Cleaning Up The Himalayas

One Mountain At A Time!

Our Journey:
It Started With A Dream!

A young British traveler, Jodie Underhill, visited India in 2008 and was mesmerized by the country’s beauty. However, she was heartbroken when she witnessed how severe India’s garbage problem was! She started a voluntary organization named ‘Mountain Cleaners’ and organized weekly cleanup from Triund, a remote but garbage-stricken mountain camp, a four-hour hike from McLeod Ganj.

Later in 2012, Jodie registered a non-profit, Waste Warriors, in Dehradun with a dream to clean up the entire country. Tashi Pareek & Minakshi Pandey were early leaders who joined Jodie to help Waste Warriors work in Dharamshala, Dehradun, and the outskirts of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

Avinash joined Waste Warriors as a volunteer in 2012, and eventually due to his commitment to the cause and the organisation, became the CEO in 2018. Avinash helped build various models and helped navigate the first wave of the covid pandemic. He was the CEO till December 2020.

Around the same time that Jodie started her journey with Waste Warriors, Vishal was traveling from Chennai to Varanasi on a 40-hour train journey. He was awestruck by the beautiful and changing landscape across the country but was deeply impacted by the continuous, never-ending trail of littered plastics on the railway tracks. 

After graduating from IIT (BHU) Varanasi with a dual degree in Materials Science and Technology, he rejected his lucrative campus placement offer to pursue his passion for solving India’s waste management crisis! Each of our 150+ Warriors has an inspiring story!

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful & committed Warriors can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Milestones In Our Journey

Origins: Mountain Cleaners

With her first hike to Triund in 2009, founder Jodie Underhill began a journey that will inspire thousands.

2009

Waste Warriors is Born!

November 2012: Waste Warriors is registered as a Society, with projects in Dehradun & Dharamshala.

2012

Corbett Chapter Launched

Waste Warriors Corbett chapter launched on Gandhi Jayanti, ready to clean the forests!

2013

Mahindra Donates Boleros

Mr. Anand Mahindra donates two Bolero pickups, helping our teams till this day!

2014

Schools 'Create to Inspire'

‘Create to Inspire’ Educational Program sponsored by Microsoft reaches 99 Dehradun schools, training 200 teachers and engaging 8000 students!

2015

Educating Thousands of Children

Mr. Gautam Thapar supports our Education Program, positively impacting the lives of nearly 10,000 children in Dehradun & Corbett.

2016

Dharamshala Project Gets A Lifeline

HDFC’s H.T. Parekh Foundation sponsors our Dharamsala Project, allowing much-needed efforts to continue in Bhagsu.

2017

Our first Outreach & Partnerships team

• Lal Family Foundation supports our outreach work in Dehradun, leading to a proud win of India Today’s Safaigiri Award for ‘Community Mobilisers’!

2018

Building Community-Focused Models

• Launched Uttarakhand’s 1st Material Recovery Facility for Plastic with UNDP & PCB. Developed Dehradun’s 1st Model Ward (Ward 21).

2019

Food Relief During COVID

• Helped 5000+ low-income workers with food relief kits in the COVID lockdown.

• Partnered with Tetra Pak India to boost Used Beverage Carton collection in Dehradun

2020

Scaling Up Operations

Scaling up our field operations from 3 to 7 locations across Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

2021

CM's Goalkeeper Award!

Awarded the SDG Goal Keeper Award for SDG 12 and Excellence in Waste Management by the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand.

2022

We Are Here For Transformational Change

Our Vision

An inclusive, participatory, and sustainable solution for waste management in the eco-sensitive Indian Himalayan Region.

Our Mission

Catalyzing systemic change for waste management solutions in the eco-sensitive Indian Himalayan Region.

Our Objectives

Access

Enabling better governance and access to waste management services.

Policy

Addressing policy gaps specific to the Indian Himalayan Region.

Livelihood

Promoting local entrepreneurship and dignified livelihoods.

Action

Activating communities to take environmental action and co-create solutions.

Our Theory of Change

Active participation of the local communities in designing, implementing, and monitoring systems is critical for the sustainability of any solution. We believe in strengthening existing community-based institutions wherever possible and creating new institutions if necessary.

Behaviour change campaigns can be successful only when reliable services can be ensured, which requires enhanced infrastructure for waste collection & processing.

When local governments are inspired, they can come up with ingenious & creative solutions. We believe that by building the capacities of local governments, we can enable effective convergence & utilization of available resources for the implementation of solid waste management systems.

Local entrepreneurship ensures the value generated from the systemic solution remains within the local communities. The local entrepreneurs are accountable to the community and need to develop a trust-based relationship with them.

We can overcome social stigma by providing a sense of identity and igniting agency among marginalized communities through the generation of dignified livelihoods.

Scaling the solution is more important than scaling the organization. We believe in developing open-source playbooks & partnerships with multiple stakeholders to scale solutions.

Become A Waste Warrior!

The Himalayas Need Your Support.​