All of us residing in cities, generate significantly more waste per person than those residing in villages. Individually, we are accustomed to just getting the waste out of our house, without being aware of where it goes and what happens to it. Most of the urban areas in India, collect their waste and dump it in some rural area, creating garbage mountains.
Specifically, Bengaluru sends its waste to 7 different landfills in villages around Bengaluru. Surely, you have heard about the “Mandur Crisis” – the fact that the Mandur villagers protested against having the landfill in their vicinity. But do you know why? Learn about the health and safety issues at Mandur.
So, think about it – would you like someone to dump their garbage near your house, creating a smelly, unsightly, toxic and disease causing garbage hill, rampant with flies, mosquitoes and rodents?
Well, this is no longer an option for Bengaluru as per the BBMP regulations since late 2012. It is now mandatory to segregate the waste we generate in Bengaluru, in order to significantly reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills.
While it is the law in Bengaluru, we would argue that it is our moral responsibility to our fellow citizens and our future generations to manage our waste responsibly and ethically.
BBMP is the governing body when it comes to all things related to garbage – regulations, enforcement, collection, processing and disposal of waste. BBMP charges for their waste collection services, just like water or electricity.
In September of 2012, BBMP released a notice and mandated that bulk generators must segregated their waste or face denial of pick-up services and legal penalties. It also authorizes private vendors to collect and process waste on their behalf.
Bengaluru city is divided into wards. Each ward has its administrative office, a group of localities and projects under it. Whitefield broadly falls into the following wards (with links to detailed information).
If you want to explore other wards in Bengaluru, here is the link – BBMP wards and representatives.
Many Whitefield communities have already implemented waste segregation and management program. Some have had the program running for close to 2 years!! Find communities like yours to get started.
Or, if you are already a pioneer and have it implemented in your community, see if your neighbours are following the law – if not, reach out to them today!
After we got possession of our apartment in June 2015, had a plan to start basic segregation in our new apartment which we took possession in June 2015.
Builder left apartment in bad state and funds were very less. We contributed and planted saplings in campus on first environment day 2016 and got active participation. However in 2017 when I had Shailaja Rangarajan for environment day to talk on waste management, very few people turned up. They agreed to her points, but then all resented. I did not get any proper support till segregation started.
Then we visited apartment which followed segregation and when I gave estimation of Hasirudala, association rejected saying that the cost is more than double compared to private garbage mafia which took 4000 Rs.
Few questions that came up and I answered as below:
1) Many apartments in Whitefield are not segregating. Then why should we?
- A) May be they don’t care for their future generations
2) Already our wives have lot of work. This will be additional work for them.
- A) Women are multi-tasking. They also adapt quickly to changes.
3) We will segregate but BBMP always mixes. Why we should take effort?
- A) Come with me to Waste collection center near Graphite and see with your eyes, how they segregate. Think about them how they stay, as we cannot even breathe there for a minute.
Still after that they asked me to do door-to-door. 90% of people said they will follow and we finally started it on October 2, only when BBMP gave warning and told them collection also will be made by BBMP.
So we bought 2 bin 1 bag and 3 wheeled bins. Got 2 volunteers for checking waste segregation. We checked for 2 months and till date people are segregating.
However, we still face challenges:
1) BBMP has denied collection and our association is back to private garbage collector.
2) Persuaded them for Community Composting but they do not consider this as long term investment.
Priyanka Namshikar, Mayur Signature, Channasandra Main Road, Channasandra
· Eco- friendly Annual Day Event
Whitefield Rising SWM team has been reaching out to communities as needed to help them with their waste management process. Recently, we organized a SWM event to kick-up our own efforts to reach many more communities and create a framework for spreading the awareness and knowledge about the various methods, tools and resources available to implement a successful solid waste management program for communities.
Indian cities are colorful, vibrant, noisy, and…dirty. The commercial hub of the state of Madhya Pradesh, Indore, was no exception. People treated it as a vast public garbage dump. After eating food on paper plates bought from stalls at the famous Sarafa food market, customers simply threw their plates and any residue on the ground. People were no more careful with their domestic garbage, dumping it anywhere in the proximity of overflowing dumpsters, which were rarely emptied. Stray animals – dogs, cows, goats, and pigs – roamed freely, eating the garbage and adding their excrement to the mix. Some poor people, who did not have access to toilets, defecated in the open, in vacant fields or near public drains. All in all, it was a perfect breeding place for flies, mosquitoes, and, therefore, disease.
Into this mix were thrown two abnormal individuals, Malini Gaud, who had been elected mayor of Indore on a plank of cleanliness, and Manish Singh, the municipal commissioner. There was also one dedicated NGO, Basix, which had experience in effective waste management. Basix wanted more waste for poor rag pickers, who make a living separating out metals, paper, plastic, and glass from waste, and recycling it. The reformers realised that part of the solution was to make it easier for people to dispose of their garbage. That meant placing public garbage cans at every needed place throughout the city with its location geo-tagged for easy collection, collecting domestic garbage directly from every home, and constructing over ten thousand toilets in places where people used open spaces.
The municipal cleaning staff now had to collect the garbage. The 5,500-person staff was used to collecting pay and not much more. Attendance was a miserable 30 to 40 per cent. The municipal commissioner decided to apply both carrot and stick. Staff were given smart uniforms, and their cycle rickshaws replaced with motorized GPS-fitted trucks. Each vehicle was given about one thousand households or bins to collect from every day, and its location and performance was monitored. Most employees actually were unhappy with their poor image. They did want to do a good job once they realised the mayor and commissioner were serious about change and apathy would no longer be the order of the day. Some did not want to change, and the stick was applied to them. Biometric attendance was introduced, and after discussion with the union and due notice, three hundred still- recalcitrant employees were suspended, and six hundred were terminated.
The householder was happy that garbage was collected regularly at her doorstep, and soon agreed to pay a regular monthly fee for collection, offsetting the municipality’s additional costs. Shops and eateries installed garbage cans outside, incentivised by a stiff fine if they lacked one. One knotty problem was that some people still preferred answering the call of nature in the open rather than in an enclosed toilet. The municipality adopted the innovative idea of drum squads – these would search stealthily for open defecators reinvigorating and then flush them out by drumming loudly when they were found. Open defecation ceased, and disease seems to have fallen significantly since. Cleaning up a city seems small in the larger scheme of community revival, but it is an essential component of change, especially in a world where the ability to attract talented people with improved liveability is an important source of competitive advantage. Moreover, it offers a very visible sign of community effort and engagement. According to Indian magazine Business Today, there is something strange about the Sarafa market today: ‘There is no leftover food, no dirty plates, no garbage to be seen – anywhere.’ Indore was ranked the cleanest city in India in 2017 (after coming in at 149th in 2014). Its citizens take pride in its ranking and, according to Vijay Mahajan, the chairman of Basix, are working hard to maintain it.
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