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Q1. What is a Waste Minimisation Circle (WMC) ?

Q2. What is the objective of the Waste Minimisation Circle project ?

Q3. How is the objective planned to be achieved?

Q4. What are the features of a Waste Minimisation Circle ?

Q5. How do you compare Quality Circles with WMC's ?

Q6. What is the structure of the WMC project ?

Q7. What is the role of the WMC project participants ?

Q8. Who can be a WMC facilitator ?

Q9. Who can establish Waste Minimisation Circles ?

Q10. Who will fund the establishment and running of WMC's ?

Q11. What will be the funding pattern for facilitators ?

Q12. What will the facilitators gain out of this project ?

Q13. Why Waste Minimisation (WM) - Need & Benefits ?

Q14. Why WMC ?

Q15. Pre-requisites for adopting WM ?

Q16. What methodology one needs to adopt for implementing WM ?

Q17. Why one needs to follow a structured Methodology ?

Q18. What are the techniques for WM ?

Q19. What barriers are generally encountered in implementing WM techniques ?

Q20. What measures one can adopt for overcoming the barriers ?

Q21. Examples of WM potential in select Industrial sectors.

Q22. Potential Industrial sectors that one can consider for formation of WMC's.

Q23. Is the concept tried any where so far ?

Q24. If yes where and in which sectors ?

Q25. What are the results achieved so far ?

Q26. What are the major options implemented in each sector ?

Q27. Where can one find related sources of information on WM ?

Q28. How WMC's function?

Q29. What will WMC member units gain by Participating in establishing and running a circle?

Q30. What interest NPC have in helping establish WMC's

Q31. What interest MoEF have in funding WMC's

33. How WMC's function ?

34. What will WMC member units gain by Participating in WMC project ?

35. What interest NPC has in executing the WMC project ?

36. What interest MoEF has in sponsoring WMC project ?

37. Why NPC is chosen as the nodal agency for implementing WMC Project?


1. What is a Waste Minimisation Circle (WMC) ?

Waste Minimisation Circle is conceptualized on the lines of Quality Circles (QC's) with the difference that in QC's the group is from within the Industry where as WMC's are intended to be among the industries.
A Waste Minimisation Circle thus can be defined as "A small group of entrepreneurs in the small scale sector whose units manufacture similar products and employ the same processes meeting periodically and regularly in the premises of each member unit one after another, to analyse the operation of the host unit to identity sources of waste generation and implement WM options leading to an increase in individual profitability and reduction in pollution load from the units."

2. What is the objective of the Waste Minimisation Circle (WMC) project ?

To realize benefits of Waste Minimisation Concept and achieve conservation of resources and environmental improvement by way of adoption of group efforts at industrial cluster level.

3. How is the objective planned to be achieved?

1 By building capacity on 'Waste Minimisation Assessment' applications through training of WMC Facilitators

2 By creating awareness and disseminating information on Waste Minimisation to Small and Medium Enterprises

3 By providing a structured methodology for systematic application of Waste Minimisation concept.

4 By creating a platform for discussions and for sharing experiences, views, knowledge and innovations in implementation of WM Techniques

5 By enabling dissemination of information through WMC News letter

4. How do you compare Quality Circles (QC's) with WMC's ?
Developing innovative IDEAS and applying to the industrial processes for improving quality and ensuring better ergonomics in the work environment
Developing innovative IDEAS towards identifying Waste Minimisation Options and implementing WM Solutions for achieving economic and environmental benefits through collective efforts
Scenario :
- Within a given industry and applied on Shop floor level
- Employees who carry out tasks / operations in a section of the industry in same familiar surroundings

- Ideas are generated by brainstorming, each employee contributing his knowledge, experience and creativity to evolve solutions

- Commitment of the employees
Scenario :
- Among group of Small and Medium Scale units ( 5-6 Nos ) at Cluster of industries level involving units with similar processes and products
- Entrepreneurs / WM Teams focussing on varying versions of similar enterprises (i.e. member units)

- Ideas are generated by participants observing unique features in member units and developing innovative ideas by brainstorming / cross fertilisation of experiences gained

- Commitment of the Member Units

5. What is the structure of the WMC project ?


6. What is the role of the WMC project participants ?

The World Bank
· Funding of the Project
· Project Sponsoring and Providing Guidelines
Project Monitoring Committee
· Project Monitoring / Evaluation and providing guidance.
· Project Implementation as Nodal Agency
WMC Facilitators
· Establishment and Running of WMC's.
WMC Member Units
· Voluntary participation and cooperation in applying WM concept and generation and implementation of WM Options - Beneficiaries of the project
7. Who can be a WMC Facilitator ?

Institutions (E.g: Sectoral / Research institutions / Scientific bodies), Public / Private Environmental / Management Consultancy Organisations, Industrial Associations etc., who can offer initiative and a high degree of result oriented efforts to the project and who fulfil the criteria mentioned below can become a WMC Facilitator organisation.

Criteria for Organisations wishing to become WMC Facilitators :
S No Criteria Weightage
1. Type of Organisation (Research /Academic / Consultancy) 10
2. Management's Commitment 15
3. Experience in Environmental Issues 15
4. Linkages with Industry and Industrial Associations 15
5. Available Manpower and their Qualification 10
6. Area of Expertise 10
7. Available infrastructure 15

Criteria for Individuals wishing to become WMC Facilitators :
S No Criteria Weightage
1. Industrial Experience 15
2. Experience in Environment related field 15
3. Nature of job (Consultancy / Academic) 10
4. Available infrastructure 15
5. Leadership and Managerial capability 10
6. Communication Skills 10
7. Level of Commitment 10

8. Who can be members of a Waste Minimisation Circle ?
- Small and Medium Scale Enterprises
- Industries falling under Environmentally critical industrial sector
- Industries willing to share information and participate actively in group efforts towards evolving innovative ideas and solutions to effect Waste Minimisation in participating member units within their WMC
- Industries keen on achieving economic and environmental benefits

11. What will the WMC Facilitators gain out of this project ?
Budget for Establishing and successfully facilitating one WMC :
- Professional Charges = Rs 1,15,000=00
- Variable Expenses* = Rs 57,500=00
- Total per WMC = Rs. 1,72,500=00

(*Variable Expenses : Organising Workshops / Meetings, Travel, Documentation etc.).
· Receiving Training on WM Assessment Methodology / Techniques
· Introduction to a large variety of case studies
· Developing professional Linkages with National and International Agencies
· Strengthening relations with Industries / Industry Associations
· Gaining insights on existing industrial processes and applications of best practices
· Experience in Environmental Auditing and Benchmarking
· Opening up new market opportunities in consultancy services.

12. Why Waste Minimisation (WM) - Need & Benefits ?
- Conserve Resources (Energy / Water / Raw Materials etc.)
- Control Pollution (Controlling contamination of Land / Water Resources / Ambient Air etc.)
- Improve Occupational Health and Safety
-Match Export Market Requirements

- Improving productivity and increasing profits
- Improving Quality of Products
- Towards Compliance with emission norms / regulatory requirements
- Reducing Costs on Effluent Treatment / Pollution Control
- Improving Work Environment / Better Ergonomics
- Enhancing Public Image of the Enterprise
- Makes Good Business Sense

13 Why WMC approach ?
The WMC approach in promoting Waste Minimisation in SMEs is appropriate and sound because of the factors listed below.

· Adoption, acceptance and implementation of WM Options (WMOs) can be ensured when WMOs are identified by entrepreneurs
· To cover the length and breadth of the country relying on consultants located at different places is a logical approach
· WMC can generate a spirit of co-operation among its members even beyond WM
· Members of WMCs after achieving success could generate the desired multiplier effect
· The WMC approach focusing on self help catalysed by the facilitator is a movement independent of regulatory pressures

15 Pre-requisites for adopting WM ?
- Willingness
- Commitment
- Open mind
- Team Work
- Structured Methodology

16. What are the techniques for WM ?
Ø Source Reduction
¨ Good housekeeping
¨ Technology-change
¨ Raw-material quality control
¨ Better process control
¨ Equipment modification etc.

Ø Waste Utilization
- Recycling
- Recovery
- Reuse.


17. What barriers are generally encountered in implementing WM Techniques ? What measures one can adopt for overcoming the barriers ?
Reservation policy and protectionism for SME's resulting in adaptation of unproductive industrial processes

Taxation Policy which have limited the initiative for growth / expansion of capacities in SME's

Regime of Prescriptive Technologies for decades and consequent non-introduction of timely corrective measures resulting in propagation of obsolete technology (Khandsari)
Opening up of the Economy and Encouraging Competitive Forces

Introduction to Advanced Technologies and Best Practices

A regime of uniform Taxation Policy which encourages investment for expansion / modernisation of SMEs

Non prescriptive technologies that allow SME's scope for identifying and selecting technologies best suited for their manufacturing processes
Inappropriate Resource accounting resulting in excess consumption of Water / Electricity causing wastage and losses

Feeling that WM costs money, additional resources in terms of Raw material & Energy, investment in new machinery etc.

Low returns on investment from implementing WM measures.

Realising profitable margins and acceptable return on investments for decades by SMEs while focusing on maximising production despite low productivity and poor quality of goods while catering to large domestic demand for manufactured goods

Notion of steady / increasing demand for the manufactured goods in the country with a steady rate of increasing population
In evaluating Economic viability of industrial Enterprises inclusion of full and true cost of following issues must be undertaken :

- Resources consumed
- Pollution caused
- Waste generated
- Potential future liabilities introduced etc.

SME's should undertake value addition measures through innovations and enhancing product quality (by applying concepts like Quality Circles / Kaizen / 5S etc.) for matching higher consumer expectations and realising higher profitability

Improving competitiveness through improving productivity in a shrinking market
¨ Limited access to technical information.
¨ Limited availability of trained manpower
¨ Limited availability of technical experts.
¨ Lack of adequate external infrastructural facilities
¨ Limited in-house maintenance facilities
¨ Lack of documentatio - systematic records
¨ Limitations posed by existing technology.
Improving access to technical information through SISI's, Industry associations, Cleaner Production Clearing Houses, Waste Minimisation related Literature / Newsletters / Websites etc.

Improving Operator / Supervisor Training Establishments and introducing Wast Minimisation concepts in the curriculum. Encouraging Entrepreneurs to provide periodic training / retraining to employees for higher efficiencies in their units.

Building Capacity through training technical personnel (in different parts of the country) in respect of applications of Waste Minimisation Concept example developing WMC Facilitators

Development of suitable infrastructure facilities in industrial estates / zones.

Encouraging entrepreneurs to equip themselves or in partnership with suitable maintenance / monitoring / testing facilities

Create facilities (finance / consultancy etc.) for technology upgradation / revamping and re-engineering of enterprises
Emphasis on End-of-Pipe Treatment for deducing environmental compliance
Emphasis on Waste Minimisation efforts to be undertaken by industry as part of Regulatory approach
Resistance to change and friction among elements with in a company may introduce barriers like
- Lack of managerial commitment
- Poor internal communication
- Restrictive employment practices
- Lack of effective supervision.

Concerns about changes to product quality and customer acceptance

-Education and training programmes with managerial improvements.
-Encourage employees at all levels to provide valuable information about operational problems and insights into possible solutions
Introducing incentive schemes

Company should take steps to identify customer needs.
Increase quality control in manufacture
Mental Blocks:
Fear of disturbing tradition
Fear of criticism
Fear of making mistakes ( being considered a guinea pig)

Fear of making solitary effort (Not me first syndrome)
Fear of losing trade secrets
Fear of being exposed for inadequacies in existing processes etc.
Showing modern units to break traditional mind set, helping conduct trials with assistance from suppliers, training to enhance risk taking ability.
Good only for multinationals
Needs highly qualified personnel.
Requires latest technology
Total automation a must
Requires high capital investment
It's a one time activity
Has limited potential

Idea Killers
Let's think about it later
We have already tried it
This is not the right time
You don't understand the problem
Talk to John - This is not my field
It sounds nice in theory but will not work in practice
We are too small /big for it.
Has it been tried elsewhere.
It doesn't fit into our planning

Over all production cost increases
- Raw material costs
- Production rate decreases
- New equipment is required
Company and employees need to be alert to information from
- Government bodies
- trade associations
- Professional institutions


Idea Killers
1) Workers

· Nothing is Possible
· Inadequate facilities
· Lack of knowledge
· Boss is always right/does not listen
· Outdated technology
· Why should I do it/what do I gain
· Fear of job insecurity

2) Management barriers

· Lack of finances and investment
· Resistance to change
· Adverse effects on quality
· Space constraints/lack of infrastructure
· Availability of cheap labor
· Lack of adequate information

3) Consultants Barriers

· Resistance to change
· Convince about the viability of P2
· Not me first syndrome
· Lack of funds
· Lack of authentic data

4) Environmentalist NGO Barriers

· Lack of Awareness of people/Society
· Lack of support from industry
· Lack of support from government/opposition
· Non-availability of funds
· Apprehension of Job loss
· Loss of income for people dependent on waste
· Lack of technical knowledge, technical support

18. Examples of WM potential in select Industrial sectors.
Quantity Value (Rs)
Yield improvement % 10-25 15000-40000
By-product recovery Kg/T 125-200 8000-20000
Steam conservation Kg/T 200-500 200-500
Energy conservation KWH/T 100-300 250-750
Water conservation m3/T 20-50 20-50
TOTAL 23470-61300

Value (Rs/month)
Chemicals 200-1000 Kg/month 500-2500
Rinse water 30-300 m3/month 30-300
Chemicals Kg/month 20-200 2000-20000
Rinse water 60-500 m3/month 60-500
Chemicals 10-40 Kg/month 300-1200
Wastewater treatment
Chemicals 1000-5000 Kg/month 8000-25000
Energy 1000-5000 KWH/month 2000-10000
TOTAL 12890-59000
Area Unit General performance/ consumption range WM potential
Quantity Value (Rs/T)
Fibre % Yield 40-44 40-100 250-600
Caustic Kg/t 60-120 10-15 100-150
Additives Kg/t 11-15 1-2 5-10
Steam Kg/t 405-605 0.5-1.5 125-400
Electrical Kg/t 850-980 60-120 150-300
Overall saving capacity Kg/t 5-20 75-300 75-300
Water consumption M3/t 180-280 60-120 25-50
Total 730-1800
Recycling lime sulphide liquor · 20-50% sulphide reduction
· 60% lime reduction
Recycling chrome tannage 10-20% chrome savig
Chrome precipitation & recovery 98% chrome recovery
Direct contact applications 20-30% reduction in chemical consumption
Non-solvent finishing 100% solvent reduction
Yield improvement 2-5%
Production % increase 20-30 350-500
Chemical & Dye stuffs Kg/T 10.40% 1000-4000
Water m3/T 50-100 25-50
Fuel/Coal Kg/T 200-800 400-1600
Energy KWH/T 30-60 100-200
Potential range : 2000-5000 Rs/Ton

20. Potential Industrial sectors that one can consider for formation of WMC's.

21. Is the WMC concept tried any where so far, if yes, where and in which sectors ?


The concept is tried in two phases. Phase-I is tried as an experimental phase with 15 WMC's established in sectors in towns and cities

Having achieved success in the first phase the second phase was initiated with plan to establish 100 WMC's. Till now 45 No. of Waste Minimisation Circles are established covering 180+ number of industries in 29 cities and towns covering 23 industrial sectors. The sectors and places where WMC's are established are given below:
1. Khandsari - Bijnore, 13. Pulp & Paper - Muzaffarnagar, Chandigarh, Modi Nagar, Rajahmundry
2. Refractories - Muzaffarnagar 14. Dye and Dye Intermediates - Ahmedabad
3. Foundry and metal forging industries - Belgaum , Delhi 15. Electroplating - Ludhiana, Cuttack,
4. Hotels - Mumbai , Shimla, Bhopal 16. Distillery - Akluj
5. Textiles processing and printing ( Cotton, synthetics etc) - Ludhiana, Tripur, Surat, Faridabad 17 Dairy - Calcutta
6. Paints - Vadodara 18. Resins - Vadodara
7. Bulk Drug - 19. Marble & Slurry - Udaipur
8. Rice Mills (Raw rice & Parboiled Rice) - Nizamabad 20. Steel Rolling Mills - Ahmedabad
9. Pesticide Formulation - Ahemdabad 21. Printed Circuit Board - Ahmedabad
10. Lead Acid Battery Manufacturing - Bangalore 22. Edible Oil - Virudhunagar, Chitradurga
11. Ply Board manufacturing - Dehradun 23. Engineering sector - Bhilai
12. Utensils manufacturing
(Aluminium, Brass and Stainless Steel) etc.- Jagadhri

23. What are the results achieved so far ?Together the 45 WMC's generated 300+ Waste Minimisation Options(WMOs) out of which 120+ options were implemented achieving an aggregate savings of Rs.100 Lakhs/annum

Phase-I : In the 15 established WMC's in Phase no. of WM options and realising Rs economic benefits and reducing pollution load by %.


26. What are the issues/dilemmas faced by WMC Facilitators in establishing a circle
- Certificate of identity as facilitator
- Introductory letter as trained facilitators
- Members expect full technical solutions
- Members expect support in terms of clearance from Govt. agencies
- Suspicion about misuse of data
- Non co-operation of members even after forming WMC

27. What are the barriers encountered by WMC facilitators in running a Circle?

-"Not Me First" syndrome
-Fear of Competition
-Fear of losing monopoly
-Fear of misuse of information
-Fear of being exposed
-Sceptical about benefits of WMC

33. How WMC's function ?

Planning for Establishing WMC by WMC Facilitators and exploring potential for WM and preparing Industrial / Cluster profile

Organising Awareness Workshop and Training Programme for interested SMEs and Establishing WMCs and forming WM Teams

Technical Support / follow up visits by NPC Conducting WMC Meetings, Assessing Industrial Processes, Analysing Waste Streams, Cause Analysis, Evolving WM Options, Analysing Options, Implementing WM Solutions, Impact evaluation etc. Progress Assessment by NPC (Nodal Agency)
Identifying Multiplier Effect, preparing Case Study, Submitting Final Report, Conducting Final Workshop
Sustaining WMC

34. What will WMC member units gain by Participating in WMC project ?
-Improved productivity and increased profits
- Improved Quality of Products
- Conservation of valuable Resources (Energy / Water / Raw Materials etc.)
- Progress towards achieving / complying with Emission Norms for Pollution Control
- Reduced Cost of Effluent Treatment / Pollution Control
- Improved Occupational Health and Safety standards
- Match Export Market Requirements
- Improved Documentation / Record keeping / Accounting system
- Developing Benchmarks for comparison with industry leaders
- Improved Work Environment / Ergonomics
- Enhanced Public Image of the Enterprise

35. What interest NPC has in executing the WMC project ?

36. What interest MoEF has in sponsoring WMC project ?

Role of NPC as implementing agency
NPC is an appropriate choice to implement WMC Project (because of factors mentioned below)
¨ NPC promotes productivity and WM is a subset of increasing productivity
¨ NPC has a strong technical knowledge base and expertise in various areas such as Pollution Prevention and Control, Energy Conservation, Production process etc.
¨ Technical manpower available in the central and regional offices of NPC
¨ Linkages NPC has with NCPC and through it with State Cleaner Production Centres
¨ Trust existing between Industry (SMEs) and NPC

Free and informal atmosphere should be maintained
WMC members should have harmony and respect for each other
Experimentations/ trials should be encouraged
Credit should be given liberally
WM Methodology should be followed
Be the principal listener
Proper documentation of activities should be done

Direct financial assistance not to be expected
Ready made technical solutions should not be looked for
Don't allow snubbing
Don't impose ideas on groups
Don't demotivate be pointing mistakes
The World Bank · Funding of the Project
MoEF · Project Sponsoring and Providing Guidelines
Project Monitoring Committee · Project Monitoring / Evaluation and providing guidance.
NPC · Project Implementation
NPC · Identification of cluster of industries
NPC · Identification of opinion leaders/resource persons
NPC · Identification of sector specific technical experts
NPC/WMC Facilitator · Organising awareness workshop
WMC Facilitator/WMC Member units · Establishment and Running of WMCs Formation of circle from interested units
WMC Facilitators · Organising training workshop
WMC Facilitators · Facilitating circle meetings
WMC Member Units · Participating in circle meetings & discussions, implementing WM options

Degradation of Land / Water / Air
The adoption of WM is needed to:
1. Conserve chemical and auxiliary chemicals
2. Conserve water
3. Conserve energy
4. Control pollution
- - a considerable portion of chemicals used appear in wastewater which if discharged without treatment can cause grave damage to the environment. WM helps to reduce treatment cost and some times eliminating the need of treatment.

- Water conservation leads to reduced volume of wastewater and reduced space and capital requirements for ETP.

5. Enhance workers awareness regarding occupational health and safety.
6. Match Export market requirements:
- Some of the developed countries are restricting imports for reasons of using toxic materials as input in producing the goods. The trend is expected to rise with growing awareness.
7. Help build industry's image in public :
- Public awareness about issues of environmental protection are growing and the risk of rejecting a product on environmental grounds is increasing day by day.
- Affected communities due to pollution are increasingly taking the role of watchdog.