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Resolve: Trash 2 Cash







Scope of work
















Good practices and lessons learned

Good Practices:
1. Informal waste pickers who once foraged waste in the landfills for livelihood have been mainstreamed through skill development and capacity building programs into artisans, working under safe and hygienic conditions.
2. Formation of joint liability groups (JLGs) under this venture that are bank linked and oriented with the trade has socially and economically empowered the beneficiary women community into leaders.
3. E-sensitization on waste segregation and contribution to Resolve Trash 2 Cash for recycling is slowly creating an attitude change towards sustainable lifestyle for urban stakeholders and citizens. This is further helping to develop the market for eco friendly recycled micro utility products for daily usage.
4. The beneficiary women are now trained to manage the revenue return which is used as working capital, micro-insurance and for profit sharing.
Lessons learnt:
1. It has been a challenge for SAFE to build up trust with the beneficiary community and it took many workshops and sessions to convince the women for an alternative livelihood opportunity. This is owing to the decades of exploitation and succumbing to the harsh reality of their everyday existence.
2. The success and case study of this ongoing model has paved a way for creating ‘model’ near zero emission cities with an advanced waste management system based on recycling.
3. Production of a wide range of handcrafted items and creation of new designs every day by the skilled artisans of RT2C has proved immense potential for waste recycling.
4. With new recycled products introduce in market, the demand is also steadily rising with an elevating graph each passing year. This increases the sustainability quotient of the endeavour.



Date of submission





​Action Undertaken:

Under this initiative, underprivileged women are trained to recycle mainly paper and cloth into making handicrafts & eco-friendly micro-utility household products, and finally empowering such trained women groups by linking with government accredited Small Scale Enterprise. 

Modus operandi:

a. Capacity building and technology transfer for the women beneficiaries to set up micro recycling units for paper mache, paper moulding and textile waste, based on low cost green engineering.

b. Production: The present enterprise is based on a supply driven integrated urban waste management in which solid biodegradable wet waste and non biodegradable, recyclable solid dry waste is collected upon segregation at source from corporate house campus, urban offices, and public premises for recycling. High quality vermicompost organic fertilizers are produced from the biodegradable portion of the waste and micro utility household products, handicrafts and decors, are produced by reusing and recycling the dry waste portion, especially from paper and textile waste. In addition, water hyacinth is also recycled into utility products that otherwise pose serious threat to water bodies and the aquatic eco system when not controlled. The produce undergoes standardization of specific dimension and colour in accordance with its utility value. It is packed and priced for marketing.

c. Product Range ( different shapes, colours & sizes available): Jewellery case, Tray, bowl, multipurpose box, flower vase, pen stand, photo frame, desk bin, basket, folder, piggy bank, magnetic show pieces, masks, lamp, coaster, bag, cushion cover, handmade paper, soft toy, hangings and so on.

d. Marketing and supply chain: The marketing strategy of the products attempts to reach specific buyers through exhibition sale and event based targeted distribution on one hand and on the other it reaches the open market buyers with a micro utility retailing effort, catering to supply of micro-utility products for regular household usage. The present stature of the enterprise is now segmented into separate production and marketing divisions wherein the beneficiaries cater to both the areas with due exposure and training extended as outreach exercise by the implementing agency.

Adaptation element

Adaptation planning and practices; Capacity building; Climate observations; Communication and outreach/awareness; Education and training; Financial support; Impact assessment; Socio-economic data and information; Technology support; Vulnerability assessment

Adaptation sector/theme

Health; Community-based adaptation; Adaptation finance; Energy; Gender; Urban resilience; Services

Climate hazard

Increasing temperatures; Land and forest degradation; Vector and water-borne diseases




Partner portal


The genesis of this climate smart project is in the city of Kolkata that has the highest gross CO2 emission footprints in India of which city’s municipal solid waste and landfill accounts for nearly 45% of the total emissions.
Resolve: Trash 2 Cash is a program under the aegis of SAFE that aims at integrated solid-waste management and creating alternative livelihood opportunities for the informal city’s women waste workers and slum-dwellers.
The core objectives of this endeavour are as follows:
• To assess and evaluate the working environment of urban women waste-workers and their professional security in both formal and informal sector
• Create awareness towards protection and promotion of women's rights to combat exploitation and ascertain dignity of work
• Initiate actions to protect and prevent occupational hazards, health safety and professional security for women waste-workers
• Undertake capacity building on integrated waste management for alternative economic opportunities, financial inclusion and risk coverage
• Organize urban women waste-workers into place-based registered cooperatives to foster social and economic empowerment.
• Create an advanced waste management system in the society by endorsing waste segregation at source and recycling to further help in building a greener plant through significant reduction of carbon and landfill emissions.

Expected outcome


Further information

I. Awards & Accolades: a. Gender Pioneers for a Future Detoxified Award, 2017 b. UNFCCC Momentum for Change, Lighthouse Activity Award, 2014 c. International Match Foundation Award in 2013 for women empowerment, 2013 II. Initiatives undertaken under Resolve: Trash 2 Cash: a. IPL & KKR: The municipal waste generated during the International IPL Cricket matches played in the Eden Gardens stadium was managed in 2017 by SAFE & [Resolve: Trash 2 Cash Program] under the aegis of KKR CSR Initiative supported by The Meer Foundation towards Integrated Waste Management for reduction of landfill emission. The overall impact was remarkable and SAFE was able to collect 20,606 kg of particularly plastic & paper waste for recycling thus helping insignificant emission reduction and environment conservation. b. School Campaigns: In the present milieu, it is essential to prepare the youth as leaders of sustainable tomorrow. To achieve this target, Resolve: Trash 2 Cash vigorously works with the city schools through various educational and field based activities. Sensitization programs on sustainable lifestyle, training workshops on waste recycling and creating opportunities for the students to contribute waste for recycling by encouraging segregation are few of the activities undertaken. c. Corporate Campaigns: Giant corporate bodies with huge number of employees are known to be one of the biggest generators of daily waste that end up in landfills. Resolve proactively conducts awareness campaigns on integrated waste management practices with the corporate employees. The concerned companies not only donate their daily waste to RT2C program but also organize annual in-house fairs to facilitate sale of recycled utility products made by the Resolve women. d. Interventions at residential level: Citizens for Action – TEAM UP TO CLEAN UP project was jointly implemented by Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation & Resolve: Trash 2 Cash program for defining an end-to-end management of waste in Saltlake, Kolkata in 2016. SAFE undertook door-to-door campaigning and personal responsiveness on waste management through survey, assessment, demonstration on at source segregation and interactive workshop with 4000 households, citizens and municipal waste collectors following which a complete impact assessment report was shared with the municipal corporation for building up a smart waste management system. e. Partnership with International Consulate: The activities undertaken in partnership with the Green team of US Consulate, Kolkata include regular waste collection from the Consulate office and the American center for recycling, data sharing on quantity and type of waste, health sensitization programs for the women waste pickers, awareness workshop among employees on waste management and RT2C exhibition and display every year with far reaching consequences.



Indicators of achievement



Case study




South Asian Forum for Environment



Regional group


Target group

Academics and scientists; Communities; Policy makers






Social Responsibility & Outcome:-
I. Creating livelihood opportunity and capacity building: Resolve Trash 2 Cash is a full-fledged community enterprise that is creating livelihood for hundreds of waste workers but more so earning a dignity for them through inclusive growth & socioeconomic mainstreaming. Currently there are 14 direct employees under this venture with 80-85 more women linked to this enterprise for their livelihood.
II. Women empowerment: 
(a) The Rt2C initiatives under Match International Women’s Fund (MIWF) support directly addresses the rights of the poor women waste workers who have been bank linked, their first social accreditation.
(b) They now manage the financial returns as well their raw material stock, production line, quality control of goods, sale proceeds and the overall merchandizing of the products.
(c) Subsequently, this empowerment has made them more aware of their right to health, right to dignity, right to water and sanitation, right to identity and importantly right to freedom.
Cultural enrichment:- This venture creates first generation artisans through devoted guidance and capacity building. The disciplined training and creative lessons make sure that this section of the society gets enriched culturally and in turn this is reflected in the utility products created by them.
Climate impact:- The concept of RESOLVE T2C is in perfect alignment with India’s largest sanitation drive “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan” and has brought the countries effort to a global impact. The endeavor RESOLVE T2C at present recycles nearly 2000 Kg of paper, plastics and 3500 Kg of wet waste every week reducing an estimated 8500 MT of carbon equivalent emission annually. At the moment this project is sustained by the waste generated by 23 corporate houses, US Consulate of Kolkata, City Schools, supported by local municipal bodies like Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Kolkata Municipal Corporation. This endeavour is not only promoting segregation of waste and practice of the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse & Recycling) amongst the citizens but is simultaneously working to create a greener planet, condensing the impact of global warming and pollution.



Type of knowledge resource


Scale of work





Please find attached herewith the link to Resolve: Trash 2 Cash website for your kind reference:

Implementing partners

Since inception, Resolve Trash 2 Cash under the aegis of SAFE has been supported by a number of partners:
1. Vodafone Essar Limited, first to fund the concept of Resolve: Trash2cash under CSR partnership with South Asian Forum for Environment in year 2010.
2. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), office in Kolkata, for past five years now have supported Resolve Trash2Cash by buying the products, and providing mainstream market linkage to the Resolve products through fairs and exhibitions.
3. MATCH International Women Fund, MIWF provide direct financial support to grassroots women rights organizations that are holding ground and breaking ground in the global south. Since year 2014, MIWF has institutionalized Resolve Trash2Cash, and has helped develop a value chain in municipal waste recycling for assuring economic returns and community resilience of the poor women.
4. Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, BMC is responsible for the civic infrastructure and administration of Bidhannagar Salt Lake City and parts of Rajarhat suburbs of Kolkata. BMC has been catalytic support to waste management campaigns by providing opportunity for the promotion of recycled products made by women waste workers. SAFE is in part of segregation of waste at source campaign with BMC, a step towards integrated solid waste management.
5. Kolkata Urban Services for the Poor, Ministry of Urban Affairs, Govt. of West Bengal: In year 2012-13, Resolve received support from ICF, Innovative Challenge Fund, under Ministry of Urban Affairs, Government of West Bengal.
6. The US consulate office & American Center in Kolkata, the partnership program was officially launched by the visiting U.S Ambassador, Kathleen Stephens on 13 Aug’2014 at U.S Consulate, Kolkata. The US Consulate & American Centre in Kolkata has been a part of the recycling program, and the office paper waste, shredded paper is given for up-cycling to Resolve T2C paper mache workshop. The US Consul General Craig L. Hall, on 17th November 2015 inaugurated the paper pulp unit of Resolve Trash2Cash.
7. Earth Day Network International, Rt2C team thanks Earth Day Network International for the partnership and encouragement, with successful publication of eBook "Pathways to Green Cities" which includes RT2C as one of the best innovative environmental practice stories.
8. UNEP 10YFP Program: With the valuable support from UNEP, SAFE entered into transboundary textile recycling along with paper in India & Bangladesh. 9. PwC & PwC SDC: The partnership with SAFE commenced in the year 2017 to further accelerate this project in the areas under the jurisdiction of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation and Rajpur Sonarpur Municipality.






Content Type: NWPSearchableItem
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Created at 10/10/2018 14:30 by Serkant Samurkas
Last modified at 10/10/2018 14:30 by Serkant Samurkas