Working together, these communities have minimized waste, turned waste into resource and in the process, help BBMP garbage contract workers earn extra money.
Management of waste in offices was another focus of the event. Two NGOs – Waste Wise Trust (WWT) and Saahas – which help offices manage waste, spoke about their work.
Waste Wise Trust (WWT):
A Waste Wise Trust employee working on the compost pit. Pic courtesy: WWT.
WWT collects segregated waste from offices, apartments, institutions etc. in its own trucks. At the segregation centre ‘Land Lab’, the waste is sorted – dry waste is recycled, organic waste is composted and used for urban agriculture and gardening; hazardous waste is given to professional dealers and the rest is dumped in landfills.
Waste is collected six days a week and nominal charges are levied for workers’ wages, transportation and disposal of waste, says Anselm Rosario, Managing Trustee of WWT. The company works with vendors of bio-gas plants and modular STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants) to compost organic waste.
"Commercial establishments can reduce carbon footprint, get certifications and some revenue by segregating waste. Companies like RMZ, Raj, Wipro etc are using WWT’s service now,” says Rosario.
"BBMP spends about Rs 160 crore a year to collect and dump waste. This huge waste of money and pollution of peripheral areas of the city can be reduced if everyone adopts segregation and composting,” he says.
Padma Sastry makes a presentation on Saahas’ waste management projects, at the event. Pic: Navya P K.
Saahas collects organic and recyclable waste from companies and recycles/composts it. While some companies working with Saahas opt for sending the organic waste to piggeries or compost with DD (Microsoft, Texas etc), others use organic waste converters (GE, Divyasree Tech Park). Saahas has also set up a tank composting facility for SBI office in St Marks road. Composting is done within the compounds of the offices themselves and the compost is used for landscaping or gardening.
"Tech parks with 7,000-10,000 employees produce 4-5 tonnes of waste, while single companies with 3000-5000 employees produce 1-2 tonnes of waste. We are trying to reduce the use of paper cups in companies as these cups do not fetch value in recycling,” says Padma Sastry of Saahas. Many companies are still reluctant to start waste management due to cost of the programme, lack of space for composting and unwillingness to change, said Padma.