Solid Waste Management
Parmarth Niketan, an ashram lying on the banks of the sacred Ganga River, has been working for many years and even decades to minimize all forms of waste so that the waste does not pollute the river. Over the last several years, together with sister organization Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, it has implemented a variety of innovative eco-friendly programs onsite at the ashram, as well as encouraged and advocated for other ashrams and institutions to institute them as well. The project includes: 1. Kill Waste, Fuel Free Solid Waste Disposal System: This system is different from conventional incinerators in that it requires minimum investment, utilizes no fuel, requires no technicians, and uses simple equipment that requires no maintenance. The machine effectively disposes of dry and wet waste without odor and harmful gas. The output is neutral ash, which has been neutralized by activated charcoal, which can be used as fertilizer. 2. First portable and potable magnetized wastewater treatment plant in India: This first-of-its-kind treatment system uses a four-part treatment technology to turn wastewater into potable water, which can be reused for irrigation, gardening, laundry, and other domestic daily uses. 3. The use of only cow-dung patties instead of wood in all of its fire ceremonies: In the Hindu tradition, the fire ceremony, or yagna, is a critical ritual, conducted daily at the ashram and by Hindus around the world. The amount of wood cut for the performance of these rituals is a significant source of deforestation. Therefore, for the last several years, Parmath Niketan started a campaign to use only the natural, eco-friendly cow-dung patties and to encourage everyone who attends their daily yagnas (each morning and evening) to do the same. 4. Solar powered water heating and electricity.
The solar panels on the rooftops of Parmarth Niketan provide much of the electricity for the nearly one-thousand rooms. The wastewater treatment plant saves thousands of liters of water and sets an exciting precedent for other ashrams, hotels, and all institutions.