Dumping mixed garbage, not the responsible way

Poor waste management strategies have led to bulk of the waste generated in the city go directly to the landfills

Dumping mixed garbage, not the responsible way to a clean city

The strike by the Pourakarmikas might have been resolved for now. But it has brought to the fore serious gaps in the city’s waste management system. Garbage blackspots are just one sign of how the BBMP’s efforts at ensuring segregation of wet and dry wastes have floundered.

In some parts of the city, segregation has taken effect to some extent as citizens themselves insist on it. But there is a general lack of accountability in other places, where garbage is dumped at street corners and left to rot.
According to Gopika, a resident of Indiranagar, CCTV cameras were installed to beat the problem of dumping. “Since people started dumping waste at the corners of random streets, the Palike’s solution was to install cameras. I do not know if the cameras even work. But people continued to throw garbage, though to be careful, they started doing this with their faces covered,” she says.

To protect their identity, many prefer to dump the garbage bags during the night or early mornings.
Nayeera Nausheen, a resident of Jayanagar, helplessly confides that she participates in the dumping as well. But she has an excuse: Pourakarmikas do not go from house to house to collect the garbage every morning, even though the BBMP insists on the segregation of waste.

Nayeera explains, “There is a specific place where everyone dumps the garbage. The people come to collect the waste once everyday, though there is absolutely no segregation. They dump everything into one truck.”

In some areas, people are more responsible, where they themselves insist on proper segregation and collection of the waste. “But the people in my locality are more lenient. They themselves dump the garbage. It is a circle. “The BBMP collects the dumped garbage everyday, and by night, the pile is back,” she elaborates.

Some main roads have also become dumpyards, causing big problems to traffic and pedestrians. Aradhana, who frequents the Adugodi main road, complains about the garbage pile next to the bus stop: “It was a huge inconvenience to people like me who use the bus stop everyday. Because of the waste dump, cows started gathering there. But recently, the muck has been cleared. I hope that the place remains clean, at least for a while.”

While some people become part of the problem, there are also others who take active interest in being more responsible. Gita T, a resident of Ittamadu main road, says that according to the rules, dry waste collection should happen once a week and wet waste on alternate days. More often than not, the wastes do not get segregated during the collection, as some residents themselves are not very particular.

To address this, Gita took the matter into her own hands. “When I noticed this, I decided to personally put the wet waste of our home in a pot full of mud to create manure for our plants. I have been keen on gardening a lot and have stated using home-made manure.”

Following the same responsible path is Smitha Sreelal, who lives in an apartment. “Though the BBMP insists on segregating the waste, they did not follow the rules themselves. So, a few residents from the apartment took it upon ourselves to give notices to people and giving bags to segregate the waste,” she explains.

These residents enlisted the help of Hasiru Dala, who were very helpful in collecting the segregated waste. “What we did was this: We insisted that people segregate the waste. If they did not, we did not collect their waste that day. It is important to be clean and responsible.”

Now, they have a system in their apartment where each floor has a person who checks the segregated waste each day. “It might seem like a lot of unnecessary work, but we are happy to do it. The BBMP did not come through with their promise of cleanliness. Someone has to do it,” she says with much pride.

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