Domestic help play a role in effective waste management

A interactive session on waste management cum tea party for domestic help at Mayflower apartment, was part of the waste management campaign by residents.

A training-cum-tea party for house maids/helpers? And why not? The domestic help are a 100+ strong group working in the 220 apartments of Mayflower Block in Brigade Millennium at JP Nagar in south Bengaluru.

The efforts of garbage segregation/recycling of dry waste at Mayflower started close to a year ago (in November 2008) through the introduction of blue drums. While the onus of segregation is primarily on the households, all those working in the building, like the housekeeping staff and house maids/helpers, have been directly involved in contributing to the proper disposal of dry waste.

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A pilot run for wet waste management is already in progress. Before getting into the next stage of wet waste management, we felt the need to review the present campaign by reaching out to the domestic help get their feedback so that suitable corrective measures can be taken. We also wanted to reinforce the reasons for the efforts and the ultimate objectives of reducing, reusing and recycling.

With this aim and in keeping with the festive season, a two-hour training-cum- tea party was organised for the domestic help and the housekeeping staff on Sunday, 25th October 2009. Residents were requested to make necessary arrangements to relieve the maids of their duties during this time.

It was heartening to see 72 participants (71 women of all ages and 1 man) attend the session. With the aid of a 5-minute film, the participants were shown the effects of improper and poor waste disposal affecting the city of Bangalore, thereby reinforcing the need for ‘source segregation’.

Leela Nagarajan, a resident of JP Nagar 1st phase, and one who believes that “every small effort counts”, conducted the interactive session in Kannada and Telugu. The participants were free to express their views and the problems they faced over the past year.

While they all agreed that they are an important part of the waste disposal chain, they were quick to emphasise it is more critical for the residents of the apartment to consciously segregate the waste at home to make the programme fully effective.

Apart from waste disposal, other general topics – like use of plastic bags vs cloth, health and nutrition, cleanliness and self care, exercise and discipline, television and entertainment, and the like were also discussed. There were snacks and tea-coffee for everyone. The session ended with a lucky draw where six of the participants received surprise prizes.

The domestic help were very happy and grateful to the Mayflower Association and Leela Nagarajan for conducting the session. We hope they went home with better eco-awareness that is useful, not only at Mayflower but also in their personal lives.


  1. Minal says:

    Hi Arathi, Great job by you n your community!
    Can you pls share your contacts so I can speak to you about the details. I would like to replicate this idea in our apartment complex.

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