BANGALORE: Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which is setting up eight wet waste processing units, does not seem to have made much headway in achieving waste segregation at source.
The Karnataka High Court had directed BBMP to open garbage processing units at nine places in the city at the earliest.
A BBMP official said they are yet to get clearance for one centre at Thippagondanahalli catchment area due to the objection of the regional officer. But the other waste processing units are coming up at Doddaballapura, Chikkanagamangala, Lingabeeranahalli, Doddabirakallu, Kannahalli, Seegehalli, Subbarayanapalya and Bommanahalli.
A BBMP official said each of these units can process 150 to 500 tonnes of wet waste, and together they can handle around 2,550 tonnes. “We have to open these units before December 1 as the Palike has to stop sending waste to the Mandur landfill,” he said.
On an average, the city generates around 4,000 tonnes of waste everyday. “So far, we are getting around 600 tonnes of segregated wet waste which is just 15 per cent of the total waste collected. But we need more than 2,000 tonnes for the new processing units,” said an official.
BBMP Solid Waste Management Expert Committee member N Ramakanth told Express that the BBMP was sending around 170 tonnes of wet waste to the Karnataka Compost Development Corporation unit. But now it has come down to 70 tonnes. At some places, though segregation is happening, contractors are mixing segregated waste in one vehicle as there is a shortage of vehicles.
“Despite the High Court’s warning, there is a nexus between BBMP officials, contractors and elected representatives. If they send unsegregated waste to these proposed units, they will become one more Mandur,” he said.
Mayor N Shantakumari, who had convened a meeting with BBMP officials on Friday, told Express that she has instructed them to inform pourakarmikas in their wards that unsegregated waste should not be collected from households. “If the public give unsegregated waste, the officials can levy a penalty,” she said.
Not just large processing units, even the smaller ones are not getting segregated wet waste. Narendra Babu, managing director of Vennar Organic Fertilizer, which has an organic waste convertor (OWC) at Pattabhiramanagar in Jayanagar, said the OWC’s capacity is one tonne of wet waste.
But they are not able to get the required quantity. Of the one tonne needed, they get half a tonne from the Jayanagar market; the remaining comes from garden waste. Initially, the residents used to give segregated waste, but later the pourakarmikas would collect it, but mix it during transportation, he said.
BBMP is now constructing a waste-to-biogas unit next to OWC with a capacity of five tonnes. “When we are struggling to get one tonne wet waste, how can one expect to get another five tonnes of waste?” he asked.