These trucks dump nearly 600 tonnes of the City's garbage daily at Mavallipura based garbage processing unit. A private firm, Ramky Energy and Environment Limited has been assigned the task of extracting the best out of waste.
In 2004, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) entered into a Concessionary Agreement with Ramky on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis to make use of the garbage. The Palike had assured the firm that 100 acres of land would be provided. Already in possession of 42 acres of government land, the Palike anticipated initially that it could acquire private land. But a series of litigations stalled the process. Having entered into the agreement and set up its processing unit, the firm had no alternative but to work with the existing 42 acres of land.
The agreement was also about supplying 300 tonnes of garbage everyday. But with Bangalore’s explosive growth in recent years, the helpless BBMP had no choice but to double the garbage supply to the Mavallipura dump yard. The result is now quite evident at Mavallipura. In sharp contrast to the serene and forested area, there are mountains of garbage with scavenging birds, dogs and other animals feasting on them.
Locals feel the heat
For local residents, the garbage dump yard has become a living hell. "It’s miserable whenever the wind blows our side from the dum pyard. It has polluted our air and ground water. Besides, we also fear other health hazards caused by dangerous germs, insects and animals. We had fought earlier for shifting it from our location but all went in vain," laments Ramaiah, a resident of Mavallipura village, which is located around two kms from the dump yard. The Environment Support Group had always opposed the unit at Mavallipura since it posed a serious health hazard. Besides, the hawks and other birds that feed on the garbage pose bird-hit accident risks for aircraft at the nearby Yelahanka Airforce Base, Bengaluru International Airport and the civilian Jakkur Flying School. But for BBMP and Ramky, shifting the garbage disposal unit from Mavallipura is not feasible at the moment.
Ramky has a compost manure manufacturing unit at the place. "We have Wind Row Composting Unit, the best option available for the size of garbage that we receive. There are other options too like bio-compost and vermi compost but they can’t handle the huge amounts of garbage that Bangalore generates. Daily, we produce around 45 to 50 tonnes of compost," informs Ramesh Satyam, the firm’s project manager.
Sixty per cent of the garbage goes into the landfill. Since the Wind Row Compost unit utilises only 40 per cent of the garbage, Ramky wants to set up a 'Waste-To-Energy' (WTE) plant with an investment of Rs 5 crore. It wants the BBMP to promise a supply of 1,000 tonnes of waste. With the WTE, Ramky could use at least 75 per cent of the waste, claims Ramesh Satyam. “Ideally, only 10 to 15 per cent of the waste material should go to landfill.”