Zero Waste at Schools
Clean up Nepal launched Zero Waste at Schools (ZWAS) as a pilot program in August 2017 to reduce the amount of waste produced and disposed by schools and provide the much needed awareness in waste management. The overall goal of the program is that people responsibly manage waste and engage in sustainable practices, students and teachers are willing and empowered to influence the behaviour of others. This goal was formulated to address the problem of solid waste management particularly in relation to schools. Currently, lack of waste segregation, waste burning, and littering are the most common practices seen around Kathmandu Valley. By empowering school students, as well as teaching and non-teaching staff, to manage the school’s environment and their immediate surroundings, the Zero Waste at Schools program fulfills the rights of students to study and live in a clean environment.
ZWAS has been implemented in several schools of Kathmandu valley through its five-week modules which include the following themes.
1. Introduction to waste management.
2. Impact of open-air waste burning.
3. Addressing waste dumping and littering.
4. Waste segregation and composting.
5. 3R’s Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
The modules aim to help students and staff to understand and adopt sustainable approaches to waste management. While the students are trained on waste segregation, the schools will adopt a segregated waste collection model which will provide a hands-on practice for proper waste management. ZWAS will help schools get connected with waste service providers, to dispose the waste and to hand over recyclables for incentives. With the schools entering into the waste segregation model, haphazard dumping and waste burning practices will be replaced by proper waste management practices. Reiterating lifestyle practices that promote reuse, reduce and recycle at schools and households will ensure gradual reduction in the amount of waste generated and transported to the landfill.
Finally, the students are provided with activities which help them interact with parents and neighbours and have a constructive dialogue on waste management practices at the household level. On an ongoing basis, the students are to continually inspire and engage their parents in sustainable waste management practices, thus, allowing the program to reach the wider community and help them be more sustainable.