Post-floods, unsegregated household waste has become a headache

BBMP Bengaluru City Environment

Citizens should help us out, says KSPCB

After the flooding in August and September 2022, Bengaluru is facing issues with waste management. Unsegregated household waste has become a problem in several flood- affected areas like Indiranagar, HSR Layout, Bellandur and Mahadevapura.

The agencies concerned are yet to find a solution to the problem.

A Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) official who did not want to be named informed The Observer: “Unsegregated waste is a huge problem for us. We already have a lot of things in hand. When waste is unsegregated, it becomes harder for us to recycle it. What people need to understand is that the whole system, including local bodies, should work together… to make this possible. We acknowledge the issue. But we cannot do anything alone.”

A large number of petitions have been filed against the KSPCB over improper waste management, he shared.

Sayed Ali, a BBMP official, said: “We try to follow what the authorities ask us to. But I do not think 100 per cent  segregation of all waste takes place. Zonal officers and commissioners should work on that.”

According to Rule 4 of the Solid Waste Management Rules of KSPCB, 2016, it is mandatory to have incinerators for segregated waste. But there are no incinerators in places like Indiranagar or Mahadevapura, both densely populated residential areas.

Vedika Thimmaiah, volunteer of Solid Waste Management Round Table, an initiative run by a group of people, said: “For waste to be segregated properly, dry waste must be kept dry. But with flooding what happens is that even the segregated dry waste becomes drenched, making it harder to recycle.”

Improper waste management has been an issue in Bengaluru for years now. But after the floods, it has increased to a large extent. While the authorities have found a way to manage industrial waste, they are yet to find a solution to managing unsegregated household waste.

In September 2022, the National Green Tribunal ordered the Maharashtra government to pay an “environmental compensation” of Rs 12,000 crore for its improper waste management.

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