Garbage management is top most priority for us, says Siddaiah

As the week-long expo on garbage management, “Wake Up Clean Up Bangalore”, ended in Bangalore on Sunday, several children, college students and citizens were seen checking out “waste-to-wise” stalls, participating in sessions on waste management and deliberating on issues ranging from the rights of pourakarmikas to end-producer responsibility.

Speaking at one of the sessions on the last day, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah reiterated his commitment to setting up dry waste collection centres within the next three months. He also promised citizen groups that officials in all three zones were working towards setting up garbage treatment units “at least one in every Assembly constituency”. Fielding questions from NGO representatives, many of whom accused the civic body of dragging its feet and implementing segregation drives half-heartedly, he said that garbage management was “top most priority” for the civic body.

Ravichandar, president of Bangalore City Connect, alleged that there were vested interests involved in the tendering of garbage contractors.

Responding to this, Jayanagar MLA Vijay kumar said that all corporators and politicians should not be looked down upon. “Residents organisations and civil society organisations must learn to work with us,” he said.

The audience asked questions on tackling biomedical waste, the efficacy of segregation and end-producer responsibility of corporates.

Competitions were held through the week. Sarvaghya School won the first prize of Rs. 25,000, while the second place was taken by Brigade School, JP Nagar.

Art stalls

A series of photographs, themed around the landfills in Mandur, documenting the impact of the garbage dumping on residents of the village was exhibited. The photographs, captured by Arjun Swaminathan, were all in black-and-white. Over 40 stalls were put up at the expo by waste management companies, NGOs and government organisations. These stalls educated people on recycling and waste management. The stalls offered solutions for sustainable development as biodegradable plastic bags, conversion of plastic to diesel, compost solutions and segregating biodegradable waste.

Arzu Mistry, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, said, “We are working on murals for the solid waste management centres to engage people. Our murals educate as well as let people participate so that people from community themselves can come and paint them.”

After completing the murals, each work of art from hundred of expo visitors would be put up in Yelahanka, Anand Nagar and Freedom Park. “Painting with children is a great experience, as they are always active,” said Shail D., an artist who was working on installation art.

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