IIT Madras Launches ‘Sustainable Campus Collective’ Drive To Raise Awareness Among Its Campus Residents

IIT Madras Launches ‘Sustainable Campus Collective’ Drive To Raise Awareness Among Its Campus Residents

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has launched 'Punch the Plastic' campaign, on the eve of World Sustainability Day which is observed on October 26. The staffs, faculty and students of IIT Madras has formed a ‘Sustainable Campus Collective’ drive under the campaign. The drive aims to raise awareness among the campus residents on waste segregation, minimising water and energy usage. The IIT Madras has launched three major events on the occasion which include Punch the Plastic Drive, Monkey Proof Food waste Dustbin Hackathon and Sustainability Champions Contest.

Addressing the launch of 'Punch the Plastic' campaign, Professor Indumathi Nambi, Faculty Advisor, Sustainable Campus Collective, IIT Madras, said: “We believe that every individual in IIT Madras community should contribute their bit and strengthen the administration's efforts towards making the campus the best in the country in terms of practising sustainability.”

This drive aims at making IIT Madras a truly sustainable campus in three aspects - zero waste campus, low carbon and low water footprint, he said. "The drive takes into its fold hostels, academic zones, residential zones, places of worship, shops and schools. It encourages all students, staff, faculty, residents, school kids, supporting contract workers to voluntarily participate and make it successful,” Mr Nambi added.

Highlighting the importance of these initiatives, Prof Ligy Philip elaborated about institute initiatives in Wastewater recycling and a proposed bio-methnation plant for food waste. "The Institute also intends to organise competitions across schools, hostels, academic and residential zones and expand their reach beyond campus. These competitions will definitely encourage all residents on campus to internalise and implement the idea of sustainability in their everyday life," IIT Madras said in a release.

About Punch the Plastic Drive

Packaging plastic such as snack packets and thin plastics from food delivery executives are non-recyclable as they are wet and dirty when mixed with other organic waste. They often end up in dumpsites or water bodies. IIT Madras students have designed two models of simple hook device to collect clean and dry plastic packaging to send them to recycling options like pyrolysis.

About Monkey Proof Food waste Dustbin Hackathon

IIT Madras has a significant population of monkeys which often forage in garbage bins, thereby disrupting waste management. While several dustbin models have evolved in IIT Madras, there is scope for improving the designs to a larger, robust, user-friendly monkey-proof model for wet and dry waste. A hackathon is planned and the best design will get funding for further prototyping and testing sponsored by Carbon Zero Challenge 2022

About Sustainability Champions Contest

An action and awareness on sustainability to all campus residents is planned through Sustainability contest to select the Sustainable Champions of residential, Academic and Hostel zone and also among the Vendors and Service providers in the campus. They will be ranked by doing a water, energy, waste and hygiene audit and green ratings will be used to judge the winning Sustainability Champions. The champions will receive a trophy during convocation.