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Bid goodbye to cricket sponsorship, Say hi to Sponsoring Waste Collection and Management of a City

By Sneaky Pill | Social Cause

Dec 15
Waste collection inspired by consumer product images

Modi’s Clean India movement (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan) is doing good by creating public awareness but there are few additional steps which need to be taken to support the movement.

Before discussing these steps, let us first try and understand why Indian roads and open spaces are full of garbage and waste and who is to be blamed.

Two points worth nothing-

  1. Most of the people generally throw waste in places which are already dirty.
  2. Most of the people do not want to throw debris on roads but they have no option as there is no dustbin in the vicinity.

Have you wondered why metro stations are clean but railway stations are not? Do we behave differently when we are in India and when we are in a foreign country?

Metro and metro stations are clean and therefore, there is a tendency to avoid throwing the waste in clean places. Similarly, when we travel to a foreign country, we refrain from throwing waste on streets. No doubt, some credit goes to the heavy penalties imposed by the countries, but one big reason is also due to cleanliness everywhere, there is a tendency to keep it clean. However, if there is a dustbin in the vicinity, then an average person is expected to use it atleast 8 out of 10 times. But if there is no dustbin, then there is no option but throw the waste on the streets. I am no different, if I have a wrapper, I would generally carry it with me up till a certain distance in anticipation of finding a dustbin but after a stage, I will throw it off. If it is a paper wrapper, I will tell myself that it is bio-degradable, but if it is made of polythene, I will carry the guilt but still do it as I may not want to keep it in my hand all the time.

Government is running the campaign of clean India, but there is very less done towards building a network of dustbins on the India Roads.

Waste collection and Management process

  • Place dustbins after every 50-100m on busy roads
  • Collect the waste through garbage trucks overnight through garbage trucks
  • Dispose off the garbage at recycling plants for processing and re-use

With a twist – Privatisation

  • Big corporate houses are spending big bucks on advertising through media
  • Channelize some of this money for waste management project
  • Waste management company manages the whole show from collection to disposal
  • Target one city, say Gurgaon
  • One big Corporate house sponsors the cost of waste collection and disposal for the whole city
  • The money spent will serve multiple purpose viz. brand enhancement, public awareness for the cause, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), free extensive media coverage.
  • The garbage trucks and dustbins will bear the brand logo of the sponsoring corporate house
  • Dustbins can be mirrored to resemble the product of the sponsor. These dustbins can also be crafted to embed a signal amplifier equipment (in case of telecom players) or cabinet some promotional material for latest schemes / products.
  • The sponsorship can also be shared by multiple corporate houses. The cost per dustbin (total operating cost of waste management company / number of dustbins) can be computed and the small corporate houses can sponsor as many dustbins as they intend to.
  • This will increase participation of corporate houses in the movement and will also increase public awareness. People will start relating themselves to the brand which will enhance brand image.
  • No doubt, this will get extensive free coverage from the media and they will follow up on the results for months.
  • Every rupee spent by a Corporate house contributes to CSR as well as advertisement.
  • The first corporate house who becomes the sponsor get a chance to create the history which others will follow in due course.

I am sure, within few months, we will see the difference on city roads.

Tax rebates are allowed on donations made to Swachh Bharat Kosh, however, amount spent as Corporate Social Responsibility under section 135(5) of the Companies Act, 2013 are not eligible for income tax deduction.

The transaction may be structured in such a way that the tax rebate can be claimed. As per Swachh Bharat Kosh Operational Guidelines, the line Ministries are entrusted with the responsibility of proposing projects to the Governing Council with regard to utilisation of Swachh Bharat Kosh. However, the guidelines also mention line Ministries can consider specific suggestions from the donors making contributions above Rs. 10 crores. Accordingly, if the sponsor gives donation above this threshold and the line Ministry is convinced with the merits of the above waste management plan, then the sponsor stands a chance to get the tax deduction as well under section 80G (though some expenditure relating to branding will not be allowable under tax).

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