UNDP/GEF/SGF on Environmentally friendly Garbage Disposal Programmes

UNDP/GEF/SGF on Environmentally friendly Garbage Disposal Programmes

Final Report

Project Number: IND/98/G52

Project Name: “Rapid Enhancement of Decentralised Municipal Waste Processing Capacity in the State of Goa”

Grant Recipient: The Goa Foundation

Project Director or Person Responsible: Dr Claude Alvares (Director)

Grant Recipient Address:

G/8 St. Britto’s Apts, Feira Alta, Mapusa, Goa 403 507

Location of Project: Goa

Project Start and End Dates: September 2003 – November 2005

Financial Summary/Disbursement Request

Amount (Rs.)

SGP Grant amount

Rs.12,04,500.00 SGP Funds received to date for this grant


SGP Funds spent to date


Funds balance

SGP Grant disbursement requested


Project Co-financing Received:

Source (s)

Type (In-kind or Cash)

Amount (Rs.)

Margao Municipal Council (Sonsoddo Project)

The money was spent by the council for the entire project


Mapusa Municipal Council (Fish and meat waste treatment unit)

All the construction and treatment expenses are met by the Municipal council


Vermicomposting units (Kamat Gardens, Mapusa)

Entire const of construction and maintenance is borne by the developer


Vermicomposting units (Kamat Kinara, Miramar)

Entire const of construction and maintenance is borne by the developer


Vermicomposting units (Shantaban Housing complex, Merces)

Entire const of construction and maintenance is borne by the developer


Vermicomposting units (Portofino Park, Sinquerim)

Entire const of construction and maintenance is borne by the Society


Vermicomposting units (Kamat Classics)

Entire const of construction and maintenance is borne by the developer


Training program (Vasco Municipal Council)

All the arrangements were done by the Council


Training program (Mapusa Municipal Council)

All the arrangements were done by the Council


Training program (Margao Municipal Council)

All the arrangements were done by the Council


Training Program (Bicholim Municipal Council)

All the arrangements were done by the Council


Vermicomposting units (El Shadai Charitable Trust, Assagao)

Entire const of construction and maintenance is borne by the Trust


Report submitted by:

Name: Dr. Claude Alvares

Title: “Rapid Enhancement of Decentralised Municipal Waste Processing Capacity in the State of Goa



I. Narrative Report:

Brief description of project objectives and purpose:

Goa is a premier international tourism designation. Management of garbage generated by the tourism industry and from domestic sources has not kept pace with the recent developments. In fact, the villages had no heritage of any system for collection or disposal of garbage. The Municipal Councils had a system but this was only in the major urban areas like Panaji and Mapusa. The waste was collected and indiscriminately and haphazardly dumped in unsecured landfills. The absence of any trained capacity for handling solid wastes has lead to the violation of the MSW Rules, 2000 and rapid degradation of land and environment.

Despite the issue of solid waste occupying the attention of the High Court and the Supreme Court, nothing was changing on the ground since statutory bodies just did not know what to do, their staff were either non-existence or untrained, and most important, their priorities appeared to be elsewhere.

As a result, the hitherto beautiful state has become a litter-choked state and this is having adverse consequences on tourism potential. Even if tourism did not generate additional garbage, the handling of domestic garbage has reached a stage where it could have serious consequences for the local population.

The main objective of the UNGEF project in Goa was to provide – and also initiate the implementation of – long term, institutional solutions to the persistent problem of domestic waste generated by a variety of agents (including factories, resorts, schools, colonies and even individual families) in the state.

The specific goal of the project was to create an institutional capacity with statutory and institutional managers for environmentally safe handling and processing of solid wastes into environmentally friendly and economically valuable materials, using a combination of composting, vermiculture and EM/microbial technology. We wanted more people trained in the knowledge and processes involved in garbage handling and processing.

B) Activities and outputs of the project:

Project components/ Activities

Expected Results/ outcomes/ outputs (as planned)

Results achieved (Actual achievements)


Training knowledge and management workshops, including practicals, for identified personnel from major stakeholders involved in generation and handling of municipal solid waste.

The project intended to train all the conservancy staff of 13 existing Municipal Councils as well as many of the coastal village panchayats that are suffering the most. Also included was training of a number of schools in north Goa.

We have been able to train 10 of the municipal councils and a number of panchayats and schools. We have also conducted a number of awareness programs in villages.

Three Councils simply refused to respond to our repeated invitations (including visits) to organise such training courses. Since these Councils are in the remote areas (like Valpoi) where too much solid waste is not generated, the project did not pursue them further.

Extensive erection of waste converting units for use through vermiculture and EM technology. Designs have been perfected after year long trials and are successful and have also been installed in a number of places.

The project was to construct around 30 vermiculture units as well as bring awareness among the people. Make them aware that EM is an environmentally friendly product for such purposes as well.

We have achieved double the number than proposed in the project. There are 40 vermiculture units that are constructed and run successfully all over. There is a significant part of the population that has understood the importance of segregation and the need for waste management at home. The use of EM has also increased exponentially in Goa and there are many residences that are using this product at home. In addition to this there are eight hotels using the product as well for total sanitation and hygiene purposes.


Strengthening the pool of expertise within the organization so that it can continue to function as a nodal agency for improving efficiency, monitoring, and tackling failures if and when these occur

The project was to train the staff of the organization in construction and maintenance of the units and use of EM.

The organization has well trained and expert people that are able to construct the unit on their own. We have gone further and now handle dump sites and large scale meat/fish processing units as well.

We are developing expertise now in the handling of plastic litter.

C) Were these objectives and the purpose met? In our modest opinion, substantially, yes. We conducted the training programmes for the major municipal councils in Goa. We overachieved targets for construction of vermicompost solutions and EM extension. We successfully took over Goa’s largest garbage dump and mitigated its worse excesses, training municipal workers in the process. We successfully put up and ran the only major fish/meat processing unit for Mapusa municipality. We were able to demonstrate experimental use of garbage for rehabilitation of degraded mining sites and create a credible market for use of compost generated from solid waste processing sites.

D) If not, what were the principal obstacles? The principal obstacle to sustainable achievement in solid waste management comes from the elected councils and panchayats. For some reason, these bodies continue to place garbage processing and handling at the lowest of their priorities. We have not succeeded in finding a way out of this situation. We have failed in getting long-term commitments and interest sustained despite getting orders from the High Court in these matters. Councillors and panchas get elected for routine reasons of making money etc. The corruption we have seen in the two years of the project is very depressing. A significant number of municipal workers are actually doing personal work of the councilors concerned. They are not available for the work for which the council pays them. Persons trained by us for the various processes of waste segregation, baling (of waste plastic), composting, EM preparation and treatment are taken off the site without explanations and new ones designated. While this has enabled us to train a larger number of workers, stability of operations at dump sites is often threatened by such measures.

E) How could these obstacles been avoided? What advice would you give to other organizations designing similar projects? To bypass this lack of apathy, we decided to concentrate more on non-municipal stakeholders like hotels, housing colonies etc., where the response was decidedly better. This produced better results for the energy expended. In the case of the councils, too much time was lost in just getting things to work. Despite us offering our services free of cost, the attitude appeared to be as if the council was doing the organization a favour. We feel therefore that in the state of Goa at least the situation at the local body level is so depressing that too many efforts should not be expended in this direction. It is far better to work at the community level, especially building societies, colonies, factories, hotels etc., so that awareness and concern for the environment through intelligent handling of wastes becomes a norm and thereafter a pressure on the local authorities as well. For example, we handle now the largest garbage dump in Goa: Sonsoddo. Though we have managed the site and mitigated its worst environmental excesses, no councilor ever visits the site or shows any interest. The municipal employees are also unconcerned. Citizens are concerned with what happens there, but rarely persons from the council.

F) What were the principal impacts, lessons learnt form the project?

The major impact of the project is the amount of awareness that it has generated among the various government authorities and the public at large. More and more people including the principal generators of solid waste like hotels and factories are now approaching the Goa Foundation for assistance either in setting up vermicomposting bins or in the use of EM for their premises or homes.

A number of residences have moved to the use of EM and earthworms thus generating valuable compost as well as contributing towards the safety of the environment. This aspect of the project has been well documented as well and is easily visible.

The project has been premised on the need to train municipal workers. These training sessions have been largely completed. However, since we found that Municipal authorities still need specific guidance in actually planning and running a management scheme for handling waste collection and treatment systems for the solid wastes generated in their areas based on environmentally friendly technology, we have taken that up as a project objective as well. In this area, we handle two projects: we supervise the Sonsoddo dump site on behalf of the Margao Municipal Council and the fish/meat processing unit at Mapusa for the Mapusa Municipal Council.

G) What were the principal deficiencies/ missing gaps in the project?

We were not able to complete all 13 municipal councils. Despite visits, phone calls and letters, the councils refused to respond. But these were a minority.

The main difficulty was that in the ones that cooperated, the concerned Municipal Chief Officers took a number of days to fix dates for the training programmes. In fact, we were able to get the District Magistrate to issue circulars for these training programmes. Besides this, there were no other major problems.

In housing colony areas, the main problem faced by GF staff was that the flat owners did not give segregated waste even after meeting them several times and explaining them the entire concept. Since the waste was not segregated, additional labour had to be requisitioned. Even after having a number of visits to the village panchayats we were unable to set up waste collection plants (non-biodegradable) in villages. In Colvale, we were able to get the place to set up the plant but the problem was of getting the community involved in the project. Panchayats are very unreliable.

H) Benefits achieved for/by participants / participants communities during implementation:

All the vermiculture units constructed are running successfully because they are being periodically monitored. Those who have constructed them are also very pleased with their functioning and with the result: compost. The community is involved at the interception as they are involved in the segregation of the garbage generated.

We are surprised at the extent of use of EM through our efforts. We began EM sales in Goa at 100 litres every three to four months. We have now reached a figure of 200 litres every month. The individual transaction is worth Rs.30,000. Every month, we order that much. This works out to Rs.3,36,000 per year. Use is expanding.

I) Products generated by the project: (e.g.: Publications, Brochures, Videos, CDs, educational materials, models, infrastructure, awards, marketable goods, etc.) The NGO has prepared brochures on the use of EM as well as on vermicomposting, which have been widely circulated. The EM brochure clearly gives instruction on how to use the solution and in what proportion for different purposes.

The vermicomposting brochure gives details on the construction of a small household unit. It gives the requirements as well as the cost for the construction of such unit. The brochure explains how one can carry out vermicomposting at home with a minimum cost.

The NGO has also prepares slides and a power point presentation for the purpose of caring out training programs in schools and colleges.

J) Assessment of impact of project in the GEF focal area:

At the moment, we are the only group actively assisting municipal councils, panchayats and other stakeholders like hotels and colonies in the State with concrete and feasible solutions, which they can implement through their own workers trained by us.

We are successfully building pressure on the Goa government and on all local bodies to think seriously about garbage and environment friendly modes of disposal. We are seriously participating in discussions for the establishment of a dozen municipal waste treatment facilities in the State. We expect to be involved in monitoring their effectiveness and functioning as well. K) Press/ media coverage / links established in the project to other similar initiatives / networking with other NGOs.

A lot of press coverage is available about the work of the UNGEF project.

We had a press conference at the Sonsoddo garbage rehabilitation site, which was addressed by the Minister for Urban Development. After which we had a tea party at the site.

We also had a detailed press coverage regarding the vermicomposting units in the Goan Observer.

We are connected to other similar initiatives in India through attending meetings with the Alliance for Waste (AWM) Management and Toxics Link, which has a discussion group and daily emails of similar work being done in other states.

We have attended two national-level meetings of AWM, shared details of our work and benefited from exchange with other persons and NGOs working on solid wastes.

L) Future plans (if any) to continue, expand, or replicate project activities: We shall continue to maintain the core group expertise that we have successfully achieved through the project. It is a valuable community resource available to all those facing a garbage disposal problem. We intend to get into plastic waste processing and provide solutions there as well. One additional area we hope to take up is working with the ragpickers to ensure better conditions of work and safeguarding of children and their education.

M) Additional information if any in terms of awards and certificates of merit, etc:

None available

II. Financial report of expenditures:

Budget Category/Head

Approved Budget

Cumulative Expenditure






Earthworm workers



  • 1473.50

Training meetings



















  • 990.50




  • 232.50












  • 299.50

Assessment of Lessons Learned

Please discuss the lessons to be learned from this project experience. The points listed below are intended to be a comprehensive list and it is understood that projects will only cover some aspects. Try to be as specific, analytical, and didactic as possible. We shall appreciate if you can also substantiate the report with supportive documents, letters and evidences)

Describe the effects of this project in relation to the GEF focal areas and operational programs. Explain how the project was able to have an effect on biodiversity, climate change, or international waters. Assess the potential global benefits of this project.

The global benefits of the project are connected with the effective management of solid waste dumping sites which have hitherto been a significant source of green house gases and incineration of hazardous waste leading to generation of dioxins and furans.

We have always felt that even if we succeed in bringing the fires at dumpsites to a halt, this would be a significant achievement. We have already achieved this objective in the case of the Sonsoddo site.

Did this project link the practice of sustainable livelihoods to a GEF focal area? Describe the strategies employed, indicating what works and what does not. Only indirectly. The major industry in this area of operations is tourism, which can be managed effectively in a sustainable manner. The generation of garbage in large quantities has placed the industry in severe danger. The project has concerned itself with the problem from this angle and suggested solutions.

Is this a community-driven project? How was community implementation and ownership of project achieved? How did this contribute to project success? Also indicate pitfalls and tactics to be avoided. Explain issues regarding to community participation and ownership of roles and issues.

Goa should be seen as a small relatively homogenous community, which has a definite self-perception. The smallness of the State enables a community orientation and vision for most actions and campaigns. Typically, most campaigns are of all-Goa character. The Goan community is very environment conscious and has emerged as a group that will take strong decisions when its environment is concerned.

One of the successes of the project has been to convince groups of people to handle their own wastes instead of dumping these on ill-equipped municipal councils. For example, it has set up a number of vermicomposting units within housing colonies, which are run by the societies themselves.

A significant section of people within the communities are also now using EM for cleaning.

Our project was NGO-driven rather than community driven from the start. From the beginning we have acted as a strong pressure agency that was equipped to provide solutions at individual, colony, institution and government level for garbage related issues.

Was there a capacity-building component in this project? How were local capacities enhanced? How did it contribute to project success? Also what links have been established for them to sustain this as a process? As mentioned earlier that one of the major component of the project is training knowledge and management workshops, including practicals. We have tried to enable municipal council staff and workers from various institutions how to understand waste, its decomposition and conversion into a useful product.

A number of training programmes were organized for Municipal councils, panchayats, schools and colleges. During the training program different local and global environmental problems were discussed. The participants were taken for field trips and site visits.

That two municipal councils invited the organization to run their garbage disposal sites is a measure of the confidence developed in the organization and its capabilities. A number of schools have constructed their own vermiculture units where they are doing composting. A number of housing colonies now run their own units with their conservancy staff trained by the Goa Foundation in collecting, segregation and treatment of such wastes.

Has this project increased public awareness of local and global environmental problems? Describe how this was done, and whether people are making use of the new knowledge. With which concerned departments/ stakeholder’s links have been established?

In the project we have organized a number of awareness programmes. During these programmes the different global environmental problems were discussed. But more stress was given to local problems such as garbage management, segregation, EM use for cleaning etc.

We have also organized street plays and rallies with college students in a number of villages. A number of schools also participated in such programs. We have constructed 60 vermiculture units, which are all running successfully and which are being frequently visited by curious officials and persons so interested. There are some units that are maintained by the unit owners themselves.

Large sections of people know the importance of environment and have shifted to the use of EM as a cleaning agent. Even some hotels and well-known companies in Goa are using EM for different purposes.

How did women and men participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating the project? Did project proponents plan a gender focus? Or did it evolve in the course of project implementation? What are some of the issues that came up in this regard?

The project did not have a specific gender focus.

Was this project run by indigenous people or involve significant participation by indigenous people? In this context, discuss ethnic, cultural, and historical factors that affected project design, implementation, and results. Discuss the impacts that the projects have made in the area. The project was not run by indigenous people as normally understood. However, all staff recruited for training were from the State.

How has the sustainability plan and/or prospects been addressed? What aspects of the project design, project implementation, or other factors enhanced sustainability? How could other projects or country programmes use this experience to promote sustainability? The project was to enhance at a decentralized level the capacity to handle and treat waste. This was sought to be achieved by propagating technologies such as EM and vermicomposting that are themselves sustainable and renewable.

It has created a pool of expertise within the organization so that it can continue to function as a nodal agency for improving efficiency, monitoring, and tackling failures if and when these occur.

To sustain long-term involvement, the Goa Foundation has set up a non-profit company under section 25 of the companies Act, 1956 called Green Goa Works. This company in effect will remain as a permanent source of information and expertise available to institutional agents in relation to these technologies and new ones that will emerge in the future.

Green Goa Works will eventually carry on with the task of providing technical and other services for a fee that will ensure its survival in the near future, till such time as the waste problem is brought under hand. The company is already earning revenue for maintaining its staff from maintenance contracts and fees, and from sale of EM products in the State.

How the project received co-financing? If so, indicate sources and amounts. Which project components did the co-financing support? How was the co-financing obtained? Describe how links to other donors or agencies were made, networking strategies, and negotiations. Also indicate pitfalls and tactics to be avoided.

Co-financing has been overachieved.

The Goa Foundation undertook three main sub-projects. Two of these were with the Municipal councils and one with the Dempo mining corporation. The project with the Margao Municipal council was rehabilitation of the Sonsoddo garbage site in Margao. The Goa Government financed this project. The money was spent by the MMC but will be reimbursed by the Goa Government. The project cost is 25,32,188.00

The Mapusa Municipal Council spent Rs.4,38,399.00 for the fish cum meat waste treatment unit at the fish market. The unit was constructed and operated by municipal staff under the technical supervision of the Foundation.

The Dempo Mining Corporation spent over Rs.1,00,000.00 for its mine restoration project based on use of EM and treated garbage. The project is undertaken at the reject dump in the mining lease in Bicholim. Over here, the DMC received agro and market waste from the Mapusa and Bicholim Municipal Councils and converted it into compost using EM under GF supervision.

The project also conducted a number of training programs for Municipal councils, panchayats, schools and colleges. Some of the costs of the training sessions at the Municipal Council and panchayat level have been borne by the respective authorities. They did arrangements for the hall, LCD projectors, arrangement of snacks and food for the participants, providing material etc.

The amount varied depending where the training program was conducted. In case of the Municipal councils it went up to 20,000/- to 30,000/- while in the panchayats it was two to three thousand. They also did all the arrangements thus the payments were also done by them.

More than 60 units have bee erected by individual stakeholders including housing colonies for vermicomposting units. The combined investment in these units alone works out to Rs.5 lakhs or more.

Is this project suitable for replication in other communities or regions? Could it be up-scaled to a medium-sized GEF project? Please indicate any plans in this regard. How would you like this to be addressed and financed?

The project could easily be replicated in other areas of the country. There is no element with in the project as conceived that will militate against its use in other parts of the country. The technologies that are used are very simple and can be handled by uneducated people, slum-dwellers, peasants, etc. It does not require the purchase of heavy equipments. Earthworms that are used are replicable in simple environments and generate revenue. The EM technology that is used is a very simple technology and can be replicated anywhere. Initial investment is very less. All the elements of the technology are readily available in the country.

The most significant aspect of the programme was that it provided a stead core group of expertise for persons involved in garbage processing. Those interested took advantage of its services. The project proponents kept pressure on the authorities throughout for a proper management system for the wastes on the grounds that its own experience with waste management proved that large investments were not necessarily required.

It is a sad experience of modern, democratic India that though technical solutions are readily available, statutory bodies are least inclined to provide real services in an efficient manner. People are helpless in the matter. Once in a way a Mr Rao at Surat or a Mr Chandrashekar at Nagpur get into the act and demonstrate that the same system with a committed individual at the top can work wonders to maintain general cleanliness and involve citizens as well in the process. Alas, that is not the happy fate of the rest of India.

In such circumstances, NGOs have to be supported where they promise they can show the way. Only such constituents of civil society can catalyse action and indicate that there is scope for positive action in these areas and energise the rest of civil society as well.

Were there links between this project and the overall GEF? How were these links achieved? How have they benefited the GEF/SGP? How have they benefited the GEF? How did GEF/SGP help the NGO/ Communities to ‘leverage better resources from various other sources’.

There was not much interaction between the GEF and the project. Though there was a mid-term review, no report of the review was written up by the consultants who visited the organization and so the organization could not benefit from the insights of the consultants.

Has this project influenced government policy? Explain what the government policy is, how it has been affected, and the role and nature of GEF/SGP influence.
Yes. The Goa Foundation has maintained pressure on the Government directly and through the High Court to ensure that attention is brought to bear on the matter of handling municipal wastes. This includes lobbying with the Government for safe disposal of plastic wastes.

The Foundation itself made several proposals for running existing dumpsites at Mapusa, Panaji and Margao. Eventually, the Margao proposal was accepted but based, on the insistence of the project, on an execution through the municipal council and its workers and with only technical supervision from the Foundation. The entire work was done free for the council. The support of the UNGEF was officially communicated to the council.

The project has sought to pressurize government to go in for independent garbage processing plants since the municipal councils are thoroughly disinclined to deal with these issues. This has now resulted in the government selecting a consultant to advise it on the selection of several plants for the various municipal councils. The Foundation will be involved in monitoring the efficiency of these plants and to report failures if any, so that prompt action for remediation can be initiated.