The US Consulate General, Mumbai, organised a joint US-India conference in 2017, announcing a grant competition for waste management innovation in India. The focus of the competition was to assess the current status of waste management in India—under any one of the different waste management topics presented—and explore innovative solutions that could be tested and adopted in the country, sharing global best practices and experiences in the process. WISE was awarded the seed grant for the project, which was evaluated and monitored on behalf of the US Consulate General, Mumbai, by The Ohio State University.
WISE worked on developing a participatory, e-waste management implementation strategy for Pune city with the objective of capturing 60% of the e-waste generated in the next two years. To this end, WISE undertook extensive stakeholder consultations with players at every level of the waste ecosystem, right from rag pickers to government functionaries, and assessed key technical and operational challenges, as well as institutional and administrative gaps. The findings and insights from the exercise were then contextualized with global best circular economy models in the waste management space taking into consideration the health and environmental impacts of possible circular economy strategies.
WISE proposed an innovative circular economy-oriented business model for Pune city for e-waste management. It detailed a comprehensive action plan (short-term and long-term) to implement the recommended model, create base-level awareness, build the capacity of concerned stakeholders and strengthen institutional mechanisms for e-waste management in Pune city in the coming years.
The Action Plan was disseminated through a variety of channels including WISE and OSU websites, stakeholder websites, email blasts, and social media. Additionally, focus group meetings were held to ensure the feasibility of plan implementation. The final report of the WISE project has met with wide acceptability among city officials and key stakeholders across the value chain. In particular, the WISE team briefed the Joint Municipal Commissioner, Solid Waste Management, PMC, Dnyaneshwar Molak, and other key stakeholders, and received an enthusiastic response. The recommended Strategic Action Plan is expected to pave the way for more informed decisions by policy-makers and e-waste chain participants, leading to development of a circular economy in Pune.