Mathura, August 03, 2022: PepsiCo’s philanthropic arm, the PepsiCo Foundation as part of its recently launched Initiative around solid waste management – Purna, organised a clean-up drive at an open dump yard close to the busiest Vrindavan Railway Station. The drive was supported by Mathura Vrindavan Nagar Nigam (MVNN), and saw participation of volunteers including city residents, college students, members of market associations and religious institutions. The cleanliness drive witnessed participation from close to 100 volunteers uniting the community to take collective action to make their city clean, green and a live model of efficient solid waste management.
The clean-up drive was an effort to kick off one of the most ambitious projects in solid waste management in Mathura Vrindavan, to bring awareness on responsible waste disposal behaviour and the ecological threats of littering in the city. Through this initiative, PepsiCo Foundation is committed to make Mathura-Vrindavan one of the cleanest holy cities of India by developing a circular, equitable and inclusive model of plastic waste management along with transforming its waste workforce into waste professionals.
While kicking off this clean up drive, Anunaya Jha, IAS Municipal Commissioner, Mathura – Vrindavan said, “We congratulate Purna team for this wonderful initiative among their other initiatives that has paved a way for awareness on safe waste disposal techniques and the importance of waste segregation. The city witnesses a heavy tourist inflow in the months of August – September putting significant strain on existing city waste management resources. In such times, it is important we as citizens are willing to step up and assume responsibility to keep our city clean. This cleanliness drive is aiming to do just that, waking people up to their responsibility, getting into the shoes of our waste workers and valuing the contributions they make in our cities on everyday basis.”
Speaking about the campaign, Juhi Gupta, Head Sustainability, PepsiCo India said, “At PepsiCo, we have been consistently working towards building a world where plastic never becomes waste. As part of Purna, our endeavour is to help Mathura-Vrindavan achieve circularity of plastic, empowering our waste workers to become professionals, and addressing the issues of gender inequality and economic disparity prevalent among the communities. Our partnership with Mathura- Vrindavan Municipal Corporation and Recity Network Private Limited for this project involves creating 100 dignified waste professionals that can turn the city around by forming an equitable circular waste management system in Mathura by the end of 2022. The clean-up drive is our way of bringing together the community and move towards the change we are driving.”
On this occasion, Vivek Dave, Project Lead, Purna, said, “Initiative Purna is committed to bring together different players of the waste ecosystem of the city and achieving a vision of circular, equitable and inclusive model of plastic and solid waste management in the twin cities. Today, we are greatly humbled by the support we have been provided by the city administration, PepsiCo foundation and the people in this cleanliness drive. We are excited to take this journey ahead in months to come wherein various on-ground events, stakeholder outreach meetings and forums will be organised, and massive IEC will be carried to drive the mass awareness.”
The clean-up drive witnessed participation from over 100 people including volunteers from Heritage Public School and Sandipani Muni School in Vrindavana. Wet waste collected during the drive has been sent to composting plants and dry waste has been provided to recyclers for further processing. The initiative will further the objectives of the Government’s flagship programs for Clean Ganga (NamamiGange) and the Clean India Mission (Swachh Bharat Mission). These efforts will be channelled to build economic resilience of waste workers, ensure effective waste management, and collectively make a significant difference in the city.
The project will be implemented in phases in Mathura Vrindavan and aims to professionalize 100 waste workers, diverting 500 metric tons of city waste from 4,000 property units comprising 20,000 citizens. Capacity building waste workers will then use technology to monitor waste management and unlock the value of waste by aligning the supply chain towards segregated collection, lower leakage, and recycling different kinds of waste.