Living Green in India: “Trash Trail” Part II

Picking up where we left our waste tour in Living Green in India: “Trash Trail” Part I…

Stop 5: Jolly Mohalla Wholesale Market

After seeing local garbage collection in action, and visiting kabbadiwallas sorting their products, we visited the Jolly Mohalla Wholesale Market – the scale of which has to be seen to be believed. Families have been in business here for 50 years and competition is fierce.

 Scales – a key tool of the trade

Continue reading

Advertisements

Living Green in India: “Trash Trail” Part I

Have you ever wondered what happens to your waste once you throw it out?

Waste is an issue that has fascinated me since I arrived in India about 6 months ago. Although waste is often very visible on the streets here, I had a very limited understanding of how the waste management process worked. Although it may sound a bit odd, I was really curious to find out where my garbage was going. I guess I felt like I couldn’t take  any effective action until I had seen it for myself and understood the complexities of the situation.

Waste provides a good hiding spot for local street dog

I started doing some of my own research into the issue and a friend introduced me to a business called Daily Dump, based in Bangalore. Daily Dump sells composting equipment, and also runs a “Trash Trail” tour across the city. So I signed up and arrived at the Daily Dump office early one Saturday morning with 7 other interested citizens. The staff gave us a quick powerpoint presentation to set the scene:

I was amazed to find out that only 10% of what we currently throw out should be heading to landfill!

Continue reading

Any space for nature in Indian slums?

It is not uncommon to hear Bangalore residents (often from the wealthier parts of the city) bemoaning the loss of trees and green space that has occurred as Bangalore rose to be the Silicon Valley of India. 

But what about the people who live in th640 recorded slums¹ across the city? What access to nature and greenery do they have and how do they use it?

Density of green space in Bangalore

Given that slums often inhabit marginal and polluted land, and that they have a high population density, one would hazard a guess that trees are not particularly common. This assumption is supported by a recent study conducted by Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, in conjunction with the University of Greifswald, Germany. Researchers Divya Gopal, Harini Nagendra and Michael Manthey observed 44 slums across Bangalore and confirmed that the tree density in slums is in fact substantially lower than that in the wealthier residential areas of Bangalore.¹

What are the implications of this for urban development, poverty and human health?

Continue reading

Potholes + a fake crashed car + curious citizens = urban India?

The other day I came across this installation in the middle of a busy Bangalore intersection that had people rather intrigued. Passing cars were slowing down in the middle of the road so that their passengers could take photos of the commotion.

Continue reading

Kids “stop the drop” and save water

Occasionally, you come across a fresh take on a very old issue and the students from Christel House in Bangalore have certainly done just that with their music video “Stop the Drop”.

Screenshot from music video “Stop the Drop”

They rap about saving water and “by using sound effects created by splashing, dripping, pouring, and even flushing water…they have reinvented and emphasized the way human beings interact with one of our most precious resources”.

Continue reading

Exploring Bangalore: with a local freelance photographer

It is always a challenge moving to a new city when you don’t have an initial group of contacts, such as colleagues, fellow interns or other students. This is the situation I find myself in at the moment, as I am working on independent NGO and consulting projects.

I decided that I really needed to meet more people, so when I discovered the blog of a local freelance photographer I decided to contact her. Having only recently moved to Bangalore herself, she was keen to meet up and I was lucky enough to join her and some friends as they went out shooting (or “clicking” in the local lingo) in Bangalore for an assignment.

Temples

Continue reading