Paperless office, Green business, Go Green… are some of the catchphrases of the corporate world that offices and institutions swear by, in a bid to contribute towards environmental protection. Yet, many continue to generate huge volumes of waste paper. On its part, the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation intends to send all its waste paper henceforth, to the Airports Authority of India Paper Recycling Unit (AAIPRU) that has a very efficient, low cost and environmental friendly system in place to recycle and reuse paper waste.
At AAI’s recycling unit in Vasant Kunj, waste paper from different government offices in Delhi is collected and converted into useful paper stationery products like file covers, folders, visiting cards, envelopes, letter heads, invitation cards, greeting cards, calendars, etc. The unit is a CSR (corporate social responsibility) project of AAI.
In November 2016, AAI signed a MOU, with Ministry of Finance, to promote waste paper recycling through AAI Paper Recycling Unit, as part of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’, wherein, AAI paper recycling unit will recycle the waste paper of Ministry of Finance and in turn will supply recycled paper, produced at the AAI Paper Recycling Unit Vasant Kunj, New Delhi. Similar arrangements had been made with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, BCAS, CISF, CRPF, Delhi Police and Prime Minister’s Office.
MDWS decision to send its waste paper to AAI’s paper recycling unit comes given the major role the corporate world has to play to promote the use of recycled paper and thereby contribute to environmental conservation and sustainable development in a meaningful way.
The process: Waste paper is collected from offices and stored. It is then shredded into bits and soaked in a water tank (This water is later used for gardening or horticulture). The substance then goes into a beating and pulping section; and thereafter into an agitator tank which mixes the pulp for uniform suspension, freeing the pulp from clumps and knots. The paper is then lifted from the mould with the help of woolen felts and then manually lifted and taken for drying. Separated sheets are then hung for natural drying in bunches of 2-4 as per thickness of paper. The dried sheets are then placed alternatively under GI plates to form a post and the post is then passed to and fro in between calendar rolls for obtaining desired smoothness. After sheet formation, the sheets are sorted and quality checked. They are then cut into the required size and packed in reams for sale and fabrication. Products are crafted as per need and design. The finished products are packed and dispatched to AAI offices across the country.
Accolades: The unit that began operations in 2009 under the leadership of the Airports Authority of India Women Welfare Association became the first PSU in India to establih this paper recycling unit to support the cause of Government Recycled Office Waste (GROW). In 2012, AAI was awarded the Golden Peacock Award for Eco Innovation under Sustainable Development – a CSR initiative.
Other AAI’s partners in their environment conservation initiatives are: Ministry of Rural Development, Ministry of Home Affairs, UNAID, Jet Airways, leading schools of Delhi and NCR like Sri Ram Arrival, NCR, DPS (R K Puram, Vasant Kunj), Modern School (Barakhamba, Vasant Vihar), Woodstock school, Pathway World school ( NCR ) and Indian Private School, Kuwait.