Waste Warriors was recently invited to the Central Academy for State Forest Service (CASFOS) at the Forest Research Institute (FRI) in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, on 3rd June 2023 to discuss the impact of unmanaged waste on the environment.
The trainee Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) officers are undergoing a two-year residential program at FRI, where they are learning about various topics through sessions by in-house and guest lecturers. Vishal was invited to give a guest lecture on waste management.
There, we had a wonderful opportunity to engage with the ACF trainees, aiming to stimulate their thinking on establishing / improving holistic solid waste management systems at their deputed jurisdictions. These are State Forest Services (SFS) officers who will eventually be responsible for managing a forest sub-division, commanding multiple Forest Ranges and will be promoted to Indian Forest Services (IFS) officers in a few years. The session began with the presence of Mrs. Minakshi Joshi, the Principal of CASFOS, and 104 young trainee officers.
To encourage active participation, we addressed the “Why”, “How”, and “What” of solid waste management. The trainees showed great interest in learning about the causes and consequences of improper waste disposal, which was illustrated using facts and visual aids. This sparked a lively discussion among the participants about the production, distribution, and prohibition of single-use plastics.
To help understand the circularity of waste economics better, we showcased some display items like eco-bricks, pen stands made from recycled Used Beverage Cartons (UBCs) and compost packets. The participants responded by asking more questions! They were also interested in knowing where a waste management NGO such as ours get funds from, and we were happy to answer them.
In order to provide a deeper understanding, we extended an invitation to the attendees to visit our Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Harrawala, Dehradun, where they could observe our waste processing methods firsthand. We also offered them opportunities for hands-on learning at our various project sites and encouraged them to incorporate Eco-Daan (environmental giving) into their daily lives. The session concluded with a War Cry from the entire cohort.