Podcast: How citizen activists are trying to solve Bengaluru’s garbage problem

Over the past decade, Bengaluru's citizen activists were able to push the government to adopt sustainable waste management practices. Though garbage remains an issue in the city, they continue their work with optimism.

If you live in Bengaluru, you just cannot avoid the city’s waste management problem. Footpaths that are stinking and littered with waste are a common sight. This first episode of ‘Lessons from Bengaluru’ podcast series explores Bengaluru’s waste management problem, and what citizens are doing to address it.

Sandhya Narayanan of the Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) describes how the city’s rapid growth from the early 2000s worsened the waste management problem. SWMRT has played a key role in identifying solutions to the issue and holding civic authorities accountable.

Lalitha Mondreti, also part of SWMRT, explains the 2 bin – 1 bag campaign she worked on. This is now a waste management model mandated by the state government.

A number of businesses too have emerged to provide ways for people to make more eco-friendly decisions. Two of which are ‘Cayal’, an app that lets people rent out items they don’t use frequently, and ‘Reimagined’ which sells upcycled products.

Find the full podcast series here.

Find us on SoundCloud | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for updates.


  1. Shyam says:

    I am happy that this is attracting attention after such a long time. It is time that government pays serious attention lest we Bengalurians will sooner or later get exposed to pandemic similar to covid-19. It is so unfortunate that there is no respect for civic rules as every other guy wishes his garbage fill across roads including highways. Government should start fining the entire locality despite others not being responsible to the menace.

  2. Brahmanyan says:

    I am sorry, waste management problem will not be solved unless the clearing of waste is given to some reputed Companies of international standard who have modern equipments and recruit enough people at various levels to handle it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Why a waste-to-energy plant is not the answer to Chennai’s garbage problems

GCC has floated a tender for a waste-to-energy plant in Chennai's Kodungaiyur. Here's a lowdown on WTE plants and their environmental impact.

Chennai generates about 6,000 metric tonnes of garbage every day. As the city's population continues to grow, waste generation is expected to increase even more. Not to mention the huge quantities of legacy waste currently accumulating in the Kodungaiyur and Perungudi dump yards. How will the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) effectively manage these vast amounts of waste? As this is a common urban issue, the government has proposed a solution already implemented in several other Indian cities. It suggests establishing an integrated waste management project facility, including a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant. It would come up in the North Chennai region,…

Similar Story

Abandoned gods: Discarding religious waste with care

Proper disposal of religious waste is crucial for the environment and helps raise awareness about the waste we generate.

The peepal (Ficus Religiosa) and banyan (Ficus Benghalensis) trees, both members of the Moraceae family, often have raised platforms around them for people to sit and rest under their cool shade. These trees are commonly found near temples and lakes. Believers sometimes place their religious waste under these trees. These include posters, paintings, idols of gods, pictures of ancestors, religious scriptures, clothes that have been used for prayer rituals, disused lamps etc. I spoke to my friend Ashwini who has some knowledge of the scriptures. She chanted a shloka in response to my question. mūlato brahmarūpāya madhyato viṣṇurūpiṇe .agrataḥ śivarūpāya…