BANGALORE: There is no quick fix to clear the 40 lakh tonnes of waste accumulated at Mandur and Mavallipura, say experts. Biodegradable waste, plastic, biomedical waste, toxic and non-toxic metals as well as paper lie unprocessed at the landfills.
Scientists at the Centre for Sustainable Technologies at Indian Institute of Science say the accumulated garbage will go away only with time.
“Waste at Mavallipura and Mandur is not fresh. One cannot do much with that. Let nature take its course and once the whole mass decomposes (in some months), minerals can be extracted from the dump site through biomining and by using microorganisms like bacteria,” they said.
BBMP officials agreed, pointing out that days-old waste cannot be used to generate energy or for other purposes.
Need for Collective Responsibility
Experts maintained that the issues are not in leveraging technology to mitigate the crisis. The problem lies in how the system is run, they said.
“The Bangalore Karnataka Compost Development Corporation is an example that the compost system works. The Dhapa dump site in Kolkata also caused a stink, but officials there found a way. Sewage water is used to breed fish, while solids are used to grow vegetables like cauliflower,” they elaborated.
The need of the hour is for citizens to segregate waste, compost biodegradable waste and recycle paper and plastic, experts said. “Bangalore has the largest plastic recycling industry. Paper industries will happily pick up waste paper and pay citizens for it,” they pointed out.
Localising Waste Management
Dr T V Ramachandra of the Centre for Environment Sciences, CiSTUP and CST, suggests segregation at source and a mechanism to collect segregated waste. As of now, BBMP’s initiative to segregate at source is not working efficiently as contractors mix the waste again, he said.
“As the waste comprises of 70-75 per cent organic components, treatment of organic fractions at decentralised levels, as in each locality, will be the best option. There is a need to have processing yards at decentralised levels,” Ramachandra stressed.
Experts also drew attention to the alleged nexus between BBMP engineers and garbage contractors and said it must be nixed. Penalising defaulters may curb the garbage menace, they added.