We read about individual-centric sustainable initiatives for us to emulate in our own lives and do our bit for the environment—eco-friendly ideas at the micro level that set the ball rolling towards the conservation of resources by their judicious use.
However, to truly bring a change, macro initiatives at the government level are the need of the hour.
Case in point—the 75-acre work-in-progress Biodiversity Park in Noida (Sector-91) which is in the news thanks to the sustainable initiatives of the Noida authority whose decision to use discarded wood, instead of plastic and metal to decorate it, is a welcome move.
Around 4000 kg of “waste” wood has already been upcycled to manufacture vertical gardens, benches and decorative items.
The Better India spoke to Rajeev Tyagi, the General Manager of Noida Authority about this amazing idea.
“I had spotted packaging material and waste tyres lying inside waste sites,” he told us, adding, “and decided to utilise instead of leaving them be. Noida being an industrial city receives a lot of wooden pallets which come in form of cargo packaging, which is later discarded and dumped. So we decided to use this waste for beautification.”
Usually, the cargo packaging that multi-national companies like Samsung, LG, Holland Tractors among others use, are dumped in the trash. As is routine, the government garbage collectors segregate the discarded wooden packaging from the other unusable items. This salvaged wood then either ends up with small business houses to be re-used and sold or burnt.
The Noida authority’s project will not only help reclaim these big chunks of wood at the source but will generate employment for local artisans and in the long run, reduce air pollution too.
“We have started the segregation and processing of wood at our yard to remove nails and other metal objects from the wood,” Tyagi said and further said that the metal pieces were then sent for recycling while the wood is sent for further processing.
The authority especially wants to ensure that the local artisans benefit from this project. Speaking to the Times of India, Tyagi explained, “Instead of using machine-cut wood, which is readily available in the market in required sizes and shapes, we have used recycled wood. The large logs and sheets of wood taken from industries were carved out by more than 10 local artisans.”
From decorative wells to trees to pots with flowering plants, the Park is a good example of how scrapped material can be utilised.
Tyagi, however, wants to take the project further to make it more environment-friendly. He said that the plastic pots—used as base for many vertical gardens initiated by the government—will be replaced with wooden pots made with this reclaimed wood.
“The initiative is our attempt to save the environment and also encourage waste management among citizens. The vertical gardens which have been put up around the city have plastic holders, but we will soon replace them with recycled wood,” he told TOI.
Government authorities should be the front-runners in encouraging people to inculcate eco-friendly ways of life. And Noida authorities are doing so by example by reducing, recycling and reusing waste products to beautify the Biodiversity Park.
All the wood that MNCs use for their packaging and transportation can very well be reused. Wood is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways as the Noida authority has already shown.
And while we still support local businesses that segregate and sell scrapped wood, we also believe that governmental and large scale efforts like this will be helpful in reducing the amount of wood that is burnt or goes into landfills.
(Edited by Saiqua Sultan)