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When garbage collection became rewarding for tourists

Panaji: Students from the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) collected a sizeable amount of plastic waste during a trial run on Calangute beach by rewarding tourists who collected and deposited waste.Tourists were only too happy to walk over to a small kiosk manned by the students on the beach, and deposit their garbage in return for restaurant discount coupons.A team of seven management students came up with the unique idea of rewarding tourists for keeping the beach clean.During the pilot run, around 50 tourists carried plastic bottles, packets and wrappers to the kiosk. The students had a tie-up with six restaurants in the area, and handed coupons to the tourists, which had discounts ranging from 10-20%, Rs 200 off on a bill, and special discounts for Valentine’s day.“It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” a first year management student at GIM, Suchi Rajput says. “People bringing in waste, receive discounts. Restaurants benefit from an increase in footfall and the panchayats are happy that their beaches are kept clean,” she says, adding that the idea is also cost-friendly with no capital required to implement it. The students propose that the waste collected should be segregated and sent to the solid waste management plant at Saligao and the money received from the recycled waste can be ploughed back to maintain the kiosks.
“During our research we found that no matter how much you educate people, they continue to litter. The only option left is to reprimand them or reward them. People are fined for littering abroad but this doesn’t happen here. That’s how we came up with the idea of rewarding them for keeping the place clean,” Suchi says.The response for the pilot run was good, considering there was not much awareness created before the idea was implemented. Calangute panchayat members are now studying the model and considering implementing it around the village. “Since beaches are regularly being cleaned, we are looking at other spots to implement this,” panchayat member Shawn Martins told TOI.The students conceptualised the idea for the confederation of Indian industries (CII) Young Indians’ Swachh Bharat mission, as part of GIM’s social project ‘Give Goa’. [TOI]

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