Is there any municipal ward in Bangalore city that can be called a ‘zero waste’ ward?
It is a long road ahead but we have made a beginning. Over time, we at SAAHAS believe that Lakkasandra ward can become Bangalore’s model ‘zero waste ward’.With the support of BOSCH, SAAHAS launched its first neighbourhood waste management programme in March 2013. Today this programme covers over 5000 households, shops and other institutions.
SAAHAS now collects close to 400 kilograms of segregated wet waste from Lakkasandra ward everyday which is then sent to the Kasa Rasa centre where it is composted. Also the 30 kilograms of dry waste that is collected is sent to recyclers after secondary sorting.
A BBMP directive made mandatory waste segregation at source mandatory from October 2012. In an effort to help the community understand and successfully implement the BBMP waste management programme, SAAHAS with the support of BOSCH launched this neighbourhood programme. The Lakkasandra ward was chosen as it is the area adjoining the BOSCH campus.
The first task for SAAHAS was to study the existing system of waste disposal and management in the area. We wanted to learn not just about the quantum of waste generated but also its composition and the level of awareness among waste generators, waste collectors and managers. Besides we trailed the waste from its source to its final destination. A study was conducted in 3 areas within Lakkasandra. Ward and these 3 areas alone generated nearly 3.6 tonnes of waste that was send to landfills.
We are currently in the second phase of our programme. In the first phase our focus was on creating awareness and mobilising community support for the programme. We also conducted training programmes for the BBMP waste collectors also called Paurakarmikas. For the first six months our efforts were focussed on the 3 areas of the Lakkasandra ward which were chosen for our study. We worked with nearly 1200 households, shops and other institutions in this area. Since September 2013 our operations have
been extended to reach out to the entire ward.
A supervisor from SAAHAS accompanies the waste collectors on a daily basis. This supervisor helps both the Paurakarmikas as well as the community members with any issues they may have with regard to waste segregation. Monitoring on a daily basis to ensure proper segregation and collection of waste is a key aspect of the waste management process.
Since its inception in March 2013, this neighbourhood waste management initiative has come a long way. SAAHAS is actively involved with the community and aspires to make this initiative a sustainable and successful one.