The waste recycling campaign taken up by Universal Business School (UBS), Mumbai, would certainly make Greta Thunberg happy.
Wellbeing out of Waste (WOW), the B-school’s initiative to build a sustainable campus, involves a holistic solid waste management programme that students and staff strictly adhere to.
Keeping environmental impact in mind, UBS has adopted several measures to make its campus eco-friendly.
“As the first green B-School of India, UBS prioritises the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to the highest standards,” said Rahul Bhavsar, a PGDM student.
UBS Tarun Anand chairman said WOW is a UBS flagship initiative. “It focuses on providing an end-to-end sustainable and scalable solution. Our recycling plant became operational in January 2022. All students and faculty on campus (550 students and 30 faculty members) segregate the waste at source. The idea is to sow this thinking in the students’ DNA so that they can actively participate in wet waste segregation and take this as a lifelong practice,” he said.
To promote a circular economy, 100% of the campus’s food waste is used to make high-grade manure. Some of the manure is used for growing vegetables as well as other plants and trees on the campus. The institute also sells the rich compost and invests the money in other green initiatives. “Minimal to no utilisation of chemical fertilisers and use of wet waste for creating fertile soil for plantation inside and outside campus are the ultimate management initiatives,” Bhavsar added.
Wet waste from the campus is processed at the plant to create high-quality manure in 21 days. Universal Business School
From waste to black gold
Turning campus waste to manure is a four-step process:
- Students and staff segregate waste into colour-coded bins in both thestudent accommodations as well as cafeteria. This means that all waste is segregated at source.
- The waste is further sieved through a recycling machine at the recycling plant to ensure no plastic or solid waste remains.
- A shredding machine shreds the waste into smaller bits.
- The waste is then put in a conversion chamber where under extreme heat the waste decomposes over 21 days. In this step, the water in the waste evaporates converting the organic waste into 70%-80% mature compost. Constant temperature and airflow are maintained to prevent odour and pests.
After the fourth step, the plant is left with high-quality manure to be used and sold.
“We are fully utilising bio-degradable waste by creating natural humus, which is further used as compost for plantation inside and outside the campus. This way we can avoid the use of chemical fertilisers to a greater extent. UBS is fully committed to safeguarding and nurturing the environment by finding and applying sustainable ways to ensure a green ecosystem for the campus and beyond,” said Sanat Puri, MBA student.
Among other initiatives, the library and academic centre on the campus were built with double ceilings to reduce the need for air conditioning. Along with steps to reduce energy consumption, the campus has over 7,000 trees and it aims to have over 10,000 trees.