Civic agency has no data to show that 4,000 tonnes of garbage is generated daily

With the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) admitting that it has no data to support its claim that about 4,000 tonnes of garbage is generated in Bangalore every day, the Karnataka High Court on Monday directed it to weigh all types of garbage for 30 days from February 1 to determine the actual quantum of waste generated daily.

The BBMP will have to set up a mechanism for weighing garbage at the entrance to all landfills and waste processing units.

A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna, during the hearing of public interest litigation petitions on the garbage problem, noticed that there was no unanimity in the figures provided on waste generated in the city and asked for data based on which the BBMP calculated the quantum of waste generated every day.

When the Commissioner conceded that no data was available, and the quantum was calculated based on a rough estimate about how much waste each household could generate every day, the Bench said that having data on actual waste generated was a crucial aspect to decide on commissioning waste processing plants.

“Now garbage is treated as a goldmine and it belongs to the BBMP; it is time for the BBMP to know how much garbage is actually generated,” the Bench observed orally and asked the Commissioner how garbage could be weighed before transporting it out of each ward.

The Commissioner said it would not be possible to weigh garbage within the ward due to lack of facilities, but suggested that it could be weighed before it is unloaded from the trucks either at landfills or processing units.

Responsibility

Based on this suggestion, the court asked the Commissioner to entrust the responsibility of weighing garbage before unloading to BBMP officials and to record the measurement in the presence of designated officials from the of Karnataka Compost Development Corporation and indentified representatives of NGOs, who would cross-check the measurement.

The court also said that if dry and wet waste was transported separately then separate measurement should be taken; if waste is mixed then such waste should be measured separately. Waste generated by households and bulk generators should also be weighted separately, it said.