City’s waste management enthusiasts come together at Malleshwaram

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It was a pleasant Sunday morning and it was unbelievable that garbage issue brought more than 200 Bangaloreans together at a day-long Zero Waste Management workshop in Malleswaram on December 6th. It was held at Rotary West Hall of Government Girl’s High School.

The workshop was workshop was organised by ECO Manage Group. MLA of Malleswaram, Dr Ashwath Narayan who co-sponsored the programme was also present.

A skit by a group of enthusiastic employees from BOSCH explained with humour the apathy of the citizens towards garbage. Pic: Lavanya Keshavamurthy.

The meeting commenced with Dr Meenakshi Bharath, who plans to run for the coming city council elections, explaining why we all need to work together and why there is a need for a garbage management protocol. Currently, there are various groups working at different levels and all these need to come under ‘One platform – One Initiative’ as ‘Yes In My Back Yard’. People came from different areas of Bangalore for what was also aimed to be an informal ‘Train the trainer’ programme. Most of the participants are champions in solid waste management in their own localities.

A skit by a group of enthusiastic employees from BOSCH explained with humour the apathy of the citizens towards garbage and what simple measures can public take up to keep the city clean for everyone’s good. They highlighted how stray dog menace and contagious diseases can be avoided by keeping the city clean.

Ramakanth  from Kumara Park then explained the role of  BBMP in this zero waste programme. The highlight of the day was an inspiring and high energy presentation on Solid Waste Management (SWM) by Vellore Srinivasan of Exnora Green Cross. It evoked a standing ovation and atleast 5 minutes of continuous applause.

Srinivasan who has been appointed as the advisor to the Government of India on SWM spoke about how we can utilise all the material that we throw out, to achieve sustainable Zero waste management and to demonstrate 100 per cent waste recovery from organic and inorganic waste. He termed waste as a misplaced resource – what is not required by one system is raw material for another.

A still from the film “Garbage to gold”.

Click here to watch the video.

The brilliant rendition had all the citizens and BBMP officials listening with intent. Srinivasan stressed on the idea that we need to keep things very simple for the citizens – as simple as just asking them to segregate into Organic and Inorganic with each going into different coloured bins at source. The rest needs to be taken care of by the system.

The amount of detailing that goes into segregation and despatch to the right recycling unit kept the audience in a daze – who would have thought that the waste is segregated in 133 types!

Segregated waste is collected twice a day by self help groups at the doorstep. The organic waste is converted into manure in a two stage process. The dry waste is then segregated into paper-plastic and metals rubber and glass. This waste is sorted out at the secondary and tertiary sorting station and then bought by the recyclers.  The whole process runs on manual labour which is abundant in India, sunlight (required for drying of certain plastics) and garbage itself.

Srinivasan’s system not only clears garbage but also the society by way of employing the lower and neglected strata of society which includes the physically challenged, dwarfs and abandoned senior citizens.

In the afternoon –  the participants their experience on efforts they have put at community levels to achieve success.   ⊕

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