Success story of Bengaluru
Citizens take the initiative
Efforts by people and backing of the administration have scripted success stories Bengaluru has a tradition of home and community garbage management. It has a vibrant terrace gardening culture. There are 5,000 terrace gardens in the city, all of which are based on home composting, says B N Vishwanath of non-profit Organic Terrace Gardens. Initiatives such as My Clean Malleshwaram (MCM) in the locality have been creating awareness on the need to segregate and manage wet waste at the community level. The landfill crisis of 2012 gave a fillip to such initiatives and people’s awareness on the need to segregate has increased. Poonam Kesari of Daily Dump, which sells home and community composting equipment, says that since the crisis, 15,000 home composting units and 100 community composters have been sold in the city. “There is more awareness across the board, and residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) are now more willing to help,” she says. Malleshwaram is a classic example of waste management by people with help from the administration. With the joint effort of MCM, local MLA C M Ashwath Narayan and BBMP, at least half of Malleshwaram’s waste is being segregated at source. “We started about eight years ago, but new laws and backing from the MLA have been an enormous boost,” says V N Sandhya of MCM. “Some six months ago, we started focusing on door-to-door collection. We drew up maps for 10 out of the 20 blocks in the ward so that the exact collection area of each garbage collecting auto was defined. The collectors were made accountable for visiting each house daily. We also authorised garbage collectors to refuse to collect unsegregated waste.” Work in the remaining 10 blocks will begin in a few months. This, she says, has empowered people and garbage collectors, and brought down garbage dumping on the streets by 60 per cent. Malleshwaram is also perhaps the only ward where sanitary waste is collected separately. At least 1.2 tonnes monthly is disposed of at an incineration facility at a local hospital. About eight tonnes of wet waste is sent to Karnataka Compost Development Corporation for composting every two to three days. Former waste picker I Ambika, who runs Malleshwaram’s dry waste collection centre, says the centre receives 18 tonnes of waste per month, most of which comes from garbage collectors. She employs four waste segregators, and at the end of the day, Ambika and her husband Ayappan earn `300 each as wage. Community composting is being done with great vigour in apartments. In Someshwarapure locality, residents of Salarpuria Cambridge Residency have set up a wet waste composting plant at a cost of `1.5 lakh with help from Daily Dump. “All 55 families in the building are now segregating waste. The compost is used in the common garden or sold to residents and neighbours for their personal gardens,” says Shraddha Prabhu Kumar, president of the RWA. “The maintenance cost is just about `4,500 per month, which comes to less than `100 per family.” Eighty per cent of garbage segregation problem can be managed at source if all apartments in the city are retrofitted with community composters, says Kesari. “It would be a much quicker and cheaper solution than some of the huge facilities being set up by BBMP.” Ramakanth, who has a small biogas plant and a terrace kitchen garden in his house, says, “One of the recommendations of the expert committee set up by the Karnataka High Court was to exempt domestic biogas plants from VAT and provide soft loans, but that has not been done.”
Why is Segregation important??????
Segregation is important because :
1. If the waste is not separated properly, it all gets mixed up in landfills. The dangers of this is that they all leak after a period of time, resulting in leachate or toxic soup at the bottom, which can contaminate ground water and release explosive methane gas.
2. Methane is a green house gas, which ultimately leads to climate change, extreme climates and droughts. We can see the impact already in the world.
3. Segregation protects health. When ragpickers put their hands into the waste to clean it up, it results in cuts that further leads to infections, resulting deterioration of a ragpicker’s health. Hence, it becomes our responsibility to help these ragpickers by carefully segregating the waste that is generated at our homes. • When the waste is not separated properly it leads to less recycling because it is not easy to remove materials for recycling.
4. Bio-Degradable Waste (Organic Waste or Kitchen Waste) • Vegetable , Fruits , Flowers , Leaves from garden, Wood shavings, pencil shavings
5. Non-Bio Degradable Waste • Plastics • Paper • Glass • Metal • Frooti , and other tetrapacks • Ponche ka purana kapra • Aluminium foil