I am staying in a complex called Purva Panorama on B G Road Bangalore where we have 650 apartments. The time when no one was bothered or thought of doing segregation, we, Purva Panoramites, were way ahead in the process of segregation.
We took our first baby step of Solid Waste Management in June 2011, right after a beautiful presentation by N S Ramakanth in our complex. Although there were not too many people present in the meeting as usual, we didn’t waste time. We started the project with just a few people in our team. Me, S.Venkatesh Kini, Alok Gupta along with our Association (Purva Panorama Apartment Owners’ Association) and Estate Manager Palani and his housekeeping team led by Murthy.
After that we never looked back. It took us a lot of time to make people understand WHY it is important to segregate garbage before trashing.
It was really difficult – but slowly we crossed all the hurdles, educated almost everyone, spent hours and hours together on making things better. Today almost everyone in Purva Panorama is so keen on segregation. We started only with dry and wet waste, then slowly we started separating E-waste too.
In October 2012, after BBMP mandated segregation of garbage in Bangalore, we re-organised our process to make it more systematic. We worked as a team of housekeeping staff and SWM volunteers to achieve the goal and we have achieved almost 94-95%.
Right now we are doing four types of segregation, with proper colour coding. Dry waste is put into red bins, wet waste will be in green bins, E-waste is out in yellow bin while household biohazard waste is meant for blue bin.
If a newcomer moves into any of the apartments, the first thing they will have to do is to collect the SWM guideline, dry waste bag and a phone number of any of the team member from the customer care.
Rs. 2.5 lakh a year from waste!
Earlier we used to send 1 or 1.5 tonnes of mixed waste everyday. But now we are sending only 400 to 450 kgs of pure wet waste, saving almost 600 kgs of dry waste everyday and getting almost 2.5 lakhs of rupees a year by selling it – wonderful ‘Wealth out of waste!’
We are really careful and sensitive about our E-waste. We do not mix it with any other waste. We are sending it to Ash Recycle. In the beginning we used to send only tube lights, cells and some small toys but now people are trashing computers, printers, and any kind of electronic stuff in the yellow bin.
The sanitary waste goes to the biohazard waste section. Disposal of household biohazard waste is really a big challenge. The numbers given in BBMP list for biohazard waste are the vendors who are actually collecting waste from Hospitals only and household biohazard waste is really different from this. They charge too much for collecting biohazard waste from the colony.
Small vendors are not really interested in the small quantity of biohazard waste we produce – They don’t want to come all the way for such a small quantity of biohazard waste. Moreover, when collecting, they collect it all together, even when it is segregated. But, we are in a stage where after doing so much so religiously, we don’t want to give our waste to any XYZ who mixes it up.
None wants the wet waste
We don’t have anyone who takes the 400 kgs of pure wet waste we produce every day. We are planning to have our own compost plant in our colony. But it requires a lot of investment which is really difficult for colonies like us.
We have done a lot of survey on composting plants and spoken to many people who are involved in this business. Actually now every XYZ is jumping into this business and it is really difficult to trust any one. Choosing the right vendor is really a challenge for us. We cannot afford to waste even a penny on any wrong decision.
I request the interested to visit Purva Panorama and appreciate them. We need help in putting up compost plants and taking care of at least household biohazard waste. If we don’t get help, people will be discouraged; the feeling of ‘Why should we’ will stay. We need BBMP to help us at this juncture.
On a larger perspective, BBMP will never be able to achieve its goal of making Bangalore green again, if it doesn’t have the solution for the problems of communities like us.
Now I am not in Bangalore, but I really want to thank Sabitha, Aparajita and her strong SWM team, our Estate Manager Phalani and his housekeeping team led by Murthy for taking charge of SWM in our colony. They are doing wonderful job, I am proud of them.