‘Whitefield Rising - Waste Management Team’ conducted their maiden seminar on June 15th, 2013 at The Whitefield Club.

It was attended by the Corporator of Hagadur Ward, Mr H A Srinivas and several Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanaga Palike (BBMP) officials -Devaraju, Joint Commissioner, BBMP; Vinayaka, Environmental Engineer, BBMP, Sidalinge Gowda, Executive Engineer, BBMP, Whitefield, Devaraj, Health Inspector, and Kalpana, Health Officer.

R. K Misra, (Founder of Nav Bharat and SAHYOG - Indian Council for PPP) along with over 100 residents of the Whitefield area including communities such as Adarsh Palm Meadows, Waterwoods, Waterville, Renaissance Jagrithi, Vaswani Pinnacle, Brigade Metropolis, Prestige Shantiniketan, Laughing Waters, Shobha Rose and residents of independent homes in  Whitefield, participated in the seminar.

The event commenced with an introduction to Whitefield Rising by Ms Nitya Ramakrishnan, co-founder. This was followed by an eye-opening presentation on Waste m Management by Ms Sangeeta Venkatesh, Enviromentalist and a Whitefield resident. The presentation included:

Recommendations for Waste Segregation and Management

  • Tackling waste in individual wards , making composting compulsory and thinking ahead to scale up. Waste is not only a serious problem but a growing one.
  • Investing in capacity building (training personnel, transportation of waste)
  • Sensitising citizens through TV, walkathons, andeven door to door campaigns.
  • Holding Cleanest Ward competitions
  • Felicitating residents associatiosn and encouraging Zero Waste until it becomes part of one's life.
  • Recognising dignity of labour for rag pickers and pourakarmikas (providing gum boots, gloves, implements)
  • Recommendations for cleaner streets

Cleaner streets:
- Shops should take charge of the area around them
- Provide mobile bins to roadside vendors and fine them for littering.
- Corpration should clean up litter and sand from streets immediately after sweeping, preferably during non-peak hours
- Keep trashcans/dustbins otherwise waste. is thrown on the road and footpath.
- Storm water drains to be sealed so that no dumping happens. To be cleaned regularly and waste removed immediately
- Visual pollution by posters etc. has to be taken up seriously. Give a dedicated space for advertisers etc

Two case studies by Whitefield communities, Prestige Ozone and Waterwoods were shared by their Association members. An inspirational movie `Waste off Wealth-Koramangala’ (
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqJSZzvb9VE) was shown to the audience, after which Sriram Kuchimanchi from `The Smarter Dharma’ talked about handling medical waste and the tie up with RxDx hospital.

The BBMP officials were asked a  number of questions during the interactive session. Questions were also taken in writing from the audience with the commitment that the Waste Management Team would meet with BBMP and revert to the residents with the responses.

Mr. Devaraju, Joint Commissioner, Mahadevapura, BBMP and Corporator Srinivas committed to working with the residents. The team would meet with BBMP every two weeks and take stock of the activities while working in tandem with BBMP. It was decided that a pilot project would be done on one road in Whitefield immediately and the group would reconvene in three months to assess the progress in communities and street cleanliness.

Members of the press were also present for the event. The event ended with refreshments which gave time for interaction between partcipants.

The next meeting of the residents, BBMP and the press has been fixed for September 14, 2013, Saturday. The seminar also gave some homework to do till the next meeting. This included a self-rating by each community on the issues like segregation, composting, recycling dry waste, dealing with medical waste and sanitary waste, putting e-waste to productive use, managing hazardous waste.