Thursday, March 30

When the divine rises out of waste at Eco Park

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Upcycled articles made from waste items such as old newspapers, thermocol, bottles, tyres and clothes will be on display at Eco Park to encourage people to segregate household waste and dispose them off in a sensible manner.

The New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) feels judicious segregation of waste can be the first step in creativity and those who saw the stunning creations at the counter set up at the park’s gate number 4 on Thursday have returned convinced.

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, to “upcycle something is to treat an item that has already been used in such a way that you make something of greater quality or value than the original item”.

True to the dictionary definition, an 8-ft tall installation of Goddess Durga, colourful paper weights, fridge magnets and clothes have been upcycled using household wastes and are on display at the park’s counter. And if you wish to take some of them home, you are more than welcome. But then, some of the items come with a price tag.

To run the counter at the park, the NKDA has tied up with several NGOs that upcyle waste products. Even the NKDA is trying to recycle and upcycle waste items. Though the space at the park comes free, the counter will be allotted to NGOs and self-help groups on a rotational basis, said an NKDA officer.

According to the officer, the first step to such creativity starts with waste segregation. The authority has asked New Town residents, particularly those living in housing complexes, to separate dry waste such as ther- mocol, discarded clothes and broken glass from wet waste such as vegetable and fruit peels before handing them over to waste collection teams. To widen the scope of the campaign, the NKDA has placed several bins at New Town bus stops to collect dry waste and e-waste.

NKDA chairman-cum- managing director Debashis Sen said that several houses in the township were handing over old used items such as clothes, used computers, old television sets to waste collectors almost every day.

“We have decided that instead of dumping them we can add some value to them for reuse,” said Sen.

Two bins have also been placed outside the counter at the park to collect e-waste and old clothes. People can also drop electronic wastes such as used batteries and old clothes in the bins.

These items are then upcycled with an idea to reduce the amount of waste we put in the landfill, Sen added.

On Thursday, NKDA had invited three NGOs to display their upcycled products at the park. On the first day, Garia resident Sourav Mukherjee had come with his papier-mâché beauties. His 8-feet tall installation of Goddess Durga has been made using more than 15kg of newspaper.

“I want to make upcycling of waste popular and this is the perfect platform for people like us,” said Mukherjee, who is the director of Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage. Like him, Sujata Chatterjee was happy to find the city realising the need to throw less things in waste baskets..

Source: Telegraph India

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