Waste Management

South Asian Forum for Environment, SAFE

Waste Management ventures


South Asian Forum for Environment, SAFE is a regional not-for-profit civil society organization working at science society interface towards sustainable environment development and poverty alleviation through community based interventions. As an equal opportunity organization, it envisages global reciprocal partnership and local participation to achieve the sustainable development goals in the milieu of climate change in developing south.

The drastic impact of climate change and the degrading environment is a global concern at the moment with inappropriate waste management playing a significant role in dramatically increasing global emissions. As a contributor to global climate change, waste ranks third behind energy and transportation. To address and counter this growing issue, SAFE has undertaken a series of climate initiatives to advance appropriate waste management.






This is a climate smart innovative solution to the city's solid waste problem undertaken by SAFE with the support of Match International Women’s Fund, Canada and other important waste contributors. This ongoing program utilizes the municipal solid waste of the city to create alternative livelihood for city’s women waste workers who are ostracized as the citizens of dirt and are victims of social abuse. Thiseco-friendly modelhelps significantly reduce emissions from landfills by training women waste pickers to recycle waste from city’s bins into beautiful micro utility handicrafts, thus creating an alternative livelihood opportunity for them.

Notably, this venture recycles nearly 2000 Kg of paper, plastics and 3500 Kg of wet waste every week reducing 8500 MT of carbon emission annually, as certified by the UNFCCC panel who acknowledged SAFE for this endeavour with the UNFCCC Momentum for Change, Lighthouse Activity Award.

This undertaking also conducts sensitization programs on health and waste management among the citizensand the underprivileged and promotes sale of eco-friendly utility products like Biofertilizers and Paper Mache products.


UNEP 10YFP – SCRIPT (Sustainable Consumption and Recycling Interventions for Paper and Textiles)

SAFE accepted the UNEP 10YFP Award for Reducing Urban Climate Footprints, an extension of Resolve: Trash 2 Cash initiative. Paper and textiles in urban life has indubitable utility and demand and as well has substantial emission with unsustainable consumption footprints which can be reduced by Sustainable usage and recycling interventions, acting as an impactful adaptive measure in defending climate change, which is what SCRIPT offers to accomplish in both India and Bangladesh.




Citizens for Action : TEAM UP TO CLEAN UP

This project has been a joint endeavor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation with SAFE, for defining an end-to-end management of waste in Saltake, Kolkata in 2016.As part of this endeavor, SAFE undertook micro-sensitization (door to door campaign) and personal responsiveness on waste management through survey, assessment, demonstration on at-source segregation and interactive workshops with citizens and the municipal waste collectors following which a complete impact assessment report and consolidated documentation was shared with the municipal corporation for building up a smart waste management system.

Waste to Education (WE) Campaign for a ‘ZERO WASTE STUDIO’

This innovative project attempts to recover resources from waste generated by schools in Kolkata through recycling into compost and paper handicrafts, which can be used as organic manure and micro utility products. The campaign was launched on Earth day 2017 and will be carried out under the flagship program of SAFE, titled, Resolvetrash2Cash”, community led waste management initiative in collaboration with Green for Life Foundation and partnership support from Earth Day Network & Birla Industrial & Technological Museum. The resource generated from recovered waste and recycled products under ‘WE’ will support the education of the underprivileged children of rag pickers community.

ASWAMEDH (Alternatives for Sustainable Waste Management for Environment, Development & Hygiene)

The project will be implemented with the support of PWC India Foundation &Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation as an extension of the Team Up to Clean Up project. The purpose behind this venture is to identify the unstructured waste workers through continued surveys and develop an integrated management plan for solid waste recycling along with organizing advanced level skill development training for community women, waste scavengers and unemployed youth in the art of recycling. This climate adaptive intervention will not only work to reduce landfill emissions but will also focus on conducting awareness for action oriented community education, proper waste disposal by developing network partnership with local schools, offices, stakeholders, etc. within Saltlake, SectorV and Nabadiganta area of Kolkata.


Action Research on Agricultural Waste Management

SAFE has initiated an action research on agricultural waste management under the APN ARCP Global Change Research; this action research is undergoing simultaneously in Philippines, Bhutan and as well in Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar. The research experiments to develop a decision support system for agricultural waste management to show that crop waste keeping and using can be a smarter intervention than straight burning it, the most common practice by the marginal farmers for yielding biomass energy or just as a method of disposal, wherein the ash is thrown in the farmlands which deteriorates the soil function, fertility also creating massive emissions.

The purpose of the research is to study the impacts of ‘residue-keeping versus residue burning’ on soil characteristics and agriculture in the perspective of climate change and therefore focus on post-harvest agricultural waste management practices that are not climate friendly. This ongoing action based research has yielded many significant outcome still date. For instance, the bagasse in sugar cultivation is generally removed and burnt to meet energy needs by farmers creating huge emissions. Therefore, under the above initiative, farmers in Purulia were successfully sensitized and benefits of alternative management practices through empirical evidences were shared with them by SAFE thus resulting in a better management of the agricultural waste.