The city, which was gripped by the garbage crisis, is ever so slowly returning to normality. As the New Year dawns, I hope that efforts are made in earnest towards finding a permanent solution to the garbage problem.
What the civic authorities (Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike — BBMP) must urgently do is take up bio-mining in the landfills at Mandur and Mavallipura. Bio-mining will help reduce the environmental impact caused by the tonnes of accumulated waste and leachate that have polluted the groundwater in the villages around the landfills.
I also hope that citizens do their bit by segregating the waste that they generate. They just have to keep plastic and other kinds of dry waste separate from kitchen waste. I appeal to all citizens to segregate waste; it is simple to do and requires just a bit of discipline.
The dry waste can be kept in a plastic cover and handed over to the dry waste collection centres that will hopefully be set up in all wards. The dry waste can be handed over for sorting and recycling once a week.
Kitchen waste that is devoid of any kind of plastic may be sent to the fields of farmers who can convert it to compost.
This is an environment friendly way of disposing of degradable waste. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has allowed 20 tonnes of pure wet waste to be sent to each farmer over a period of one year. The BBMP must get this programme going.
By making sure that the municipal waste is segregated and recycled, the BBMP can ensure that there are no black spots (where garbage is indiscriminately dumped) in the city.
Whatever is remaining of the waste, around 10 per cent that is non-recyclable and re-usable, can be sent to the landfills.
Plastic that has been segregated can be shredded and used to strengthen roads. The Central Pollution Control Board has issued guidelines for the use of plastic to lay roads. It has been proven that the life of roads that have been asphalted with a mix of bitumen and plastic is at least two times that of normal tarred roads.
These correct practices will go a long way and bring in an improvement to the quality of life in the city.
(As told to Chitra V. Ramani)