Garbage speak from Richards Town

BBMP has passed a new rule that unless segregated, garbage will not be picked up from Apartments and Homes. Does this instill any fear in the residents of Bangalore? Or will they be happy to throw their garbage at the first available open area?

Recent studies show that Bangalore generates 3500 tons of garbage on a daily basis and approximately Rs 135 crores are spent to dump this waste into the various landfills on the outskirts of the city. As a result, the landfills are choked, our environment is being polluted, and contamination is evident in everything from the soil, to ground water and agricultural produce. When it is disposed of indiscriminately in landfills, it breaks down under anaerobic conditions.

Tips for easy segregation. Click to enlarge.

This produces a lethal landfill gas, which, if not harnessed escapes into the atmosphere. Landfill gas contains methane, a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, a root cause for global warming.

Consider this; almost 90% of all correctly segregated/separated waste can be recycled i.e. processing used materials into new products, and reducing consumption of fresh new material. If correctly segregated, 1,500 tones of paper and plastic can be reduced from the 5,000 tonnes that are sent to the landfills every month.

Further, for every tonne of paper recycled, 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity are saved. Can there be a more compelling reason for segregation? When will we wake up to the fact that we need to segregate our garbage and dispose it off at source to the NGOs’ and other organisations who are more than willing to take it off of our hands from our doorstep?

Richards Town has been successfully involved in segregating garbage since 2002 and is now further energised by the fact that ITC has joined hands with WOW (Wealth from Waste) and is willing to pay us for the segregated garbage which is picked up from our apartments and homes on a weekly basis.

Kitchen waste is also composted in many apartments and hopefully we will soon have no garbage going into the landfills. The compost pit at Richards Park generates enough manure to be distributed /sold to any available customer.

A small ‘town’ has woken up and is making a difference. How about the rest of this beautiful city? This article does not speak of anything new that we haven’t read about before. But seeing that the city is still asleep in this area is trying to nudge our civic consciences into ensuring that we do right by our city. Wake up people! It’s never too late.

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About Snehalatha Naidu 4 Articles
Snehalatha Naidu is Editor, Richards Town Residents Association newsletter and a corporate trainer.