From recycling and reusing water to green disposal of plastic and electronic waste, the CGST Commissionerate in Vadodara is giving its “sarkari image” a green uplift by becoming a zero waste-producing building.
As part of its ‘Jal Sanchay’ (water conservation) programme, which was started a year ago, water released as waste by RO water filter is stored in overhead tanks and used for cleaning and washing dishes. Not only that, even condensed water from air conditioners, considered the cleanest source of water, is collected and channelised into rainwater harvesting wells for groundwater replenishment.
With four RO water tanks, 122 air conditioners and four rainwater harvesting wells, the 14-year-old three-storey building has been able to save approximately 14.5 lakh litre of water in a year, so far.
“The project was conceived during a brainstorming session for water conservation methods which was chaired by our commissioner Ashir Tyagi. The project aims to address the problem of water scarcity, depleting groundwater levels and ill managed aqueous resources around ourselves in the most efficient and most economical way,” said Additional Commissioner Umesh Wagh.
The CGST Bhavan has also set up a PET bottle and e-waste disposal centre, where plastic bottles and electronic items disposed by staff members and locals are brought in for disposal in an environment-friendly manner.
The obsolete or defunct electronic items, collected by the office, are given to an authorised e-waste agency. In case of PET bottles, they are shredded and then given to scrap dealers for reuse.
According to the officials, 26.8 kg of PET bottles were collected in the last two months alone. “Recycling one tonne of plastic save 5.6 cubic metre of landfill space. By shredding 26.8 kg of plastic bottles, we have saved 0.15 cubic metre of landfill in just two months. Moreover, the carbon footprint of 1 kg of PET is about 6 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas. By shredding and recycling 26.8 kg of PET bottles, we have managed to prevent 160.8 kg of CO2 emission,” said J S Sehra, Superintendent at Central GST and Customs.
“We want this premise and the staff members to march towards a healthier lifestyle, and together we can contribute to a zero waste environment. We have taken micro steps towards our goal, and not just here at the office but also putting it to practice at our homes. We have developed a cafeteria using spare and old cars. We are also starting awareness programmes to sensitise locals around the area about the same, and involve them in our initiative too,” Wagh said.
The office has been awarding ‘Water Warrior’ status to acknowledge the efforts made by staff members for water conservation. “I have been reusing the waste water from my RO plant at home, and my family saves and reuses upto 23,000 litre of water in a year. We have also proposed the same plan of action to Central Pollution Control Board on how waste water can be saved and reused in office buildings. It is under consideration,” said Bharat Prasad, an inspector at the commissionerate, who has been awarded the ‘Water Warrior’ status.