Known for its beaches, nightlife, and historic sites, Goa is an absolute tourist magnet. With tourism as its primary industry, Goa is India’s richest state with a per capita GDP that is two and a half times more than that of the country’s, according to Wikipedia. As a result of all this, the total waste generated in Goa on a daily basis is somewhere around 400 tonnes, according to a report by Detritus Solutions.
With such a huge problem to deal with, the Manohar Parrikar-led government has promised to make Goa garbage-free by 2020, according to The Times of India. At this juncture, Clinton Vaz becomes an important person, impossible to ignore. He is a young civil engineer who has founded vRecycle, a firm that provides waste management solutions for households.
“When I moved from the city [Margao] to the village, I realised that waste disposal was a big problem here. I thought if I can manage my own waste, I can help other people do the same. I devised my own system. That was 10-15 years back,”
he told the Youth Ki Awaaz.
Fifteen years ago, he started an online group called Green Goa, which even today is the go-to place for any kind of sustainable initiative in Goa. At present, his firm manages the waste of over 10,000 households in the southern part of Goa. The 20 employees working at vRecycle collect household waste, which is segregated into dry (inorganic) and wet (organic) daily. Most of it gets recycled but 1 percent of it is left over after the entire process, as it is non-disposable.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has proposed three more solid waste treatment plants at Cacora, Bainguinim, and the Verna industrial estate, when the municipality has no idea about what to do with the 1 percent waste that vRecycle have been storing in their warehouse. According to Clinton, the plant in Saligao has the capacity to handle half of Goa’s waste. Yet, a lot of North Goa’s garbage problems are still not solved. So, paying heed to what people working at the grassroots level have to say will be an ideal place for the government to start at to achieve the aim of a garbage-free Goa by 2020.