NASA, the US space agency has included two Indian innovators for its conference on waste management.

Mr Nitin Gupta from Attero Recycling and Mr Anshu Goonj from Goonj are among nine innovators from across the globe that made it to the NASA conference on waste management, which started yesterday.

Supported by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department and Nike, the fourth installment of the event is being held at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It is called “LAUNCH: Beyond Waste”.

It aims to identify and accelerate solutions in waste management, an immediate issue for astronauts aboard the International Space Station, as well as people around the world. The forum runs through July 22.

Mr Gupta from Attero Recycling is India’s leading provider of end-to-end electronic and electrical goods e-Waste management services, while Mr Goonj is a grassroots NGO focused on transforming and revaluing clothing and textiles waste by working on these issues directly at the community level.

NASA said these innovators were chosen for this forum because of their groundbreaking technologies and programmes that address a broad range of waste issues, including waste-to-energy, eWaste (discarded electrical or electronic devices), upcycling (the process of using waste to create new materials), recycling, agricultural waste and conservation, medical waste, sustainable chemicals and materials, and improved sanitation.

During the three-day forum, LAUNCH innovators will discuss their most pressing business and programme issues with LAUNCH Council members, who represent the business, waste management, investment, international development, policy, engineering, science, communications and sustainability sectors.

For NASA, LAUNCH draws parallels between resource challenges humans face aboard the space station and on Earth.

With no natural resources in the hostile environment of space, astronauts must generate, collect, store, conserve, recycle and manage their resources wisely, NASA said.

LAUNCH offers NASA’s problem-solving expertise to crucial conversations on sustainability-related topics with innovative problem solvers from around the world.

It enables the agency to promote emerging, transformative technology to sustain and enrich the quality of life on Earth, it said.

(This article was published on July 21, 2012)
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