Mahindra United World College of India

Mahindra United World College of India (MUCWI) is a private coeducational boarding school in the rural Western Ghats region. It is one of 17 United World Colleges around the world and offers two-year International Baccalaureate courses to a small number of feepaying and grant-aided students, many of whom are from overseas.

The project will establish a waste-management scheme at the school and in five surrounding villages. A solar-powered cart will collect waste plastic and take it to a storage depot, where it will be collected by a local firm that will turn it into polyfuel, a kerosene and diesel substitute. This will then be sold at subsidized prices to villagers and the school.

The cart will also collect non-organic and non-recyclable waste that will be disposed of in an incinerator at the school. This will be fired using polyfuel instead of oil. A "scrubber" attached to the plant will use water from the school’s ecological sewage treatment plant to clean the flue gases emitted. The resultant carbon-rich water will then be used to water the school’s garden and organic farm.

The students will research the effect of this water on plant growth and the carbon sequestration potential of the school’s 175-acre campus. Other educational opportunities will arise from the proposed new Zayed Innovation and Sustainability Centre.

The project will also install a biodigester that will compost food waste and generate about 8kg of biogas a day for use in the canteen Cookers.

The total cost is $95,000, slightly less than the total Prize money. Surplus funds would be used to accommodate any margin of error in estimates of certain components of the project and future maintenance.