Getting to the bottom of it

Getting to the bottom of it

Garbage woes

Getting to the bottom of it

It’s been a while since Bengalureans started talking about accumulating garbage and how the city’s glorious tag of ‘garden city’ has changed to a ‘garbage city’. Waste segregation is still a myth here, despite many concerned Bengalureans trying their hand at it. One can still see plastic strewn about and scattered garbage lying on the roads. With this in mind, citizens voice their views on what can be done to make the concept work effectively.

There is no control over garbage disposal, points out Jayabrato Dutta, a resident on Bannerghatta Road. “People litter everywhere. In the apartment I stay, we have strict rules with volunteers on each floor so that segregation happens. There are 3 different waste lots — the green bin is for kitchen waste, red bin is for reject waste (medical waste and construction debris) and a bag is for dry garbage — plastic, paper, broken glass and metal,” he explains.

“There has to be a clear outline of what goes where. Door-to-door awareness campaigns need to held area-wise. From the ‘pourakarmikas’ to the residents, people should be educated on the basics of what is wet and dry waste. There are guidelines available on the BBMP website as well as the internet, but no one takes the effort. Stringent fines should be levied on people who do not follow these rules,” says Jayabrato.

Many apartments have implemented a waste segregation system, but individual houses do not always comply by the rules. “Many a times, people can be seen dumping garbage bags carrying waste at a spot that already has a pileup.” He points out that the BBMP needs to identify areas which see more waste and keep a regular check on the same.
Often BBMP workers come and mix the waste, despite it being collected separately. Sunil Rathnakar, a businessman from Sahakarnagar G Block, says, “It can be really discouraging when people painstakingly sort the waste into wet, dry and others; and then it’s mixed, right in front of us,” he says. The apartment complex he stays in, which houses 80 flats, has implemented a system where waste is transferred from big drums to the waste collectors, and not in plastic bags. “We have taken the plastic ban seriously.” Social media and other forms of media are used to encourage the concept. “But a larger initiative and interest has to come from the people. Things have to start from our own homes,” says Sunil.

Pradeep Sinnas, a resident of Clarke Road, Richard’s Town vouches that around 95% of apartment blocks and households in the area are segregating waste properly. “But there are issues at the grassroot level that need to sorted out. The ‘pourakarmikas’ should be
educated about the need for a clean and green Bengaluru. The BBMP and their contractors should make more vehicles available and not just deploy one vehicle for a big area,” he says. The top management of the corporation and his deputies need to do daily visits to different areas to enforce compliance. “A portion of their funds should be used to build recycling plants,” he says. A proper waste collection system is not in place as door-to-door collection isn’t a possibility, he adds.

Others like Deepika E Ramesh, a homemaker and resident of Jai Bharat Nagar, agrees with Pradeep and says that often, the garbage collection cart doesn’t come on time. “In this and the surrounding areas like Maruthisevanagar and other parts of Banaswadi, the garbage collectors don’t come on time. Sometimes they don’t come at all. This forces most to mix the waste and dump it in other parts of the city.” She points out that awareness needs to start from the bottom level.