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COVID-19 waste management derailed in Bhubaneswar, India
For this project, NGO Jeevan Rekha Parishad (JRP) documented the COVID waste affecting the environment and general public vis-à-vis municipality wastes in Bhubaneswar, as well as basic facts about the Bhubaneswar Smart City pandemic situation and the sources of plastic wastes, including PPEs, gloves, masks, etc. JRP also carried out an online survey about household COVID waste management, conducted a webinar to share findings, and engaged with the Odisha Pollution Control Board, Bhubaneswar Municipality, and Office of Bhubaneswar Smart City by writing them letters with information about the findings of their assessment on COVID wastes in the city. At the conclusion of the project, recommendations from JRP included, amongst others, that waste pickers should be trained to separate and keep recyclable materials at the source before being discharged; COVID Health Warriors should cut/destroy used disposable PPE to avoid reuse, mainly in hospitals; and awareness-raising should be done by the municipality and civil society members to educate people about recycling, littering, and open burning.
This project relates to Sustainable Development Goals 3, 6, 8 and 12.
Special thanks to IPEN's South Asia Regional Coordinator Tripti Arora and South Asia Regional Hub Toxics Link, especially staff member Alka Dubey, for their important contributions to the development and finalization of the project.