Segregation at source gets new followers in Sadashivanagar

Our intrepid 16-year-old re-joins his garbage collector friend on his rounds again, and finds some change!

Having spent the last couple of months speaking to the residents of Sadashivanagar, convincing them to begin segregating their garbage, I once again joined the pourakarmikas on their Saturday dry-waste collection drive to note what impact my efforts had on apathetic residents, and to adjudge how much more I would have to do to help realise the dream of 100% collection. 

The pourakarmikas – who by now had grown accustomed to my company – greeted me with smiles and waves. They informed me that the drive would start a few minutes late due to the early-morning rain which had dampened proceedings slightly.

As a result, I spent some time talking to Mr. Ramesh – the garbage-collection supervisor. After getting the pleasantries out of the way, our conversation switched to the topic of garbage. He described to me how chaotic the region surrounding the Mavallipura landfills were; I could almost imagine hundreds of massive trucks trudging up rain-drenched, pot-holed roads to dump garbage, which made me feel even more sympathetic towards the residents of the afflicted place, and even more determined to help improve their situation and ease their woes. 

Eventually the drive began and, again, I found myself in the rickety three-wheeler cruising up 10th Main, passing familiar households whose owners had either blatantly ignored my many pleas for segregation or politely disregarded me or promised to follow the segregation protocol from the following week.

The beginning is made

I noticed that the number of houses that segregated this time around had gone up drastically from the previous time. Even though several households only presented a single packet worth of dry-waste, at least it was a start. 

I smiled as we drove past this one house whose owner had spent almost half an hour trying to convince me that he didn’t have any packets in his house to store his waste in. I found it extremely amusing as to what lengths people would go to avoid adopting a simple change in mindset and habit. My companion too – after I described to him what had happened –  had a good laugh at the thought of a posh household not having any packets whatsoever to store waste in, and how determined some people are to preserve the status quo. 

Segregation of garbage barely requires any physical activity on the part of homeowners. So for those of you who are paranoid about losing those extra few kilos that you have worked so hard to gain, need not fear. Walking those extra couple of steps to the dry-waste bin to dump the wrapper of the chocolate you just ate will do you no harm whatsoever. 

It takes only a little effort

It was extremely encouraging to note that a few households whose owners hadn’t seemed very convinced by my pleas to start segregating had actually kept their bag of dry-waste hanging on the inside of their gates; one familiar face even waved to me as we drove past. The pourakarmika who accompanied me was delighted with the progress I was making and even treated me to a couple of Kannada songs from his tattered phone. 

As the drive concluded, I got out of the auto feeling grateful to the homeowners who had cooperated, thankful for the opportunity to try and make a difference and motivated to convert those who hadn’t begun segregating yet. A little effort on your part, dear citizens, will go a long way in helping save the environment and improving hundreds of lives manifold. The dream of 100% collection isn’t too far away. 

Part I of the article can be found here: https://citizenmatters.in/articles/a-not-so-waste-ride-in-garbage-auto-on-a-saturday-morning

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