Urban Ocean: Pune

Urban Ocean is helping Pune identify gaps in its solid waste management system towards supporting the transformation of energy and recovery materials.
Jun 2022

Pune is considered the cultural and industrial capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra, with a strong economy, especially in the IT, manufacturing and engineering sectors. Pune has been documented as one of the fastest growing cities in the Asia-Pacific region for the past 40 years. This growth has increased municipal waste production. Typically for India and like other countries in the region, the majority (74%) of the municipal solid waste generated in Pune is organic, followed by plastic and paper (8%). The large amount of organic material and the general diversity of the waste stream in Pune have led to a wide range of processing plants being developed. However, many processing plants are not operating at their full capacity and most waste in Pune still ends up in landfills.

Through the Urban Ocean program, Pune aims to identify gaps in its solid waste management system that contribute to leakage and leverage opportunities towards supporting the transformation of energy and recovery materials.

Project Statement

Supporting Transformation of Energy and Recovery Materials Initiative focuses on leading the circular economy transformation in Pune by formalizing recycling jobs and enterprises, empowering women in the sector, , supporting innovation in materials recovery, leveraging partnerships along material and value chains and mitigating GHG emissions from waste management.

The Project Statement outlines the city’s vision for the project and the impact it aims to achieve, highlighting the urgency of the issue and the importance of taking immediate action.

Read Pune’s Project Statement

Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) Report

Between October 2020 and March 2021, a team from The Centre for Environment Education (CEE), with guidance and support from the Circularity Informatics Lab, conducted fieldwork in the city of Pune, India. The CAP was conducted with support from the city’s local government, the Chief Resilience Officer, and the larger Urban Ocean team.

The CAP, developed by the Circularity Informatics Lab at the University of Georgia, is a standardized method of collecting community-level data on plastic usage to inform decision-makers. 

Read Pune’s CAP Report

Case Study

Like in many cities, Pune’s informal waste-pickers form a significant part of the waste management system. What is different to other cities is the way they collaborate with the city government through SWaCH, Pune’s pro-poor public private partnership wholly owned by self-employed waste workers. SWaCH bolsters the socio-economic position of waste-pickers while creating a more sustainable and efficient solid waste management system.

The case study series aims to highlight good examples in resilient urban waste management from across the world.

Read Pune’s Case Study

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 NetworkOcean Conservancy and The Circulate Initiative.

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