It is no secret that Bengaluru has a huge garbage disposal problem. Tonnes of waste are dumped everyday at landfills located on the outskirts of the city, endangering the environment and the lives of people residing near these landfills. But while a permanent solution to this incontestably massive problem remains elusive, there are effective solutions that can be tried on a smaller scale. Take for example pro waste. Some of the major garbage generating units in the city, including residential communities and hotels, are opting for this waste disposal system, in which much of the waste is turned into a resource instead of ending up in a landfill.
The approach involves local level efforts, starting with segregation of e-waste, biomedical waste, organic and paper or plastic waste. Subsequently, the waste is dismantled, incinerated, composted and recycled respectively, making it environment-friendly. “Bulk generators are the places to start,” says Nupur Tandon, director, Pro Waste, a citybased waste management company.
Tandon says the method is “suitable for the entire city” but “practical and economic problems” prevent its application to the whole city. “Hence we are concentrating on bulk generators like apartments, hotels and educational organisations,” says Tandon. A top institution in Bengaluru, whose representatives wish to remain anonymous, generates about 1.2 tonnes of recyclable waste, 200 kg of bio-medical waste and 250 kg of organic waste. But no garbage leaves the campus due to the implementation of pro waste method. Rupalini, a resident of the Vasanth Vihar Army Welfare Residential Association near Yelhanka Air Force Station, believes in pro waste method.
“There are about 400 families in our apartment and each one contributes at least 1kg of wet waste and two medium-sized truckloads of dry waste per month. Though the village panchayat picks up garbage daily, we find pro waste management beneficial. About 60% of the total waste is converted to resource while 30% goes to bins,” says Rupalini. According to Tandon, segregating waste at source is the key to all waste management projects. “Policymakers and civic agencies are the ears but they are not aware of what is happening at the ground level. The garbage issue in the city can be solved only if the actions are taken at the ground level,” says Tandon.