Garbage should be an election issue

Basic considerations to tackle the trash problem should include ward-level efforts, and making it an issue for upcoming assembly election.

Bangalore has been facing a serious problem in getting garbage cleared on a daily basis, especially since the past few months, with the result that garbage dumps are seen all over the city. BBMP is trying to solve the problem but not much result is seen on the streets of Bangalore.

Any scheme that the BBMP adopts will have to take into consideration the following issues.

1. The waste generated has to be segregated at source.

There is no alternative to this in spite of the various objections raised by some groups, elected representatives, BBMP officials and the garbage contractors. Some citizens have raised objection on the grounds that BBMP is collecting garbage cess and it is therefore incumbent on them to clear the garbage and they have no role to play. However for any SWM scheme to succeed, it is essential to have wet waste and dry waste collected separately and BBMP has to implement the same without any further discussion on the subject.

2. BBMP has to collect wet waste on a daily basis and dry waste on once or twice a week basis from each household.

This means that BBMP should refuse to collect mixed waste and go a step further and impose a file on the spot, on households which refuse to segregate the waste. The ward’s Environmental Engineer has to be empowered to do this and he/she needs to be given full support by the BBMP and the elected representatives. The required legal amendments to make an effective implementation of this should be completed forthwith.

3. Establish dry Waste Collection and Segregation Centres in each ward

BBMP has to take proactive measures for this and transport the dry waste collected on a weekly basis to these centres for further segregation and ultimately selling these to Recyclers. Likewise separate wet waste storage centres must be established in each ward or a common centre for a few neighboring wards (in cases where sufficient space is not available) with composting facility or a suitable biogas unit has to be installed which can then make use of the wet waste to generate gas.

4. Interim arrangement

However the above is going to take time (anywhere between six to twelve months depending on the seriousness with which BBMP takes up this issue)and in this interim period BBMP has no choice but to transport only the wet waste to landfill sites. Proper arrangements need to be made to identify new sites for this purpose and a strict implementation schedule regarding the establishment of DWCS and Wet Waste collection centres throughout the city is followed so that the new land fill sites are operational for a maximum period of twelve months.

5.Support community efforts

Another important measure that needs to be taken up is to ensure the sustainability of hundreds of community efforts that are happening around the city for decentralized management of Garbage. It is strange that while the negative aspects of SWM gets highlighted, the various efforts by the communities around city in managing the solid waste in their area on their own without burdening BBMP does not get highlighted at all.

BBMP should not only formulate a policy for proper financial incentives to be passed on in a very transparent manner to these groups but also encourage the formation of more such initiatives so that ultimately a substantial portion of solid waste generated by the citizens is managed effectively by the citizens leaving BBMP to concentrate more on bulk generators. The only role that BBMP needs to play in such efforts is to implement a suitable and transparent financial incentive scheme to such groups.

6. Support groups in every ward

There is a need for a ward wise environmental support group in each ward comprising of Citizens, elected representatives. contractors and BBMP officials and a task force at city-level and monitor garbage management

7. Training

Need for more training programs, awareness programs and more publicity (like pulse polio) campaigns on effective garbage management

8. Awards for the best

BBMP should initiate awards for best ward carrying effective Garbage management, similarly best elected representative and best official carrying out this task

BBMP should now come out with a white paper on problems they are encountering and their action plan to combat the same.

People should make garbage management as one of the issues for next assembly election and political parties should highlight how they would address in their manifesto.


  1. Nagaraja Magonahalli says:

    During 23-25 Nov 2012 there was a National Meet of RWAs in Hyderabad to consolidate problems/solutions acceptable to civic authorities and residents in future. Garbage issue is one out of hundred and odd topics of the kind. I like to use this space to invite all interested, specially you, to join hands and provide inputs and guidance hereafter.

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