Only 40 p.c. of Bengalureans segregate waste

Commercial areas in and around city centre continue to grapple with segregation issues

Updated - February 15, 2016 07:49 am IST

Published - February 15, 2016 12:00 am IST - BENGALURU:

Nearly five years after segregation at source was made compulsory by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), more than half the city’s garbage remains un-segregated. Commercial areas are the worse offenders.

“Only around 40 per cent of waste in the city is being segregated. The most important element for successful implementation of waste segregation is the cooperation of the citizens and the councillor, and the BBMP’s willingness to act and penalise,” said N.S. Ramakanth, waste management expert and also a member of the Solid Waste Management Round Table, a citizen’s group that spearheaded garbage segregation at source in the city and also helps the BBMP in various enterprises associated with this issue.

Mr. Ramakanth listed the Yelahanka and Mahadevapura zones as having the most proactive citizens and successful waste segregation programmes, as well as localities or wards such as HSR Layout, Sanjaynagar and Rajarajeshwarinagar.

However, commercial areas in and around the centre of the city such as Kalasipalya, Chickpet and K.R. Market continue to grapple with segregation issues, with houses atop shops posing the most problems.

“We have spent a lot of money is carrying out awareness programmes. We have even been getting mixed waste segregated by BBMP workers. However, from March onwards, our pourakarmikas have been instructed to not collect any mixed waste. We will also be fining people,” said Mayor B.N. Manjunath Reddy.

He added that what happened in most commercial places was that people usually brought their waste and dumped it on the road slyly, and tracing offenders posed a big problem.

After the closure of garbage landfills in Mandur and Mavallipura, the new processing plants are only designed for segregated garbage.

Composting is also only reserved for wet waste, said a BBMP spokesperson.

“This leaves the BBMP with no choice but to reject mixed waste.”

“We cannot really expect the civic agency to solve all our issues. We started awareness drives for segregating waste more than 10 years ago, before it became compulsory. We took inputs from the Indian Institute of Science and decided to start composting our own waste. We began a sustainable five-year ‘Green Glow’ programme where each year we would focus on getting one area completely clean. We wanted to make this locality a model sort of town,” said K.S. Sangunni, former IISc. associate professor and member of Yelahanka’s Citizens’ Forum.

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