The four major railway stations, including New Delhi, generates 80 tonnes of solid waste, mostly used water bottles, per month. The Northern Railway has provided a site for waste segregation to the NGO, where 135 waste-pickers help recycle about 30 per cent of the total waste.
“Two machines — one for cutting bottles from the cap area and another for crushing —have started operating at the New Delhi station. Every day, we are now handling nearly 6,000 bottles taken off 20 trains coming to the station. They then sent for recycling. Earlier, we used to take bottles to places where these machines were available,” said Nidhi Mishra of Chintan.
On the occasion of Earth Day, senior railway officials inspected these facilities and promised further help. Hundreds of passengers took pledge that they will not litter the station premises and will always crush water bottles after use.
“Of the total waste generated, 40% is wet waste. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation takes this bit to its landfill at Okhla. The rest is dry and comprises paper, aluminum and plastic. This is sent for recycling,” said Mishra. The railways allowed Chintan to pick up waste and segregate it three years ago.