Mayflower scripts a waste management success story

Garbage is now a resource for residents of Mayflower block in Brigade Millennium apartment in JP Nagar. With our Zero Waste initiative, we are getting revenue instead of paying for garbage clearance.

Zero Waste Management Team: (from left) Sharanappa S, Gayatri Gopalkrishnan, Swarupa Daithankar, Prakash P.
Pic: Sanjeev Daithankar

The initiative started in 2008, but was not successful because of low response from residents. Earlier we had a common chute facility to push down waste. Today segregated waste is collected door-to-door from all 220 flats, and we have closed the chute. We thank residents for their support in achieving this.

Lessons learnt

The original ‘Blue Drum Dry Waste Campaign’ was launched in Mayflower in November 2008. The association placed blue drums on every floor, near the garbage chute. Residents were requested to segregate their garbage. The usage of the blue drum was voluntary. Not being stringently enforced, large volumes of dry waste articles still went down the chute. Later in 2010, a composting pilot was started – about 500 kg of wet waste was successfully composted in about 60 days. However, the residents remained unconvinced and were worried about the harmful effects of composting, the fear of smell and disease-causing insects and impact of chute closing.

-Extracted from an article by Vinita in 2010

The Zero Waste Management team charted out a plan last December, and started a trial of segregation-at-source (at household level) on 15th December. This was done in steps – giving residents plastic bags to put segregated waste, educating residents/ housekeeping staff etc. Waste is segregated into wet, dry (recyclable) and non-recyclable waste. Wet waste is again segregated into two types – one edible by cattle and the other for compost.

For two weeks, resident volunteers went along with housekeeping staff in the mornings to check if households were disposing properly segregated waste. Next, we replaced the plastic bags with common bins. Collection of recyclable dry waste increased, and it is being sold.

Of the wet waste, cattle food goes to a cowshed and the rest goes to a nearby school named Gurukul, which has a compost pit. We will soon start using this compost for gardening. The rejected non-biodegradable waste only comes to 2-3 bags per day.

Earlier we had to pay a private contractor to remove garbage. BBMP Environment Engineer of Arekere inspected our system in February and is very happy with our efforts. Since our garbage is now less, we have discontinued the garbage contractor’s service, and BBMP is collecting it free of cost.

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