ROKA from Adyar on where 9.9 metric tonnes of worn-out clothes and 1.8 metric tonnes of unusable footwear, mattresses and pillows have gone
Often times those working tirelessly behind the scenes, sadly just stay there. Occasionally, their work is acknowledged in small print. This is an attempt to remove the veil and spotlight those who keep the recycling wheel spinning, silently and with quiet efficiency.
Last month, a drive by ROKA to collect clothes that have outlived their use and other discards, yielded 9.9 metric tonnes of worn-out clothes and 1.8 metric tonnes of totally unusable footwear, mattresses and pillows.
G. Prakash, Commissioner, Greater Chennai Corporation during the old-clothes collection drive conducted by ROKA last month at Chennai Primary School in Kamaraj Avenue, Adyar.
In the hands of the residents at Little Drops, a home for the destitute old, these worn-out clothes are finding new usefulness.
There are many names behind this faceless work.
Shenbagam patti is one of them. Along with her friends, she is repurposing the torn clothes, turning them into diapers for bed-ridden residents. Pillows, mats and cushions would also be made out of these clothes.
The Little Drops has a Trash & Treasure shop at Porur, not too far from its home, where clothes that are not re-purposed and can be used with zero-to-minimal improvements, are put up for sale for the benefit of the less fortunate, at a nominal cost.
Residents of Little Drops. Photo: Special Arrangement
ROKA had made a visit to the organisation two weeks before the drive to understand how best the collected clothes would be reused.
So, we could tell the 460-odd people from across the length and breadth of Chennai — from Puruswakkam to Valasaravakkam, Porur to Perungudi, Madippakkamto Medavakkam and so on — who donated these clothes, that their contribution would effect a change at many levels, besides preventing a mammoth load of trash from reaching the landfill.
Now, the question on their lips could be: What happened to the nearly two metric tonnes of unusables — the footwear, mattresses and pillows?
They were safely loaded and transported to the facility run by Greater Chennai Corporation’s empanelled aggregator Wastewinn Foundation, for recycling.
Imagine two metric tonnes of footwear, mattresses and pillows not landing up at the landfill — isn’t that an exciting thought to mull over?
ROKA has a word of appreciation for GCC officials for their unstinted support to the Association’s waste-management initiatives.
Janani Venkitesh is the secretary of Residents of Kasturba Nagar Association