How We Work

The Clean Upper Dharamshala works with waste reduction in four different ways; via our Green Workers, Sweepers, Paper Recycling factory/workshop and Environmental Awareness Programme. Here you can learn more about exactly what each project entails.



Some of CUDP sweepers after a  sucessfully completed mass clean up

The Street Sweepers are the first part of the CUDP’s backbone and the majority of its paid employees. Armed with bags and brooms, their job is to patrol the streets of McLeod Ganj and Upper Dharamshala and pick up the waste that has been dumped by locals and tourists alike. They work in two shifts, one in the early morning around 5.30 AM and one in the afternoon around 2 PM.


CUDP sweepers Ritesh, Parveen and Sunil during thé-break


Surinder sweeping the area around St. Johns church in the wilderness

Green Workers:


CUDP Green workers Vishal and Rahul collecting recyclable waste from households.

The Green Workers are the second part of the CUDP’s backbone. Their job is to collect non-bio-degradable waste (called ”dry” waste”) from households, hotels, restaurants and monasteries. All the collected waste is dumped on the designated dry waste-truck and taken to one of two different segregation centres in the Upper Dharamshala area. Here the waste is segregated by hand and put into different compartments. The segregated waste is then sold to recycling plants in Delhi, Chandigarh and Punjab who recycle it.


The first segregation of collected recyclable waste is performed on one of CUDPs truck. In the picture we have Phurbu Lhamo, Jeevan, Vijay and Pritam. 


Final part of segregation takes place in one of CUDPs segregation centers. 

Paper Recycling Factory/Workshop:


New paper in the making. 

When the Green Workers find paper from books, newspaper etc. this is not sold to the above mentioned recycling plants. Instead it is taken to the CUDP’s resident paper factory and workshop which is located right beneath the office on Bhagsu Road. Here the paper is torn apart by hand, mixed with recycled cotton and colour dye and made into fresh paper. The resulting raw paper is then brought up to the Paper Recycling Workshop on the floor above. It is then fashioned into beautiful books and cards which can be bought in the Green Shop, the official CUDP shop which is located right next door to the office.


Finished paper

CUDP Green Shop:


As mentioned above CUDP Green Shop sell the products that are produced in the paper recycling factory. But that is not all. In the shop we also sell other ecological products as well as different Tibetan items.


These are some examples of products, that CUDP produces from recycled paper.


We also sell other sustainable and/or organic goods, such as tea and incence.

Environmental Awareness Programme:


Showing presence for the environment

Not all of the CUDP’s projects deal with waste in a direct way. One important part of our work is to make people aware of the problems that can be the result of improper waste handling. We primarily do this by visiting local schools and monasteries to hold lectures on local and global environmental problems. Every month except during the monsoon season we also host Mass Clean-up days where all the inhabitants of McLeod Ganj together help clean up the illegal dump sites that appear from time to time. Lastly, we sometimes host Environmental Awareness campaigns where we march through the streets of McLeod Ganj shouting slogans and carrying signs to protest the illegal dumping and burning of waste.


Some of CUDPs sweepers during a mass clean up day


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