The first step in effective solid waste management is segregation of waste at source. With garbage problems in Bangalore mounting up, in response to a public interest ligitgation, Karnataka High Court mandated three way segregation of waste(Dec 17, 2015).
The color coded system is very simple for any one to understand and follow (2binlbag.in). All bio-degradable kitchen food waste goes directly into green bin , without plastic cover lining. This waste comprises of about 60% of household waste and can be composted or converted into bio-gas.
The red bin is used for reject and sanitary waste. This waste comprises of about 5% of the domestic waste. This contains waste that needs to be handled very safe. The sanitary waste needs strict handling and incinerated scientifically. The remaining waste goes into landfill. So, if proper segregation is followed less than 5% of our waste will go to the landfill.
The bag or blue bin is used for recyclable dry waste. This comprises of about 35% of the domestic waste. Effective secondary segregation and recycling can help recycle most of the waste that comes under this category.
By directly using the bin without plastic lining, garbage covers that cannot be recycled and would end up in landfill, will be eliminated.
HSR Citizen Forum volunteers have spent lot of time campaigning door to door, to create awareness about the harmful effect of unsegregated waste ending up in landfill. Clear guidelines were given to all the residents through direct campaign, social media and text messaging.
The waste pickup in HSR was streamlined, to collect wet waste and sanitary waste 5 days a week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday). Dry recyclable waste is picked up only on Wednesday and Saturday. This makes the system foolproof and efficient. Much of the apprehension that the waste gets mixed up in the auto has thus been dealt with by this pick up schedule.
Forum volunteers promote wet waste composting at home and are constantly giving awareness to residents. Wet waste not composted within the layout goes to KCDC(Karnataka Compost Development Corporation). Dry recyclable waste goes to Dry Waste Collection Center(DWCC) for secondary segregation and recycling.
Our garbage auto drivers refuse to pick up unsegregated waste and give information to supervisors about defaulters. Our health inspector quickly resonds to complaints regarding defaulters, and enforces penalty immediately. Thus, enforcement of the segregation norms, after a period of awareness has helped achieve about 80 to 90% segregation in HSR.
Apart from all this, we are constantly educating people about need to reduce waste generated at home, by following sustainable lifestyle.