These residents take up the garbage onus - The New Indian Express

These residents take up the garbage onus

Published: 12th November 2013 09:58 AM

Last Updated: 12th November 2013 10:00 AM

Garbage and waste segregation has been much talked about over the past few months now. And while the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is grappling with the effective implementation of waste segregation, ward-wise, there are high-rise complexes, considered bulk generators, who have implemented these measures even before BBMP made it mandatory.

"We started last year," says Nalini Shekhar, a resident of Shobha Opal in Jayanagar 4th 'T' block.

And to persuade everyone was no easy job, says Shekhar, who's also the founder of Hasirudala, an NGO that mans about 23 operating waste segregation centres set up by the Palike. "Even though it was just kitchen waste, there were people who told me, 'how can you touch all that after puja'. Whenever you want to bring in change, there is resistance," she says.

The apartment has two tanks - one to collect dry waste that is picked up by contractors three times a week and one to compost wet waste. "So to involve the community more and bring down the resistance, we had the children from our buildings create murals on the tank's walls," she adds.

On issues of hygiene, Shekhar says, "The trick is to reduce the volume by shredding - both wet and dry waste," adding that three other high-rise buildings in Jayanagar have implemented similar procedures.

Forward 150, a resident initiative of ward 150 (Belandur) with about 5,000 residents from apartment complexes on Sarjapur Road, too has taken waste segregation and disposal in the vicinity into its own hands. "Some of us started in 2011," says Malini Parmar, an IT professional and resident of Springfields there. But like many other Bangaloreans, they too realised that once the segregated wastes left their gates, the wet and the dry were mixed.

"So that was when we approached Hasirudala, and they pick up our wet waste once a week now. The dry waste is picked up by the local vendors. But we still have a problem with our reject waste - medical and sanitary wastes. We had approached the BBMP, and they suggested that we tie up with a hospital, but it didn't work out. So the BBMP helped us get permission from Karnataka State Development Corporation (KCDC), and that's where our reject waste goes right now," she adds.

While the Palike has penalised those who do not conform with the deadlines and the guidelines, there are others who are stricter. "In our community - we have 540 flats altogether - we fine anyone who fails to segregate their waste `500," says Parmar.

Now, Parmar is looking at implementing the move in residences across the ward. "I've had talks with Kalpana Kar, member of B PAC, a part of the Wake Up Clean Up Bengaluru initiative and Almitra Patel, member of Supreme Court Committee on Solid Waste Management," says Parmar.

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