Bangalore Garbage Crisis: Role of Residents

A smelling reality staring at us from every corner of this city quite strikingly is nothing, but garbage.

Turning my head away from this is no way helping to scale it down. Pretending that it is only others problem might be helpful in creating a pseudo aura of ignorant bliss, but only helping to compound the crisis that is potent enough to affect our quality lives from every angle.

The sheer volume and complexity of this garbage issue coupled with insufficient infrastructure and execution difficulties increases the intensity of the challenge posed.

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‘Bangalore: City of Filth’, ‘Garbage stink in Garden City’, ‘Bangalore drowning in its garbage’ has been hitting news headlines reflecting the gravity of waste disposal crisis faced by India’s IT hub.

Is it only BBMP inefficiency; or, also a sign of betraying citizen responsibility?

Can I contribute something to help my city regain its old glory of ‘the Garden City’?

As part of waste management campaign, BBMP (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike ) rolled out waste segregation initiatives.

Why can’t this be my starting point to begin it all over again?

It is encouraging to observe that voluntary organizations, students groups, environmental activist and corporate social wings have stepped out and have been contributing in creating awareness among public.

For the success of this much needed campaign the waste has to be segregated at the source and that’s where each one of us has a critical role to play.

Let us come out of our ‘why should I do it’ approach and take responsibility at an individual level.  A few disciplined steps and that will be a mammoth contribution in leading the campaign to a success.

  • Start the campaign at home spreading awareness among family members about 4 categories of waste.
  • Keep separate bins for dry waste, wet waste, bio waste and e waste.

Wet waste: Kitchen refuse (vegetable and fruit peels, tea leaves, coffee powder, flowers, leftover food, pencil shavings, match sticks, hair, fruit kernels and seeds)

Dry waste:  Paper(newspaper, computer print outs, envelops, pamphlet, paper plates), plastic( plastic bags, plastic toys, plastic utensils, plastic cups, bubble wrap, milk pouches, mineral and soft drinks bottles), metal and others (aluminum cans, thermocole, tetrapacks)

Bio waste: Diapers, syringes, shaving blades, sanitary pads, mopping cloth, band aid, finger nails

E waste: Batteries, bulbs, old CDs, DVDs, printer cadridges, broken A/C adapters, tubelight chokes

Let’s accept it; old habits die hard; yet every habit is nothing but an acquired taste internalized.

I think, I still have enough gray matter left in me to acquire another taste, which might get internalized in due course.

To start with, this shift of segregating waste may seem cumbersome.

But a closer look at that feeling painfully revealed that; even that feeling of cumbersomeness is nothing but another waste habit internalized in the absence of a regular internal cleanliness drive!

Manage my waste at home, as a contribution in restoring garbage free Bangalore; interestingly has another very potent effect in it.

It might as well help me to spot a few garbage habits that got into me uninvited, and now grown into a monster capable of clouding my own intellect,  by  taking advantage of my insufficient self examination skills and a lifestyle dictated by the terms set by ‘ad agency’ gurus.

What a painful, yet gainful realization!

The ‘collective city psyche’ that remains as an insensitive witness to the diminishing aesthetic appeal of this cityscape, might be another macro projection of an undesirable habit in me, unfortunately left unattended, in my unending quest for uplifting the economics for a ‘better settled life in future’

Do I really intend ‘to settle’ this way, amidst garbage:  in and around?

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6 thoughts on “Bangalore Garbage Crisis: Role of Residents

  1. I have got two bins at home, one for bio degradable and one for papers, plastics etc. I am very particular about using them rightly. But the corporation lorry waala drops everything together in the lorry! Before this, our panchayat cart was coming to collect wastes from door to door. The box in the cart had two colours, red and green and a partition was inside. But after visiting some houses, he starts putting everything together because plastic wastes are more. I asked him if he segregates them in the end. He said laughingly, ‘no’! That’s it!

  2. I agree, waste is just being dumped in the landfills with no recycling happening. What we need is a proper waste management system and its successful implementation needs rigorous awareness and training at every level.

  3. A proper recycling scheme needs to be implemented. Having the bins isn’t enough. I was carefully segregating all my waste into the separate bins then noticed that when the cleaner (I live in a serviced apartment) came he’d just empty all the bins into one. I guess because he knows that they’re all getting dumped into the one place anyway.

    • I agree, Just segregation of waste will not help. An efficient waste management system is the need of the hour. I read an an article about the successful waste management story of Anneswara, a village in the outskirts of Bangalore:A lesson to learn from them. After segregation the waste is treated in the waste processing unit in the village and the compost is sold at Rs 6 per kg. I think, ignoring this issue, has lead to an unmanageable crisis in the city

      • It’s a very difficult problem to solve though. Isn’t the current crisis in part because people are refusing to let Bangalore dump rubbish in their village any more?

  4. yeah..villages like Mavallipura and Mandur were the “official” landfills for Bangalore waste. But now with the villages refusing to allow any further waste dumping, the crisis has worsened.. Till an efficient waste management system is put in place, BBMP has been asked to identify new landfills. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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