ITC’s Wealth Out of Waste (WOW) programme is a flagship initiative that seeks to address the crucial issue of post-consumer waste management in line with the Government’s `Swachh Bharat’ programme, ensuring the proper segregation and recycling of waste in a manner that protects and restores the environment, ensures the cleanliness and hygiene of neighbourhoods and in the process creates sustainable livelihoods for a whole host of participants in the waste management process.
Recycling today, is clearly one of the most important and viable ways to combat the challenges of resource depletion. As a part of corporate social responsibility and commitment to positive environmental action, ITC’s( Indian Tobacco Company Limited ) Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division, initiated a recycling programme - WOW or 'Wealth Out of Waste' - a project that aims to inculcate the habit of recycling among school children, housewives, corporate employees and the general public as well as industries and business enterprises and reduce at least 15-25% of the garbage load through source segregation.
The WOW programme is today operational in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Cochin, Bhadrachalam, Coimbatore & Madurai. Over 3 million citizens, 500,000 school children, 350 corporates, 1000 commercial establishments and about 200 industries support WOW. Based on the reach and impact achieved by WOW, ITC pioneered the first ever National Recycling Day on the 1st of July 2010. Over 15,000 school children participated in the programme and pledged to conserve the earth's precious natural resources through recycling. This programme not only creates awareness among the people about the advantages of the “Reduce- Reuse-Recycle” process to protect the environment, and improve civic amenities, public health and hygiene but also generates cost-effective raw materials for the paper, plastics, metal and glass industries. What started in a small way in households has now spread to schools, government offices, Corporates and other institutions. The WOW initiative which commenced in 2007 with an average monthly collection of 100 tonnes, has spread across South India and 26,731 tonnes of waste was collected through this initiative in 2012-13.