Bangalore, widely recalled as the Garden City of India, has more recently garnered a reputation to have garbage-laden roads and lakes, now informally also referred to as Garbage City. So, it is no surprise that the city ranks at 216 – out the surveyed 485 urban areas – according to Swachh Survekshan 2018, the annual cleanliness survey of Indian urban areas conducted by Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. From the 7th cleanest city in 2015, to the 38th in 2016 and 210th last year, the below-average waste management situation of the city is threatening and urgent. Last year, Bangalore scored the lowest, a zero, on two sections of evaluation, one of which was Waste Management & Disposal.
On the flip side, two Bangalorean organisations working with waste management – Daily Dump and we, Saahas Zero Waste – were felicitated with the Swachh Entrepreneur Award and Swachh Best Practice Award, respectively. Hyderabad’s Bakey Foods received the third and final award of the Organisations category, the Swachh Innovation Award.
The paradox reveals that the city may be lacking on the broader implementation front, but it sure isn’t in the case of private commitment to the cause.
We thank the citizens of this city who supported us, turned up for our rallies and events, welcomed us in their offices in tech parks as well as homes in residential complexes and volunteered with us in their free time. Most importantly, those who took out the time to understand the problem.
To receive the government’s recognition at a time when Bangalore’s waste management system is in dire straits further encourages us to continue on our path to achieve a Zero Waste city. We look forward to working with the government in the future and restoring Bangalore’s status as Garden City; and further, to influence a waste-efficient tomorrow, not only in Bangalore but in the rest of our country as well.