Saturday, December 15, 2012

Bangalore Garbage crisis and my solution

Yesterday, I had a chance to listen to someone closely following the Bangalore garbage crisis. Hence this blog post.

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The following are the things I learned about the recent garbage crisis which stared few months back.

1. Bangalore is in the midst of changing garbage contractors from a mixed model to a segregated model. Current contractor has no obligation to process the garbage and convert into useful products. They can dump whatever they want in landfills around Bangalore.

2. Bangalore's capacity to make manure from wet waste is extremely under-utilized because the contractor is bringing all kinds of waste to these facilities, not just wet waste.

3. Some of the landfills in Bangalore have been closed due to protests. There is a story behind it. A BJP minister (Arvind Limbavali) was allegedly provoking the residents of a "landfill village" (think its Mavalipura) to extort money from a garbage contractor. NGOs grabbed the opportunity and ensured that Mavalipura residents (rightly) protested longer and forced a garbage crisis in Bangalore. Pollution control board also ensured closure of few land-fills.

4. BBMP engineers in-order to force the transfer of a BMTF investigator out of his job, encouraged the contractors to strike work. BMTF is a vigilance agency to check on BBMP.

5. Current contractors are being paid more money (above their contract) to clear accumulated garbage and ensure transition to new contractors. The D-date is still being negotiated and its gonna be a messy transition.

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I personally feel garbage segregation is an over-rated solution and a job killer. Any solution which is dependent on residents to segregate is doomed to fail in the long run, if at all it takes off. Especially when the city neither has the technology at scale nor the interested businesses to handle such segregated garbage. But left liberals are involved. Expect more "do it yourself" fad.

We need profit driven, industrial methods to convert mixed waste to usable products. The current ad-hoc and govt controlled, contractor system is neither creating jobs (lack of capital investment), nor properly converting garbage into useful products (manure, polimer oil, recycled plastic, paper etc). Instead lot of our garbage is going directly into landfills and ruining the lives of villagers around Bangalore.

My proposed solution is to completely privatize garbage disposal to large corporations. Garbage and construction waste disposal, along with sand contracts should be awarded to few (say four) large competing companies through an auction. Including construction waste disposal and sand sourcing contract is to make the business profitable and attractive to companies. Those two businesses are currently run only by mafias.

We should invite multinational companies like Veolia (remember Onyx in Chennai?) to participate in these auctions. They have to quote an offer price at which they'll BUY the garbage of the entire city. They'll be licensed to grab whatever is left unattended on the streets of Bangalore (and from garbage bins/bags ofcourse). These companies will be allowed to deploy armed guards on garbage trucks to protect from sand/construction mafia. They'll be also penalized for not grabbing enough garbage from the city and leaving the city unclean.

If none of the companies is willing to take the above contracts for making money from garbage and insist on BBMP paying for disposing garbage, then we have to pay the lowest such bid.

3 comments:

City Container Services said...

Garbage crisis' are popping up all around the Earth, sadly, right now. If we can all pitch in to help go green community wise, it could be helped. Its happening in the U.S., in foreign countries, Europe, everywhere.

-Land Source Container Service, Inc.

waste compactors said...

Repair an item instead of replacing it, or if you no longer want it, give it to a person who does.

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