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Waste Collectors' Cooperative, Pune

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SWaCH Cooperative of Waste pickers for door to door collection of waste

The Pune Municipal Corporation has established a unique co-operative of waste pickers and other urban poor for providing doorstep garbage collection services across the city. The proposal was approved by the Standing Committee as well as the General Body. This is the first such instance in India.

The SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling) Cooperative of wastepickers is a professional service delivery organisation within the broad framework of developing business models that are inclusive of the poor.It has been conceived as a professionally managed social enterprise of the poor in the area of waste management that includes collection, resource recovery, scrap trading and waste processing. It is an autonomous entity but functions under the aegis of the PMC and is financially supported by PMC for a period of five years during which it is expected to explore revenue sources and become a revenue earning model. SWaCH formally came into existence in August 2007.

The Governing Body of SWaCH comprises 14 waste pickers/ collectors, 2 representatives of the PMC and one representative of Kagad Kach Patra Kastakari Panchayat [कागद काच पत्रा कष्टकरी पंचायत] (a trade union of rag pickers). The SWaCH Management is headed by a Chief Executive Officer, supported by a team of staff for Operations, Administration and Finance, Marketing, Customer care and Relations, Management Information Systems and Data Management. Provision has also been made for technical consultants in areas such as citizens’ education, management information systems, composting and bio-methanation etc.

SWaCH has integrated about 1450 waste pickers to provide door to door collection services to about 200000 households (as of July 2008).

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