Waste Management

The Karnataka 2023-24 budget must be examined through the lens of the Congress party's welfare and policy promises. They gave several assurances towards making 'public works' more accessible, particularly in Bengaluru. Towards this end, a section titled 'Sector 4: Comprehensive Development of Bengaluru' was added to the budget document. In this article, I analyse to what extent these developmental initiatives align with the needs of the urban poor. I also highlight the missed opportunities and inadequate measures within the budget and how it fails to address the complexities of Bengaluru’s urban crisis. Read more: Hundreds of crores of SWM budget…

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Bengaluru generates around 4,500 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. To regulate this, the Solid Waste Management(SWM) rules, 2016 and the SWM bye-laws were passed, which notifies the best practices of waste management in a sustainable manner. The SWM rules, 2016, are an outcome of several Public Interest litigations (WP 24739/2012 & WP 46523/2012) filed before the Karnataka High Court in 2012, where a range  of directions were issued that ordered the BBMP to stop landfilling, incineration waste as well as ensure source segregation. However, the implementation of these orders is tardy to date. An unscientific landfill continues…

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At the recently held BBMP – Work Orders, Budgets and Processes Datajam, a group of citizen volunteers analysed the data available in the public domain. Here are their observations and suggestions on BBMP’s expenditure and efforts in waste management. To:Dr. Harishkumar, Special Commissioner (SWM) Dear Sir, We are a group of citizen volunteers who would like to share our observations and suggestions on BBMP’s expenditure and efforts in waste management. Solid waste management constitutes 14.7% of the BBMP budget (1643.72 crores). As part of the Shubra Bengaluru Project, BBMP has identified 1,555 Garbage Vulnerable Points (GVPs) also called as ‘black…

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While much of Chennai enjoys the benefits of privatised Solid Waste Management (SWM), the Zones managed by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) have faced issues such as a shortage of equipment and manpower. As different agencies have managed solid waste in these Zones over the years, the present state of affairs calls for a switch to a more efficient, privatised system of waste management for the greater good.  History of SWM in Perambur The conservancy services in Perambur in Zone 6 used to be handled by the government for several decades post-independence. As a young kid, I recall the conservancy…

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Every Saturday, there are neatly lined up boxes of plastics, bottles, electronic waste and more at the gates of many societies in and around Thane. A truck picks it all up, and takes it to Kopri, where it is segregated and sent for recycling. This practice has been in place for a couple for years now, and the response has only multiplied. Women workers, who segregate garbage for a living, and housekeeping staff of residential societies are the main links in efficient solid waste management. Workers, whose livelihoods depend on collection, segregation and selling of dry waste to scrap dealers,…

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Every morning, Tony Aranha, a resident of Malad West, wakes up to find a pile of garbage right in front of his housing society. The situation is so dire that he avoids stepping out even for bare minimum errands to the nearest market. "It is difficult to walk due to the stench of garbage. The area is extremely unclean, and I feel that the machinery put up by the BMC is ineffective. Instead of going from society to society, the BMC should designate a centre for segregation at Malad," says Tony. Malad (P/N Ward) is one of the most populated…

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“Though we are enrolled by conservancy contractors to sweep dust and garbage off the streets, we end up clearing construction and demolition (C&D) waste that has been disposed of illegally in a few places which should be cleared by a separate private agency,” says Manjula*, a conservancy worker in south Chennai.  As per the Solid Waste Management (SWM) by-laws, clearing of construction and demolition waste does not fall under the purview of the routine SWM operations managed by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC). Despite there being fines ranging from Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 for illegal dumping of construction and…

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For more than eight years, food waste has been the main contributor towards the 6300+ metric tonnes of trash that Mumbai generates every single day. The food waste, that includes fruits, vegetables, plant waste, dairy products, grains, egg shells, meat, newspapers, is called wet waste, which is bio-degradable, that is, it’s capable of getting decomposed naturally. Food waste comprises of more than 70% of the total waste each year, says the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s latest Environment Status Report (ESR). Decentralising of waste - managing the waste at its source instead of taking it to landfills - is the ’need…

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Of the total Bulk Waste Generators (BWGs), both residential and commercial buildings, across Chennai, only 43.86% follow the Solid Waste Management bye-laws and dispose of their waste through empanelled vendors. Commercial establishments, in this case, refers to include large restaurants, educational institutions, government buildings, offices and IT parks, shops and malls and cinemas, stadiums and wedding halls.  The bulk waste generators have been mandated to engage vendors to process waste on-site and dispose of the wet and dry waste. The waste collection from BWGs does not involve the civic body and the waste generated by them is not to be…

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As Chennai attempts to decentralise its waste management system and looks to reduce the quantum of waste that is landfilled, facilities that handle wet and dry waste play a key role in the process. Any lapse in the functioning of the Micro Composting Centres (MCC) in handling wet waste and the Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) in processing dry waste would defeat the purpose of decentralisation. "After we collect the segregated waste, we deposit the dry waste in the Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) or Resource Recovery Centres (RRC). Plastic, paper, thermocol, clothes, old mattresses and pillows and even coconut shells are…

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