Bangaloreans poor at waste separation

Lesson not learnt

Bangaloreans poor at waste separation

Not many Bangaloreans are willing to spend a few minutes at home to separate kitchen waste from other household wastes, even though they know perfectly well that waste separation at home actually helps in better waste management, which continues to be a problem area for India's IT capital.

With municipal solid waste management posing a big problem in Bangalore, 69 per cent of respondents participating in a six-city environment survey felt poor waste management would have adverse impact on human health.

Even though half of the people interviewed in the survey suggested segregation of the waste at source for proper disposal, not many are willing to do so at their home.

Only 11 per cent of people showed “high willingness” to segregate municipal waste and another 12 per cent showed “willingness” for the same.

A large number of respondents from the age group of 35–44 years (almost 50 per cent) said they were unwilling to segregate their waste at all.

Carried out by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the environment survey 2013 capture citizen's perception on local environment in six cities – Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The survey was based on interviewing 4,039 people from these cities, out of which 401 -- almost 10 per cent of total population -- are from Bangalore who were randomly picked up from different education, earning and livelihood background. It was released in the capital on Monday.

As for the reasons for their unwillingness for waste separation, 34 per cent consider separating the wastes to be a cumbersome task, 31 per cent feel they will need more space to keep the two separate bins, and 23 per cent consider segregation to be the responsibility of the local authority.

There is also a small percentage of respondents (11 per cent) that feels even if they segregate the wastes; it is not collected separately by the civic authorities.

“After segregating the waste, if the municipal authorities mix the same and dump both at landfill sites, then why to separate them at all,” wondered environmentalist Ravi Agarwal from Toxics Link, which was not a party to the TERI study.

However, among those respondents who have regular salaried jobs in the private sector, a very small percentage (less than 5 per cent) consider it to be a cumbersome task. They mostly think that the space constraint for segregation is the limiting factor

In the last five years, the survey notes, Bangalore has lost a large portion of its tree cover, bird presence and ground water availability.

The garbage dumping and collection had deteriorated in the same period and the quality of the city's air did not improve, they said.

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