A city in India is tackling its litter problem while giving food to the homeless as part of its new ‘garbage cafe’.
The city of Ambikapur in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh is giving free hearty food to anyone who collects rubbish from its streets, according to local reports.
Homeless people living there can collect a free meal for every kilo of rubbish they collect, or they can even get a substantial breakfast for 500 grams of garbage.
Similar garbage cafes already exist in some parts of the US, Europe and even in Cambodia, however this initiative goes one step further by using all the plastic waste to build stronger roads in the city, which is said to be the cleanest city in India, closely following Indore.
Ambikapur already has one road running through the city completely made out of 800,000 plastic bags collected from excessive waste in the Godpur area and asphalt which is a perfect way to use the plastic, which we already know can cause huge problems if left to waste, for greater good. Not only this, the roads made from these materials are also thought to last longer and be more resistant to floods and water damage, The Economic Times reports.
While other cities in India, and of course all over the world, remain knee-deep in rubbish, it seems we could all take note from the forward-thinking initiative paving the way in doing some damage control on the current plastic waste crisis.
The city’s mayor, Ajay Tirkey, presented Ambikapur’s budget on Monday, July 15, where he explained the new garbage cafe would be operated from the city’s main bus stand and would be given a budget of Rs 5 lakh, which equates to around £5,820.
He said they hope to extend the scheme in the future to provide free shelter for homeless people in exchange for collecting rubbish.
Ambikapur is in Surguja district, which is one of the oldest districts in Chhattisgarh and has much higher literacy rates than the rest of India. The average effective literacy rate in in the city is currently 88.2 per cent, while India’s national average literacy rate is just 74.04 per cent.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.