• Overview
  • Exnora Green Pammal's (EGP)

  • In 1994, Ms. Mangalam Balasubramanian and a group of women (all residents of Pammal Municipality) formed a mahalir mandram (women's association) to address the challenge of waste management in Pammal. At that time, Pammal's residents commonly deposited their trash on the streets. The municipality's garbage collection trucks cleared waste irregularly. Garbage would accumulate in roadside drains, so during heavy rain water stagnated on the roads, creating very unhygienic conditions.

  • The mandram started a civic Exnora movement, and began their work by hiring a few workers, buying a tricycle, and collecting waste from 264 houses in their neighborhood, Sri Sankara Nagar. This waste was deposited in open bins at intersections. Awareness-raising street plays were held to educate residents about pollution and the benefits of proper waste management. In July 1994, the mandram began collecting a user fee of Rs 10 per household, which was used to pay employees. Residents living near the waste bins soon objected to the accumulation of mixed waste, so the mandram was forced to innovate. They decided to segregate the waste and make vermicompost from the biodegradable material.

  • The successful production of compost inspired the Sankara Eye Hospital to allocate space in Sankara Dhyana Mandapam for vermicompost production. In 1995, the mandram registered itself as a self help group and obtained a loan, which was used to construct a vermicomposting shed. The impact of their work attracted the attention of many officials and impressed Pammal municipality's executive officer.

  • In 2004, representatives of PepsiCo visited the project and subsequently suggested that the mandram's activities be expanded to cover a larger area. With PepsiCo's sponsorship of Rs 32 lakhs, the work expanded to seven wards, employing 52 people. In 2005, using PepsiCo's support, a larger shed with 108, one-tonne vermicompost tanks was constructed on 1.1 acres provided by the municipality. To help cover the running costs, the user fee was increased to Rs 15 per household in more affluent areas.

  • The municipality then invited Ms. Balasubramanian to expand the service to cover all 21 wards in Pammal. The mandram formed an Exnora Innovators Club, which registered itself as an NGO named Exnora Green Pammal, and signed a contract with Pammal municipality. The municipality provided 70 tricycles, and PepsiCo provided 80 tricycles. The collection of a user fee from the households was discontinued, and instead the municipality paid Exnora Green Pammal 95 paise per house per day.

  • The contract stipulates that EGP will pay Rs 500 to the municipality for each tonne of compost that EGP produces from the municipality's waste, and Rs 100 per tonne of recyclable material recovered. This payment from EGP to the municipality ranges between Rs 35,000 and Rs 45,000 per month.

  • Following the December 2004 Tsunami, the PepsiCo Foundation sponsored the replication of Exnora Green Pammal's waste management practices in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Tenkasi. Thus began the process of replicating Exnora Green Pammal's work in other localities.

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