What is with the Garbage in Whitefield

What is with the Garbage in Whitefield


Across our 6 wards of the greater Whitefield area in Mahadevpura, we generate over 120 tonnes of garbage a day. The ideal system is one where atleast half can be locally managed and the balance is collected in a pre segregated manner to process elsewhere. If it is not collected segregated, someone has to sit and sort through your garbage. Not a nice thing you would agree? The main categories of waste are. Organic, Leaf, Slaughter house waste, E-Waste, Dry Recyclable, Dry non-recyclable, Sanitary, Debris and Medical Waste. The bulk is of course the organic waste that comprises 70%.  The rest are still important to process because they greatly impact the toxicity released into our own communities.

Now your questions may be:

  1. Why is there Garbage everywhere in heaps.
  2. How come drains are open and then soon filled with garbage! Makes no sense!
  3. I am asked to segregate like its all my fault! But when i do, BBMP just mixes it up!!
  4. Will the Plastic Ban solve the garbage crisis??
  5. What next to get a clean city


To answer this, one must first understand the 3 parts of the Garbage Management system here and the issues that plague each of them. But dont fret, there is hope. Just stay with the article and read through.

  1. Garbage Collection
  2. Garbage Transportation
  3. Garbage Disposal


Garbage Collection:

The current system expects the appointed vendor to collect garbage door to door in a segregated manner. Sadly this is not nearly anywhere close to reality.

The “collection autos” are at 50% of the needed capacity. (Govt: we need double the capacity)

The autos skip households and no one knows (Govt: We need GPS tracking on these deviant vehicles)

The autos are not outfitted to collect segregated waste (Govt: outfit them, duh. Multiple bins instead of one open auto..)

No supervision of the autos (Govt: Each auto must have an accountable supervisor)

Autos cant get into many small lanes in slums (Govt: Push carts needed where vehicles can’t go)

Garbage Transportation

The little autos are supposed to transfer the garbage to larger trucks (Compactors) which then make trips to identified areas outside the city to process all this waste. However, the transportation system is ridden with flaws.

The auto driver and helper manually transfer all the garbage to the larger trucks! Imagine the mess created not to mention the needless human exposure to raw garbage (Govt: The autos need to be “tipper” type)

The autos and trucks meet up on lanes or roads where nearby folks don’t object. Instead there should be designated spots to do such transfer and not create exposures to urban dwellers on a daily basis.


Garbage Disposal

120 tonnes of garbage a day needs serious disposal. Currently a lot of it makes it out to the designated dumps. Rag pickers and those in the landfill/Waste sites do salvage all that is of value. But low value items like end of life plastic or sanitary pads/diapers  and such simply build up into large landfills. No wonder Mandur protested.  Worse, not all of this waste actually leaves our locations. Unscrupulous vendors will simply dump in and around. Have you noticed the construction debris mountain piling up next to our Kundanahalli Lake? Yeah – the very same builders from which we are all buying our homes… But its not entirely their fault. There is no good clarity for them on where to dump what.

Each ward needs to have its own organic waste processing sites. Leaf composting, bio gas plants are all super easy and at a ward level, small 5-10 ton plants can be easily managed. Thus transportation issues are avoided besides lowering the impact on the heavily weighed down landfills.

DWCC or Dry Waste Collection Centers should be in each ward and utilized by all garbage vendors. They can also become collection points for all waste including High Value dry waste,  sanitary, medical, e waste so that they are disposed off correctly. Note that if you sell your newspapers and glass bottles and send the lowest of the low garbage, then these DWCCs cannot function on their own revenues..

Construction debris must be redirected to the correct sites in and around the area.

Difficult to believe, but it is true that we in Bangalore are far ahead of the rest of India in terms of disposal as well as in segregation. It may not look like it when you see the Garbage in the city but that is a reflection of the poor collection and not disposal. Still, we are only “relatively” ahead. Until 50% of what we generate isn’t managed locally, we are not successful.
Now lets answer the questions you may have had.

  1. Why is there Garbage everywhere in heaps.
    Because Autos aren’t collecting effectively, people have learnt to leave them all in heaps by the main road. A proper collection and a subsequent enforcement on irresponsible citizen behavior is the only way forward.
  2. How come drains are open and then soon filled with garbage! Makes no sense!
    Those are “Raja kaluves”! They are meant to transport rain water to the different lakes! However, overpopulation and irresponsible behavior by citizens and builders besides lack of enforcement by the civic agencies has resulted in this mess. Does your building empty out its STP into the drain? (Do check – you will be surprised)
  3. I am asked to segregate like its all my fault! But when I do, BBMP just mixes it up!!
    Yeah, now you know that the collection method is messed up. Yet, those communities managing this on their own are doing really well. And it is their segregated garbage that will be extremely valuable to the DWCCs and Biogas plants in and around. So not only should you segregate but also hand over to a responsible vendor. Liaise with a neighboring community or write to us.
  4. Will the Plastic Ban solve the garbage crisis??
    It will very positively impact the garbage situation. These plastics are not just an ugly sight. They are clogging drains, lining lakes and affecting animal life. They are often non recyclable so they simply end up in landfills and will sit around for hundreds of years. Yeah, this is a no brainer. Please just strictly follow this. TAKE YOUR OWN BAGS to bring back anything you purchase. Even peanuts.
  5. So what is next.
    Well, Whitefield Rising champs like Anuradha Govind have been at this for years now. Even better, she is part of the very active and impactful citizen group called SWMRT that is making waves by impacting policy. Supported by champs like Shailaja Rangarajan and other volunteers, we arrive at the below recommendation for us all.


  1. Double our Autos in the Wards
  2. Tipper Autos outfitted with Bins to take segregated waste
  3. GPS Tracker on Autos
  4. Pushcarts to complement the Autos
  5. Double the Compactor Trucks as well as mid sized trucks for our area
  1. Ashoka Biogreen Gas plant for 5 tons coming up at Panathur if you will release the payment. The adjacent Varthur DWCC will handle the accompanying dry waste and then further dispatch those toxic wastes that need care in processing.
  2. Insist on Per Auto Supervisors to be implemented at the Ward level


  1. Visit successful wards – Eg Koramangala Kasa Rasa run by Saahas
  2. A Waste processing center in each ward to accept 50% of the ward’s waste. This means the below:
    1. Land allocated per ward for waste processing – 0.5 to 1 acre
    2. A 5ton organic waste processing unit
    3. A Dry Waste Collection Center
    4. A leaf Composting site
  3. A larger allocation of the above for the WEPPIA zone to manage the waste from all the companies in the area.
  4. Identify Garbage transfer areas in your wards
  5. Encourage Shuchi Mitras (Auto Supervisors) for each auto in your ward.


  1. Compost your wet waste at your household waste with the next best alternative being within your residential area. Take the Swaccha Graha YOU CAN DO IT. This way 60-70% of your waste doesn’t even leave your house!
  2. Refuse all plastic packaging and especially the carry bags from all shops small and big. Take your own bags!
  3. Reuse as much as you can or find suitable uses for others in our community.
  4. Segregate your waste and ensure that only 5% of your waste hits the landfill. Can you imagine how ridiculous it is that your vegetable peels sit inside a plastic bag that will take 500 years to compost when the peels could have composted in 30 days and the plastic bag could have been recycled? Its true, its that absurd.
  5. Give your cleaned tetrapacks to Joy at Work so it can be recycled.
  6. Your parties or events can be garbage free! See how!


  1. Segregate and manage your trash responsibly! For sure you must compost your wet waste and show the kids the cycle from food to earth. Our generation has created a huge amount of trash. Tomorrow’s adults will need to clean up the mess..
  2. Fresh off the Press – Have a Trashononics session for all the children and let them take home this great book.


  1. Segregate and manage your trash responsibly.
  2. Compost all your wet waste
  3. Use no disposables for food! – especially thermocol
  4. Call Swaccha Graha for a challenge for your organization and your employees!
  5. Sponsor local projects that help in garbage management. Write to csr@whitefieldrising.org

Residential Communities

  1. Manage all your wet waste in house! Its even the law if you have more than 50 dwellings.
  2. Manage your green waste in house as well! You can shred and layer them for composting or hand them to farmers at this stage for our collective benefit.
  3. Get a RESPONSIBLE vendor who will collect your segregated waste and process it responsibly and not just dump it irresponsibly – often in your own locality.

There you have it. That was easy wasn’t it?