the citizen’s health in India.

The project aims are to address Nature, Climate, and Pollution by enhancing sustainable Dry Waste Management practices, through an interdisciplinary (different stakeholders), integrated (different processes), multifaceted (business approach), and holistic model (segregation, collection, optimizing transportation, processing, and sustainable recovery and recycling) and safe disposal with a clear emphasis on the different elements of circular economy approach - reduce, reuse, refuse, recycle, refurbishing and repair, recover and recycle.

The ‘Rural and Urban Landscape free of Dry & Plastic Waste’ a unique initiative of HDFC BANK & CEE project, is an idea in sync with many path breaking initiatives of Government of India e.g., Waste to Wealth, Plastics Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Single-Use Plastic Elimination Notification, and many more New Rules and largely to see plastics as a resource and not a waste.

The project’s concept is to encourage all stakeholders in the waste value chain to promote processes and approaches for improving material usage efficiency across all forms of plastics waste segregation and to create a sustainable and safe environment. The project will introduce innovative management techniques such as establishing drop-off stations (Plastic Lao-Thaila/Mask Pao) in markets and cities, promoting reverse logistics and efficient vending methods, and pushing the development of deposit return systems.

During implementation, the project along with partners will bring forth consciousness in using plastics - the environmental, social, and economic benefits, and capture the extent of the accumulation of plastics and its worrying impacts on climate, environment, and health throughout its lifecycle. The project will also emphasize focus discussions and implementation strategies on mainstreaming inclusion of informal sector performers (Safai Mitras; small aggregators and informal recyclers); and amicably figuring out a sustainable path ahead with the plastics industry

Project Vision

  1. A world free of plastic pollution. To make this a reality, we need to spark a fundamental paradigm shift and reimagine the way we produce, consume and dispose plastics, and radically change the way we do our work and live our lives.
  2. Synergize the ideas from other countries, and from ongoing successful approaches/models in India on plastic waste management.
  3. Bringing ownership through community representatives to policy formulation, and all stakeholders along the supply chain to recognize the impact plastic waste has on health and the environment.
  4. To adopt and implement a systemic approach to plastic pollution to move the world towards zero plastic pollution.
  5. Mainstreaming Informal sector, integrating a focus on waste pickers (Safai Mitras), small aggregators, and informal recyclers inclusivity

Project Key Components

  1. Create Baselines in the City: The project will develop a baseline in the city to understand the dry and plastic management operations, management, stakeholders’ participation, and disposal systems in the city or in rural areas.
  2. Encourage, and Connect with Decentralized Waste Collection Centers (DWCCs): The project will connect to the Decentralized Waste Collection Centers (DWCCs) in the allocated wards in the city on pilot basis. The project is focused on systemic approaches on how to mainstream Small Aggregators, Waste Pickers, Informal Recyclers, women’s SHGs formation to link into the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), and Material Recycling Centre (MRC) management, and operations at the city level.
  3. Establish SWACHH Centers including MRFs & MRCs: Integrated Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and Material Recycling Centres (MRC) will be established under the project to showcase a sustainable Circular Economy Approach. This enables traceability and transparency system for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPRs) for the producers, importers, and owners.
  4. Inclusivity of Informal Sector: – Ensure and empower Safai Mitras (SM), Recyclers and Aggregators for inclusive growth and social security measures adopted for the exploited and stressed in the pilot areas.
  5. Creates Technology Applications: Fit in stakeholders along the waste value chain, and combine material flow efficiencies through digital app-based models for better traceability at all levels.

Project Stakeholders

Project Expected Outcomes (within the project duration):

  1. Establish MRFs and MRCs to strengthen the waste ecosystem approach in Rural & Urban areas
  2. Better managed 20,000 tons of dry and plastic waste across project locations in 3.5 years of the project.
  3. Improve socio-economic conditions of 3000+ Safai Mitras, building an economically, ecologically and financially sustainable circularity approach/model.
  4. Checked nearly 50,000 MTs of CO2 emissions during project duration
  5. Strengthen knowledge & capacities of waste management agencies, women SHGs and cooperatives, recyclers, aggregators, related institutions, and other stakeholders.
  6. Sensitize communities to adopt eco-friendly practices in the plastic ecosystem, taking ownership, responsibility to address Circular Economy systems.

Mainstreaming Sustainable Development Goals

This project contributes in mitigating climate change adversaries towards 14 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Sh. Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, Director- CEE, providing guidance to the project team regarding the efficient execution of the HDFC Bank-CEE project, during a team meeting held at the CEE Delhi office.

Sh. Prabhjot Sodhi, Sr. Director, Circular Economy, CEE addressing the officials of Samastipur Administration & SBM team, Samastipur during the orientation workshop

Sh. Yogendra Singh, DM, Samastipur with Sh. Hem Pande, Former Secretary, Govt. of India, & Sr. Advisor, CEE and Sh. Prabhjot Sodhi, Sr. Director, Circular Economy, CEE during the signing of the agreement at Samastipur

HDFC Officials; Mr. Ritesh Sinha, and Ms. Jahnavi visited the MRF & MCC operated by BMC in partnership with the HDFC Bank-CEE

MRF established in Bastar, Chhattisgarh under HDFC Bank-CEE, in partnership with Zila Panchayat Bastar, and Shrishti Waste Management Agency

Stakeholders’ consultation workshop with more than 50 officials on Baseline Development for Waste Management was organized in Jammu

HDFC Bank- CEE in partnership with Guwahati Municipal Corporation, Human Matrix organised a Capacity Building training on effective management of Dry & plastic waste in Guwahati and its impact on Swachh Sarvekshan’ 2023. Over 40 officials from six divisions of GMC, along with the officials from SBM, CEE, and Human Matrix attended it.

Safai Mitras conducting morning prayer before initiating the work in MRF, Bhubaneswar

Safai Mitras segregating waste on the Conveyor belt at MRF, Bastar, Chhattisgarh

Hon’ble Mayor, Samastipur, along with the officials of Samastipur Administration, Nagar Nigam Samastipur, Nav Jagriti (service provider), taking an over-view of the MRF during the HDFC Bank-CEE’s MRF inauguration in Samastipur

An orientation meeting has conducted with government officials to orient them about the HDFC Bank-CEE project, and also to seek their extended support for organizing multiple activities to sensitize communities

CEE and HDFC Bank officials during the meeting at the HDFC Bank office in Mumbai, Maharashtra

MRF established in Samastipur, Bihar under HDFC Bank-CEE, in partnership with District Administration Samastipur, Municipal Corporation Samastipur, and Nav Jagriti

The project conducted a exposure visited for the Hon’ble Mayor of Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), and RUDA wherein the officials visited to the Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) and Micro Composting Centres (MCC) run by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) at Bhubaneswar, Odisha

Swachhta Rally organised in partnership with Guwahati Municipal Corporation, and Human Matrix, to sensitize citizens about managing dry & plastic waste

To commemorate International Waste Pickers Day (March 1, 2023), HDFC Bank-CEE, in partnership with Zila Panchayat Bastar, Chhattisgarh, and Shrishti Waste Management (the service provider), provided a safety kit (reflective jackets, gloves, masks, and others) to the 15 SHG women

Save Tawi campaign organised at ‘Har ki Paudi’, Jammu, wherein 1150kgs of the plastic waste have been collected, and over 30000 people have been sensitised

In partnership with Zilla Panchayat Bastar, the HDFC Bank, Centre for Environment Education (CEE) project, distributed 30 E-Rickshaws and uniforms to each woman-led SHG group in 30 village panchayats of Bastar, Chhattisgarh

The District Administration, Bastar organized a ‘Stakeholders Consultation Meeting’ on the waste management system in Bastar wherein CEE provided an opportunity to introduce the HDFC Bank-CEE project

Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC), in partnership with HDFC Bank and CEE, laid the foundation stone for establishment of Swachh Material Recycling Centre in Jammu


Reverse Vending Machine inaugurated by Sh. Yogendra Singh, District Magistrate, Samastipur at Collectorate, Samastipur, Bihar, along with the officials from Samastipur Administration, Nagar Nigam Samastipur, Nav Jagriti and CEE

Village meeting conducted at Dhobadi village, Hinjlicut, Odisha wherein over 50 women were oriented about source segregation & managing plastic waste responsibly

During the Swachhta-Rally, the ward councilor of Ward no. 5 and 6 along with over 120 women with various awareness messages about no-littering, using alternatives to single-use plastic joined the rally to create the awareness

Under ‘My School- My Pride’ campaign, an awareness session for more than 250 students was organized for Girls Higher Sec. School, Jammu

A three day Badlaav campaign has been organized in Sanjay Market, Jagdalpur, and Tirathgarh, Bastar wherein more than 22,000 citizens were sensitized and nearly 32 % were women, and many showed interest in adopting low-consumption lifestyles, and less use of packaged food in their daily lives.

PLTP at Brahmapur inaugurated by the officials of Brahmapur Municipal Corporation (BeMC), and other officials from DRDA, HDFC Bank and CEE

Bhubaneshwar project team sensitizing the community regarding managing plastic waste responsibly

Village orientation meeting being conducted with village women. The objective of the meeting was to create awareness about source segregation, managing plastic waste responsibly, etc

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) being conducted in Ganjam

A clean-up drive was conducted at Tirathgarh waterfall in Bastar, in which more than 1100 volunteers including officials from Zila Panchayat Bastar, the team of Rajiv Gandhi Yuva Mitan, Nature Bodies, CEE, and volunteers from gram panchayats of Bastar, participated and collected 743 Kgs of Non-biodegradable waste in 2–3 hour, and disposal to responsible recyclers for a value of Rs 12,000 plus

The HDFC Bank- CEE project team distributed the trunks to the SHG women group to encourage savings

Woman dropping-off the segregated wet waste in the waste transportation vehicle

Citizens of Ganjam using the RVM installed at Brahmapur, Odisha

Medical check-up organised in Samastipur, wherein approx. 52 safai mitras and their family members were given medical consultation

An awareness session in school has been organized wherein over 50 students were made aware about managing plastic waste responsibly, no littering, etc.

People being sensitized through Door-to-Door awareness campaign in Samastipur, Bihar

Training of Safai Mitras at the MRF, Bhubaneshwar

Plantation drive at Baxipali Village, Odisha

Self-help groups (SHGs) in Sikiri (GP) took a pledge by hand-imprint to manage dry and plastic waste responsibly, practice source segregation, and refrain from littering in the village

Self-help groups (SHGs) in Sikiri (GP) took a pledge by hand-imprint to manage dry and plastic waste responsibly, practice source segregation, and refrain from littering in the village


Delhi Office
Prabhjot Sodhi - [email protected]
Rohit Maskara - [email protected]

Funding Organisation