Waste Segregation Or the Lack of It

Waste Segregation by source has been made mandatory by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike in Bengaluru since February 1st, 2017. Housing units that refuse to segregate shall be fined according to the BBMP’s circular. PG’s (Paying Guests) and hostels are also included in this category except, it was found that many do not adhere to this mandate. It has been quite a challenging task for the BBMP to ensure that waste segregation strictly takes place in paying guests and hostels where waste is generated in a large quantity.

When this reporter visited a few hostels and paying guest accommodations, many students as well as working employees stated that they did not segregate waste individually within their respective hostels and PG’s, mostly in the areas of Koramangala and Yelahanka.

Clearly demarcated dustbins allotted for the different kinds of waste were also absent. One bin was given to each room in which mixed waste was dumped. Provision for bins specific for sanitary waste was also not given. No emphasis on segregation of waste was given by the owners or authorities. Moreover, the cumulative waste gathered was not segregated by the owners or authorities before collection of waste by the BBMP took place.

Shyla Minocha, a student of Christ University, who had tried to implement waste segregation in her hostel says that her attempt to implement waste segregation was not successful because no prior importance to waste segregation was given by the hostel wardens. They had even recruited an NGO to collect their paper waste for recycling but in a few weeks, the hostellers had gone back to using the bins without separation of waste.

Although waste segregation has been a hot topic in recent years, it is clear that efficient waste disposal and waste management is not followed by all the citizens of Bengaluru even after the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Amendment Act, 2013 which states that imposition of fines would be intensified in the case of non-segregation of waste at the source (in this case, the citizens). It is not known whether these housing units have been penalised for their lack of civic duty. If these fines were imposed, these housing units would not be as lax with their waste disposal systems.

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