Managing solid waste collection in a city of the size of Bangalore is not an easy task. With a population of more than 8 million, Bangalore generates about 4000 MT of garbage every day. Originally this garbage was disposed in concrete community bins. However from 2004 onwards, the Greater Bangalore Municipal Corporation (or Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike - known as BBMP) began collecting garbage door to door through private contractors. Generally, these contractors use pushcarts & auto tippers for collecting the garbage, after which it is transported using compactors, tipper trucks and mechanical sweepers
Bangalore is facing a garbage crisis. In recent years, the ever-growing metropolis has seen its sidewalks and roads increasingly covered with trash. In many streets, citizens are facing the stench of uncleared garbage every day, and are forced to walk on the busy roads navigating around the rotten food, paper and plastic bags that are piled up on the sidewalk. Moreover, the garbage also attracts stray animals. The major burden of these issues is faced by citizens, especially those who live close to collection points.
The urban local body in conjunction with the State Government has responded to the crisis, but without much progress in disposal of waste. This has led citizens and citizen led groups to address the issue in their neighborhood. These citizen led movements have focused on waste segregation at source and composting of organic waste. These initiatives though have helped ease the problem of organic waste still remain at a micro scale. The larger question of disposal of waste that is dumped in and around the BBMP designated collection points are still open to needs to assessment. Citizens and citizen groups can play an active role in monitoring the waste collection efficiency by aiding the government to help monitor the effectiveness of waste management in the city by various contractors.
The city has advanced considerably in collecting and segregating1, nearly “20 percent of the waste still has to be picked or is picked irregularly”. Waste collection and disposal often lie at the core of waste management. Given the high visibility and importance collection should receive high degree of scrutiny and analysis. But in reality, this is not the case. Waste collection in Bangalore is contracted to private contractors. Currently, there are 9,000 persons working with private contractors and this number is expected to increase in the near future to 24,000. In spite of all these, waste collection is still considered to be inefficient as most of these workers are not motivated, untrained, undercompensated and unnoticed2. Furthermore, the absence of bins and overflowing of overflowing bins wherever present and the presence of stray animals also affect the efficiency of waste collection.
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