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Waste Not, Want Not: Unveiling the Green Revolution in Solid Waste Management


75% of the total 11,085 tonnes of waste generated in the state of Karnataka is dumped in landfill sites or besides lakes without proper treatment. Let's focus on the initiative taken by the Bengaluru Municipal Corporation (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike - BBMP) in Karnataka, India, their "Namma Kasa, Namma Javabdari" (Our Garbage, Our Responsibility) initiative. The main aim of the initiative is that BBMP wants to compost the garbage collected within a specific ward, in the area itself. This reduces the expenses of garbage collection, segregation and composting.

The Problem:

   - Bengaluru faced severe challenges with waste management, including inadequate waste segregation, overflowing landfills, and environmental pollution.

   - The city's growing population and urbanization exacerbated the problem, leading to increased waste generation and strain on existing waste management infrastructure.

   - Lack of citizen awareness and participation further hindered effective waste management practices.

Features of the Scheme:

  1. Monetary Incentive Scheme:

  • Citizens are incentivized to segregate waste into wet (organic) and dry (inorganic) categories at the source. Citizens receive Rs. 3 per kilogram for dry waste and Rs. 1 per kilogram for wet waste. 

  • Collection points equipped with digital weighing scales are established across the city, allowing citizens to deposit segregated waste. There are over 500 collection points spread across the city.

  • Monetary incentives are provided based on the weight of the waste deposited, with varying amounts for different categories of waste.

  1. Partnerships for Incentives: The BBMP collaborated with local businesses and organizations to provide additional incentives, such as discounts, coupons, or cashback rewards, to citizens who responsibly disposed of their waste. Over 10,000 residents have availed of discounts or coupons through the scheme, and approximately 5,000 residents have received cashback rewards.

  2. Citizen participation programs through training of SWM trainers and Shuchi Mitras for effective micro /macro SWM planning and implementation. 

  3. Setting up of Kalika Kendras (learning centers) in each zone for information, education and communication to the community on composting and zero waste homes.

  4. Encourage in -house processing of wet waste through local buy -back centres for compost. 


   - Regular monitoring and tracking of waste collection and segregation data through a centralized system, allowing for real-time analysis and intervention.

   - Enhanced citizen engagement and participation in waste management activities, with a noticeable shift in behavior towards responsible waste disposal practices.


Detailed Outcome Data

Waste Segregation Rate

Continuous monitoring showed a steady rise in segregation rates, surpassing the targeted 80% mark in covered zones.

Collection Points Established

A network of more than 1,000 collection points was set up across Bengaluru, ensuring convenient access for citizens.

Monetary Incentives Distributed

Detailed records kept track of the total incentives distributed, indicating high citizen participation.

Reduction in Landfill Dependency

The scheme has resulted in a 40% reduction in mixed waste sent to landfills, indicating its effectiveness in promoting waste segregation at the source.

Citizen Engagement and Participation

Surveys and feedback mechanisms demonstrated a marked increase in citizen engagement, indicating a shift in behavior towards responsible waste management practices.

Community Engagement and Education:

Did you know that your everyday choices in waste management can significantly impact carbon emissions and the health of our planet? Decarbonizing solid waste management isn't just a task for municipalities and waste management companies—it's a collective effort that starts with each one of us. BBMP's waste management model in Bengaluru showcases how effective urban waste management can be achieved through active citizen participation and collaboration with all stakeholders. By incentivizing citizens to segregate waste at the source, BBMP has been able to significantly reduce the burden on landfills, increase recycling rates, and improve the overall cleanliness and environmental health of the city.

Additionally, the scheme has fostered a sense of responsibility and ownership among citizens towards waste management, leading to long-term sustainable practices.

Why does it matter? Consider this: every year, millions of tons of waste end up in landfills, emitting greenhouse gasses like methane—a potent contributor to climate change. But here's the good news: through community engagement and education, we can turn the tide.

Let's Talk Numbers! Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, since its launch in 2014, this nationwide campaign has made remarkable strides. With over 110 million toilets built and 619,000 villages declared open defecation-free, it's not just about cleanliness—it's about sustainability. From school curriculums to community workshops, education is key. In Pune, for instance, public awareness campaigns have led to a 40% reduction in waste sent to landfills—a testament to the power of knowledge.

Challenges and Opportunities:

Amidst the ongoing battle against climate change, the realm of solid waste management stands as both a challenge and a beacon of hope. While the journey towards decarbonization presents its hurdles, it also offers a fertile ground for innovation and collaboration. Balancing the scales between economic feasibility and environmental integrity remains a nuanced endeavor, calling for agile regulatory frameworks and inventive solutions.

Imagine a world where every discarded item finds purpose anew, where waste management becomes a catalyst for environmental stewardship. It's a vision fueled by the principles of the circular economy, where resources are conserved, reused, and recycled with ingenuity and determination.

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