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.
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 quickpowerpoint 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!
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 the 640 recorded slums¹ across the city? What access to nature and greenery do they have and how do they use it?
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.