Material Management

Project Proposal by Sasha, Nicolai, Ishaan, Medha

For Feedback from NGOs:

Final plans for Room of Requirement: 

For the Srishti School of Art. Design and Technology

Existing Problem:
There is an excess of material produced in Srishti that has huge potential to be reused. This material is mainly in the form of old art and design projects. The materials produced are mainly wood, metal, paper, wire, etc. There is no existing system to manage these materials but rather it is thrown away as waste. This leads to a huge waste of material and money.

This is a practice we feel we need to change. We need to encourage and promote a ‘greener’ solution for an institution like Srishti, especially considering that it works on the claim of producing socially responsible designers. An eco-friendly step is the call of the hour if there ever was a social responsibility thrown upon our shoulders.

Research gathered:
All the research used has been gathered personally by interviewing the various concerned parties around Srishti.

  Fact 1: Most of the art work is disposed off simply because there is no space to keep it (Given by the administration).
  Fact 2: There is an excessive amount of money spent on buying new materials for new projects. (Given by the Foundation Studies students of Srishti).
  Fact 3: When the BMP does not come to collect the waste the support staff has to transport the waste themselves to a landfill which is a considerable distance away, which is resulting in extra strain on them (Given by the support staff of the Srishti, N3 campus).
  Fact 4: The students are willing to make the minimal effort required to use this new proposed system as they thought it is beneficial (Given by the Foundation Studies students of Srishti).

Proposed solution:
To us, the best way to bring about change is small steps at a time. By implementing small changes in the given disposal system and mindsets we can then go further in bringing about greater change.

By creating a store room of sorts, where old art work can be kept and used as the students discretion, we will be providing a setup for the students to not only save money but also make their own small contribution toward saving the planet. Based on a cyclic model of sustainability by reusing material in any way they can, all old art work that has been disregarded around the campus will be placed down as potential material. The students come and go as they please, strip down whatever takes their fancy and use it how they please. Then when the project is done and documented, and the students feel no need to keep the art work, it will be returned to the room only to be used again by someone else.
Since the audience we are catering to is from the upper middle class (largely) who can understand and sympathise with the certain amount of social responsibility that will be involved, along with an incentive of saving money that would otherwise be spent on material, we will be able to explain and expect it’s proper maintenance.

By encouraging the use of the room we also hope to instill a general sense of responsibility among the students for the environment and show them how easy and efficient reusing materials are.

When people do something for the ‘general good’, out of guilt, it does not sustain itself for very long because it involves extra effort for no apparent personal gain. Thus, hoping that the students will maintain this system, just to protect the environment or in the spirit of jugaad is expecting too much, simply because they do not have a passion or any strong feelings for this. However, in the proposed system we are giving the students a chance to gain personally. Being a part of the student body and otherwise by interviewing our peers, we have found out that there is a general disgruntlement among the students about how much money is spent on buying new materials for new projects. Our proposed system helps to cut down on expenses, depending on how much reused material they are willing to use. The student body reacted very positively when we presented a bird’s eye view on what we proposed to do, what it involved from them and what they would gain from it.

Between the canteen and the electrical transformer.
Reason: space is well sheltered and is already being used as an unofficial storage area. The scrap unused objects there can be used to help form the room of requirement. Thus making best use of the space and the material present, which would otherwise be a complete waste. The space is approximately 286 square feet. The cover provided by the building would help maintain the material to be reused from being damaged by the rain and sun. It also is protected from percolated water (that forms during rain), thus this space will need minimum investment to startup.
Based on the space, there will be sections cordoned off to specific materials (wood, metal, paper and assorted) to help keep the store room from turning into a junk room.

We will use MDF (Medium Density Fibre) boards as makeshift walls (along the lines of the translucent green structures shown in the picture above). These boards are sturdy, cheap to buy, serve the purpose of a physical partition and provide the opportunity to serve as additional aesthetics on the ground floor (by painting on it). A maximum of six full size boards will be required.

The additional material that is required to construct the interiors will be from the scrap lying around keeping in spirit with the ‘Jugaad’ mindset that is the inspiration for the Room of Requirement.

The unused material lying around includes:
Metal lockers                     2
Wooden drawers               6
Wooden tables               8 – 12

Awareness Campaign:
In order to bring about the usage of the room and ensure its proper maintenance, an awareness campaign shall be initiated in order to instruct the parties concerned with its usage and maintenance.
The campaign shall entail the following.
   1) A poster campaign stating the benefits and incentives for using the proposed system
   2) A college presentation that will give a fully rounded view to all the students, incorporating the rules and regulations for its usage, and the social responsibility one must take on to sustain the proposed system.

Final Plan for the waste disposal system:

Present scenario:
There are three types of wastes generated at Srishti:
Dry waste
Wet waste
Medical waste

The dry waste is by the largest waste generated by the college, followed by the wet waste. The present system of segregation is two tiered (administration and support staff). There is segregation at the administration level however all the wastes are recombined at the disposal level (when handed over to the BMP) thus rendering the entire process ineffective.

The medical waste is mixed with the general waste (wet and dry) and it is not collected by the BBMP daily therefore, exposing it to the atmosphere for an unnecessarily long period of time. Reports show that even when this waste reaches the landfill. It often does not get treated properly. This presents a health hazard that is quite potent in nature, not only to the Srishti community but also to the residents living around the campus. It is an affair that we cannot afford to ignore.

The Proposal:
We want to set up two things:

The first is an effective waste segregation system for the wet and dry waste.

The second is a bioconversion chamber for the medical waste. The bioconversion chamber set up in Pune, by Dr Bhawalkar (inventor of Sujala powder, which is a commercially accepted powder used in composting) has proven to biodegrade and convert the aforementioned waste into manure successfully. 
We feel, this should be implemented in Srishti School of Art and Design for the betterment of the society, ecologically. We hope this will benefit the Yelahanka community as if this proves to be a success then even the community at large can contribute by giving their waste.

Waste generation
Three plastic bags of wet waste and dry waste are produced on a regular basis (information gathered from the support staff of the Srishti N3 campus).

As for the medical waste on a daily basis, two small bins get filled with waste from the girl’s bathroom. The medical room generates enough waste to fill one small bin a week.

Waste Segregation:
We think that the best solution would be implementing a small change to the existing system that would involve minimum extra effort and maximum benefit.

We want to add more bins that will be color coded in black for dry waste and blue for wet waste on every floor along with cardboard boxes near every printer for paper that has been used or printed on, on only one side, so that it is an option to print on. Once both sides of the paper is used it is sent to the room of requirement. This way the non-biodegradable waste will be sent to BBMP and the wet waste will be sent to the main campus to be added to the composting pit. 

Bioconversion chamber:
It decomposes medical wastes (surgery dressings, sanitary napkins etc) into manure without emitting any harmful gases, bad odours or accumulating flies and unhygienic conditions. This works on the principle of aerobic breakdown of waste rather than anaerobic decomposition, which normally occurs. It is easy to operate and does not require daily removal of waste.

Reason for its construction:
 A)Physical appearance and aesthetics of Hospital Waste: Over a four-year period between Oct 97 and Oct 2001 the system has successfully converted 15,550 sanitary napkins, 1172 placentae and dressings from 1050 surgeries to a mud like product. The volume reduction has been amazing. Four bins of 50lt capacity were converted to half a kg of end product. The “bioreactor “ has worked silently. There is absolutely no nuisance of smell or flies. 400 kg of manure has been harvested and used in our farm.??
 B) Microbiological Study: Treated hospital waste compared favourably with garden soil as far as its microbiological content.

Construct two concrete bins 3ft.widex3ft in height x3ft.depth against the compound wall. They have two openings each- on top and in front to serve as inlet and exit respectively. The top was covered with a wire mesh. The front had an open able door. To begin with, we spread coconut fibre, added hospital waste, kitchen waste, sujala powder and covered everything with dry leaves. We put in sanitary napkins, placentae and dressings from surgeries. The system must be kept moist at all times.

Cost of Construction and Maintenance:
Concrete blocks - Rs. 10/brick               Bricks required - 20
Sujala powder - Rs. 200 kg/6 months
Mesh - Rs. 50
Total Cost - Rs. 450

Instructions for personnel:
The support staff needs to be instructed on
   1. Emptying the waste from the medical room and girls bathroom into the chamber.
   2. Maintenance of the chamber (keeping it moist, filling the chamber with leaves and fibre at regular intervals)

Incentive for use:
The segregation of waste involves benefits for the support staff. In the case of the BMP not showing up to collect the waste, the support staff have to carry less waste to the landfill, since a large chunk out of it is being dealt with within the college campus. This should be well received since carrying three bags of garbage to a far off landfill is a tiring affair after a long day.

Also, the produce of the bioconversion chamber is fertile soil which will help in the initiative of adding more greenery to the campus by just providing one more reason to do it.



To create a more eco-friendly system of waste management by setting up opportunities to reuse waste with potential and convert the unusable waste into manure. We also aim to setup a system of waste segregation that will be implemented and sustained. The overall effects will involve less waste generation, a ‘green’ method of the waste that is produced, promotion of greenery on the campus and economic benefits for the students.
Target audience:
The Srishti community at large, which includes the students, faculty, administration and the support staff.

Reasons for an intervention: 
While segregation is done at one level, it is combined at the disposal stage. Thereby, rendering the process redundant.
Medical waste is disposed with regular wet and dry waste. Thus, emitting harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
Lots of potentially re-usable art materials, stationary etc are thrown away.

Proposal at a glance:
Construction of a Bio-conversion chamber, a “Room of Requirement” and a waste segregation system with easy user interface.

Bio-conversion chamber:
It decomposes medical wastes (surgery dressings, sanitary napkins etc) into manure without emitting any harmful gases, bad odours or accumulating flies and unhygienic conditions. It is easy to operate and does not require daily removal of waste.
For its construction:
In order to build it we would need coconut fibre, dried leaves, sujala powder, cinder blocks and cement along with the waste.
Sourcing of materials:
Locally available: Coconut fibre, dried leaves, cinder bricks, cement and waste
Pune: Sujala Powder.
   • In order to get a sense of scale we will have to evaluate the amount of waste we are generating.
   • We will interview the faculty, student body and support staff.
   • We will also design posters and banners to inform the target audience(The Srishti Community)
Incentive for implementation:
Manure will be produced which will help facilitate more greenery on campus. The support staff will have less waste to dispose of, where travelling is involved.

Room of Requirement:
We are proposing to provide a “store room” which will hoard materials, stationary, old projects which will otherwise be thrown out. We feel this is necessary as a lot of the aforementioned is thrown out when it can be put to use.
We would need bricks to allocate its place and MDF to make the temporary wall (which can be painted on thus giving the college a more of an ‘artsy’ appearance, not to mention providing opportunity for a studio course). The drawers (unused) will also be used for its construction.
Locally available: Bricks and MDF.
   • We will interview the Srishti community (faculty, students, and support staff) for their feedback while also informing them of the incentives to use what we plan to implement.
   • We will instruct the support staff on placing all the unattended materials in the “room of requirement”.
Incentive for implementation:
Economic benefit for the students (less expenditure on new materials) and hence reusing materials will render fewer materials to be considered as “waste”, thus leading to less waste generation.

Waste Segregation System:
The current waste disposal segregation system involves segregation only at the first level. We plan to implement a system where the waste is segregated throughout the disposal process. This disposal system will be user friendly, involving minimal extra effort.
It will involve minimal investment, where a few extra bins are to be provided and buying colour coded plastic covers instead of all black.
Certain basic training will be provided to the students and the support staff to guide them in the implementation and maintenance of this system.
The wet waste produced can be sent to the old campus (main campus) for composting (the transport arrives every day in order to transfer paper work between the two offices, and since very little wet waste is produced by our college it will not be a hassle).
Incentive for implementation:
It will aid the composting pit in the old campus; also it will reduce the waste to be thrown into the landfill when the BMP garbage truck does not show up. This will mean less waste to carry and will be an incentive for the support staff.




Mind Map for Initial Ideas:


  1. the posting needs to be in organized order. Specify the social context & provide the description of physical space - a bit of indexing the existing condition as the problem, for which this project is a solution. that would be the argument for the premise of your project. Then articulate in brief, your project idea - what you propose to do. Following that are these postings here. Also, supplement these postings with research findings, stats, systemic models etc, and even substantiate it with your own smaller experimental interventions and the results thereof along with suitable images. In short, make it like its professional project proposal.
    also, actively invite various stakeholders as well as design professionals and NGOs etc to have a dialogue with you or leave their feedback here on a continuous basis.

  2. So far, its going good. you just need to organize your material in more professionally presentable manner and also increase the possibilities in your methodology of approach towards the final objectives. Do take a little more bolder approach that is experimental towards finding more viable yet 'jugaad' in spirit.

  3. Also, pls keep updating the blog with your daily documentation too, and remember this blog entries are taken as your final course documentation. this is reminder for all the groups.