Media, civil society and educational institutions come together to raise awareness for solid waste management
Dumping of solid wastes at any convenient spot without giving any thought for the consequences has given rise to serious environmental threats and concerns for health. The average Indian generates 500gms of waste daily and urban India is generating 703 lakh tonnes of waste annually. Of this a large chunk is generated in the metropolitan cities. Bangalore, one of the most advanced cities in the country is facing a serious crisis in waste management and different facets of the society are coming forward to provide solutions. One such initiative was taken in the form of Bengaluru Recycling Habba that concluded at Jain University, J.C. Road Campus.
Bengaluru Recycling Habba 2012 was organized by Bangalore Mirror Earth Warriors in association with Solid Waste Management Round Table (SWMRT) of which the Radio Active, the Community Radio of Jain University is an active member. The Habba attracted several people from different areas who are involved in solid waste management and creative usage of waste. There are several apartments and complexes that are taking steps towards becoming zero waste zone. For instance Renaissance Brindavan in Uttarahalli has about 125 apartments that hardly contribute anything to the landfills. The wastes are segregated at source, the dry waste is sent for recycling and wet waste is collected by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (BBMP).
There are others who have taken to create beauty out of waste. Kirana by a self help group, Belaku Trust is one such. They produce jewellery from old newspapers by making pellets of newspapers into different shapes. These shapes are died and varnished to make them hard and waterproof. Once ready these are used to make beautiful pieces that are much admired.
Another venture that is converting a portion of solid waste into products is Glasshopper. Run by Ronson Anthony, a banker turned entrepreneur, this enterprise creates home accessories out of waste materials.
Sheena F. Dhanraj from Shae is another enthusiastic member of the clan that believes beauty can be created from anything. Sheena’s forte lies with glass bottles and newspapers. She takes empty liquor bottles and converts them into funky flower vases that can add an interesting element to a room and creates baskets and coasters out of the newspapers.
The quickly depleting space for landfills and the adverse effect they have on environment and health has created a need to look for alternative measures. The open landfills have become an issue of contention with claims that the landfills have disastrous effect on the health of people around the area. Besides, the Supreme Court ruling approves landfilling only up to 15 per cent of the total waste generated and has directed cities to segregate waste at source. Radio Active has been persistently involved in spreading awareness about the solid waste management techniques and the importance of segregating waste at source. It is involved in segregating waste at three centres at present. “We are soon planning expand solid waste segregation from three to nine centres,” informed Ms. Pinky Chandran, Manager, Radio Active.