Citizen Co Lab, Nov 2016, Garbage Burning

How to fix garbage burning issue in Bengaluru?

Discussion was centred around how people and organisations working on various issues related to garbage can collaborate and work to address garbage burning issue.

 Sobia and Ankit from Sensing Local said they have initiated air pollution study under the campaign name Breath Bangalore, in BTM Layout. They have plans to scale up the study to other neighbourhoods too. Air pollution studies can be done in places where there is high garbage burning – to prove how the pollution level is high due to burning of garbage. Data can be used to draw the attention of concerned agencies on the severity of air pollution.

Divya from Jhatkaa said they are engaged in data gathering related to garbage since May and have collected over 500 photos from different locations of Bengaluru where garbage is burnt.

Their observation is that lead burning has always been there in Bengaluru, but garbage burning has been a recent phenomena – something that is visible in last two years.

The data collected by Jhatkaa has been shared with BBMP and it has helped them to provide evidence to the authorities about the extent of garbage burning taking place.

Citizen Matters along with Nishanth is working on garbage mapping – spotting the garbage dumping points in the city.

Meera: “A lot of them are fighting garbage burning. We have to understand the pattern of garbage burning in the city. It has to be looked into from the data, awareness/campaign and lobbying angles of burning and then decide on how to fix the garbage burning issue.”

Sandya Narayan: “It’s not ok to speak about garbage burning generically, but it should be backed with data.”

Seema Sharma: “Garbage burning continuously taking place near Bellandur lake. Immigrants who have settled there are engaged in segregating waste and burning it. Lack of clarity on who transports the garbage.”

Marwan: “Immigrants who are into informal waste segregation are completely dependent on waste collection. Their livelihood is at stake if they are completely banned from segregating waste, but their practise can be changed. We need to take the point carefully and address the issue.”

What’s the way out: Classify each of the burning and find different approach to address them. Develop and advisory with punitive measure.

Classification of garbage burning:

  1. Leaf burning
  2. Garbage burning

Leaf burning (who burns it):

  1. Army
  2. BBMP
  3. Bulk generators
  4. Government agencies/buildings
  5. Residents/ households

Garbage burning (who burns it)

  1. Informal settlements
  2. Bulk generators
  3. Contractors
  4. Commercials
  5. Residents

Decision: Find out the issues/problems with each of these categories who burn garbage, propose solutions for better garbage and leaf management and advocate it.

Action Items: The idea was to look at process, data, awareness and action required to tackle the issue. The first step is process and data.

1) Lalitha to document the framework of types of garbage burnt, sources, and causes and create a process doc.

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2) Raman & Kedar , citizens from Doddanekundi and Bellandur, will help convert the process doc into a simple flowchart for the larger audience for dissemination


3) Nisha/data team responsible for mapping data sets – list of garbage sopts, Jhatkaa’s garbage burning spots, ragpicker’s colony, sorting centres, DWCC, empaneled vendors.


Sandya Narayan from Solid Waste Management Round Table, Lalitha Mondreti from Swacha Graha, Marwan from Hasiru Dala, Sobia Rafiq and Ankit Bhargava from Sensing Local, Divya Narayanan from Jhatkaa, Nishanth from Banaswadi, Seema Sharma and Kedar from Bellandur, Raman from Doddanekundi, Nisha Thompson from Opencity, Meera K, Shree D N and Akshatha M from Citizen Matters.