Su-Dhara is a sentinel project on urban waste management under the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India’s Waste to Wealth mission.

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What is Su-Dhara?

Su-Dhara is a sentinel project on urban waste management under the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India’s new Waste to Wealth mission. The project follows a multi-disciplinary model to address urban waste wherein science and technology applications will tackle and treat waste onsite and social science approaches will enable long term behaviour change in the community. The key objective of Su-Dhara is to develop and demonstrate an integrated scientific model that rids the 52-Cusec and Gokulpur drains of urban waste and can be scaled up across other urban geographies around India. The project began with the installation of DESMI’s Enviro-enhancer waste collection unit at the 52-Cusec drain in June 2019.

Project Components
The project aims to develop and demonstrate models to rid urban drains of municipal solid waste through scientific interventions that can scaled up across urban geographies around India. Project partners DESMI, an international major with considerable expertise in cleaning water bodies, are leading the on-site waste retrieval and waste collection through technological approaches such as the Enviro Enhancer, an automated waste collection unit. This has been installed at the 52 Cusec Drain in East Delhi and removes on an average 300 Kg of floating waste every day. Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) are leading the waste treatment and environmental impact assessment and will set up a plasma pyrolysis plant that will further treat the waste collected by the DESMI unit. They will also develop monitoring frameworks for different air and water quality parameters and establish a testing lab on site.
The project incorporates social science approaches to enable long-term behaviour change in urban communities along with addressing different waste streams and establishing value chains for sustainable waste management. Vertiver Private Limited, a sustainability focused social enterprise is leading the engagement and behaviour change aspects of the project and is working closely with the communities to raise awareness and build capacity to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in the area. To understand the behaviour of the community towards waste, the project is conducting a comprehensive assessment of people's willingness to segregate household waste, knowledge and understanding of streams of waste, willingness to participate in household and community composting, etc. This will also help ascertain the issues and needs of the community, leading to the design and development of responsive interventions. An important aspect of the project is developing participatory approaches to co-develop solutions with the community and this has resulted in the project name “Su-Dhara” being conceptualized and co-created by community members.
The project is setting the stage for an innovative partnership-led model for integrated urban waste management. Multi-sectoral partners will play a critical role in co-creating knowledge and supporting the scale up of interventions designed under the project, ranging from waste collection and treatment to community engagement and behaviour change. Su-Dhara will work with several public and private sector stakeholders to help tackle the enormous issue of urban waste while co-creating a solutions model that can be replicated across India. The project will develop partnerships across the themes of waste segregation, waste treatment, modern waste collection infrastructure, awareness and outreach, capacity building, tech-based waste to wealth value chains and monitoring & impact assessments.
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Project Partners
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Download Resources
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Su-Dhara Samvad Newsletter- December 2019
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Su-Dhara Flyer 2019
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Su-Dhara Samvad Newsletter- November 2019
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Su-Dhara Concept Note