Panaji, the capital of Goa, has now become a zero-landfill city. All types of waste generated in the city are segregated and recycled. It is beyond imagination of the people as most of the Indian cities are grappling with the waste management crisis of garbage. The key to the success of the capital city of Goa is the efficient recycling and sorting of waste. In addition to composting all wet waste, the city recycles solid waste into an impressive 28 categories, up from the original 16 categories introduced in 2021. These fractions include various types of paper, hard and soft plastics, textiles, electronic waste, tetra packs and non-recyclables. Even coconut shell and ceramics are separated.
Key to this waste revolution is the Panaji Waste Sorting Center which was set up in 2014. Here around 30 men and women, known as Safai Saathi, are hard at work. These cleaning assistants wear aprons and gloves on the job. A large covered shed, sheltered from the wind and the sun, is his workplace. The workers tease each other and entertain themselves as to who will be the star performer in the day’s sweepstakes.