A paper recycling campaign has proved the worth of waste. Liffy Thomas reports

Nothing gets wasted in the Manickams' household in Anna Nagar East. Even a torn piece of an envelope is segregated into a nice-looking waterproof bag. Called ‘Paperman Bag’, this can hold up to 80 kilos and has three compartments — one for newspapers and other two for books and magazines and for pamphlets and bits of paper.

“We are nearly a zero-waste home,” says Shobha V. Manickam. Segregating paper waste for recycling purpose is the latest task the Manickams’ have undertaken. While the kitchen waste is turned to manure, the unused flush tank, mosquito nets and cistern are also put to good use.

The Manickams are among the 80 families supporting a social cause by recycling paper.

Three years after Paperman’s successful recycling campaign across schools in the city, its crusader Mathew Jose is now out with a slightly different approach in the neighbourhood. Every resident who buys the recyclable bag can contact the recycling helpline number (8015269831) and a Paperman will come and collect the sorted papers. They also pick plastic and metal waste.

The campaign is on in pockets of Nungambakkam and Anna Nagar for the last one month. And, by the end of the year, it would be scaled across the city. “Nearly 80 people have bought the eco-friendly bag from us. To make people conscious and put it to regular use, we have priced it at Rs.200,” says Mathew. These bags are delivered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Explaining the social aspect of this campaign, Mathew says that 60 per cent of the proceeds collected from a house goes to a social cause, 20 per cent to a street project (water logging, sapling plantation) and the remaining as service charge to Paperman. “The collection is done by the local paper mart. In this way, we are not eating into their business, rather we issue them identity cards and train them to deal with customers,” says Mathew. Now, if you don’t intend to buy the recyclable bag, you could still use the helpline number once a month.

To know more, visit Paperman or call 9962699831.

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