Chennai is a coastal city with three rivers flowing into the Bay of Bengal, a network of canals, and innumerable man-made lakes or ‘erys’. The city has the highest per capita of waste generated in the country – 0.71 kg of solid waste per day. After heavy rains caused flooding of the Adyar River in 2021, the city collected 218 tons of plastic from a single location in the southern part of the city.
The government has been increasingly inclined towards finding innovative solutions to better manage solid waste, including increasing awareness of waste segregation and engaging in several lake and coastal clean-up efforts. The Urban Ocean program is helping the city identify gaps in its solid waste management system that contribute to leakage and presents opportunities that can be leveraged to move the city towards becoming a near zero waste and plastic free environment.
Read more about Chennai’s key challenges, strategic recommendations, and actionable project ideas to bring circularity into the city’s solid waste management in the Chennai Project Statement. It includes two pilot projects that showcase how challenges can be collectively addressed by collaborating across multiple actors.
Urban Ocean is a capacity-building and accelerator program to end ocean plastic pollution and build more resilient communities in cities. Urban Ocean champions circular economy principles, builds awareness of ocean plastic, assesses waste management systems, and supports cities to develop projects that address the interrelated challenges of ocean plastics and resilience. Since 2020, the program has been implemented in cities across Asia and Latin America. The program is jointly implemented by Resilient Cities Network, Ocean Conservancy, and The Circulate Initiative.