The journey of tissue paper from your home to…


"These bags are full of tissue papers," says this ITC employee who picks up the load from various destinations and brings it to the DWCC.

“These bags are full of tissue papers,” says this ITC employee who picks up the load from various destinations and brings it to one of the dry waste collection centres in Yelahanka.

Did you know the tissue papers that you threw into your dustbin can travel miles and get processed and recycled all over again?

Before you get to know the final avatar it assumes, let me make it clear that I am referring to only segregated, unsoiled tissue paper which is not contaminated beyond remedy.

During our regular rounds in Yelahanka led by the senior member of Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) N S Ramakanth, we visited a few wards to inspect the work initiated by SWMRT in collaboration with ITC (as part of its corporate social responsibility) and BBMP.

Interestingly, there were quite a few positive takeaways especially on the dry waste collection front. The best was recycling of tissue papers picked up from various commercial establishments and apartments who sell segregated waste to dry waste collection centres (DWCCs).

At the Ward 2 DWCC entrance, a truckload of segregated tissue papers packed in black plastic bags hit me hard. I thought it was the usual mixed waste tied up neatly and destined for illegal dumping. On closer inspection, it turned out to be bags packed with relatively cleaner white tissue papers brought here for storing.

When we stepped in, it didn’t take long to analyse the status of dry waste collection in Yelahanka. And yes, it has only gotten better since last October when this mammoth exercise got a boost with Ramakanth intensifying his efforts by many a notch (more later).

Senior activist N S Ramakanth of Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) at the Yelahanka dry waste collection centre, Ward 2.

Senior activist N S Ramakanth of Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) at the Yelahanka dry waste collection centre, Ward 2.

Good things happen sometimes, especially so when Ramakanth gets his hands dirty by deploying his formidable organising and management skills to good use. He guided the team to collect the tissue papers separately and send them for scientific processing. “UB City alone generates tonnes of tissue papers in a year and all of it is sent for processing,” he says.

Bales of recyclable tissue papers pressed and packed tight were stored in a corner—all ready to be picked up by ITC. This load gets processed scientifically and used in cigarette manufacturing by ITC.

By writing this, by no means do I say that these tissue papers get used up for a great cause. What is admirable here is the efforts that save many trees from being felled. Please note that it takes high-quality wood and intense processing to manufacture tissue papers.

And, it also takes a Ramakanth, an army of pourakarmikas, workers at DWCCs and people like YOU who believe in segregation to make it happen.

Let’s segregate and save the City.

6 thoughts on “The journey of tissue paper from your home to…

    • I did know that it gets recycled but most often, we don’t come to know about the final destination. I was also paranoid about how clean these tissues are to be sent for recycling. Since they get disinfected and processed, I thought of writing about it.
      Thanks for chiming in, Dr S.
      Good day. 🙂

      Like

  1. Just as we have good awareness levels about manual scavenging, garbage generators in cities must get repeated visuals of the people who have to deal with the garbage, sorting it, handling it and processing it.
    i want the msg “You are responsible for the waste you generate” to get across to them.

    Like

  2. A well written piece as usual. Practically speaking, how do we segregate the tissues? Particularly the decent ones and the soiled ones? Do you advocate primary or secondary ? I think the existing dry waste collectors do not collect tissues separately – so what do we do?

    Liked by 1 person

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