BANGALORE: BBMP is accustomed to calling for large-order tenders like building flyovers, roads and bridges. Attempting to solve the garbage issue on exactly the same lines will simply not work. Unlike in infrastructure development projects, garbage disposal requires carefully crafted fool-proof processes, rigorous monitoring and end-to-end readiness.
Before asking residents to start segregating by October 1, BBMP should have ensured the readiness of dry waste storage centres, wet waste disposal plans, trained pourakarmikas, supervisors, contractors etc. Without having the back-end in place, the garbage disposal problem is only getting worse.

There is still some confusion among people about what is wet waste and what is dry waste. What we have come across during segregation at source is coconut shells / fiber, dry leaves, dry flowers, groundnut peels, egg shells, etc. getting into dry waste. These items look or feel dry due to low moisture content but are wet waste (biodegradable). One of the apartment complexes also segregated non-veg waste. This is needless as non-veg is wet waste and is biodegradable. Soiled paper/tissue is another point of confusion. Dry paper can be recycled whereas wet paper goes to wet waste. Paper is made from wood pulp and is biodegradable. Preference should, however, be for recycling unless it is wet or soiled.

It's not enough if a few homes in an area do segregation. If, out of 25 homes in a block, 24 segregate waste and one dumps mixed waste, the whole effort becomes a pointless exercise. The pourakarmikas, supervisors and house-keeping staff in apartments need to be trained to do first-level audit of waste while they collect it. Pourakarmikas must refuse to collect waste tied up in plastic covers. Invariably, such bundles will contain mixed waste.

The next level of audit should be done at the dry waste storage centre. Pourakarmikas must be empowered to identify and report homes/establishments that don't give away segregated waste.
 



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