Converting urban waste into resource

Trash to Treasure is a CHF International’s initiative to strengthen waste industry by regular collection, sorting and recycling processes. Efforts are also made to give recognition to waste pickers’ role in keeping the city clean.


In India, waste collection is an unorganised sector that suffers from enforcement of waste management laws. In order to address the concerns, the Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) International introduced a decentralised model of waste management to improve facilities and support livelihoods. The initiative, named Trash to Treasure, is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Caterpillar to revamp the waste management and recycling industry in Bengaluru.

The project has two implementation models. One is a traditional approach where waste is collected directly from 2000 households in Rajendranagar and Ambedkarnagar area, and taking it to a facility centre to sort them for recycling purposes. These centres are known as Parivarthana meaning ‘change’.

Second model includes collection of waste from BBMP employees in Kasa Rasa centre. The centre is managed by Saahas, CHF’s partner specialised in waste and recycling management. Saahas supervises the centre’s staff, manages the operations and manufacturing of compost heap in organic waste convertor machines and finally sell it to recycling entrepreneurs. In all three areas, BBMP has provided the space to construct centres for waste sorting and recycling services.

This case study was published in September 2011.

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