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Garbage Segregation by individual house holds

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Venkataramanan a resident of HAL iii stage a retired Architect is a composting enthusiast. He had organized Garbage collection in HAL III Stage and started composting the wet garbage at the HAL III stage park now named as “Sir M Visweshwaraiyya Park.” [1]

He faced the wrath of garbage collection contractors. “Why should I get my head broken” he thought and quit his pet project.

When the Karnataka Pollution Control Board on Friday asked BBMP to shut down the dumping yard at Mavallipura in north Bangalore, the civic body was clueless where to dump the city’s garbage. TOI looks at how some citizens are managing household waste better. Maybe there’s a lesson for you too.

Poonam Birkasturi started in 2006 with the thought — ‘We should not dump garbage, we should manage it’. She runs Daily Dump, an organization which segregates, recycles and composts waste.

We’ve had awareness programme on solid waste management,” said NS Ramakanth, member, Solid Waste Management Round Table.  [2]

The main point being missed is that garbage segregation is best done at source.

  1. Wet
  2. Plastic
  3. Electronics
  4. Etc

There should be collection of each type of garbage on different days of the week by BBMP.

The ideal place for disposal for wet garbage is the respective area park by composting. The Other category wastes need to be stored separately and transported to respective recycling plants / factories preferably within city limits.

A seminar on this very subject at Infosys Mysore is being planed. Mr. NS Ramakanth of Solid waste Management round Table and a retired Indian army officer is involved and will be attending the same. He is in touch with BBMP on this subject.

It will be nice if the elected representative in BBMP Join hands with such projects.


Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

I am practising this for last

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I am practising this for last 4-5 months. Now we dont have anything to dump on daily basis to BBMP truck. I will post pics soon.. 

This is how I "manage" so called "waste".

a) Green & Veg waste:

-  When its fresh, if we find cows, we feed them !

- If its old, dump to compost bag (Picture will be uploaded)

b) If we have cococunt shell 

- Remove fibrous part and make cocopeat, good for gardening

- Use coconut shell as shade cover to terrace (I have collected more than 300 half shells)

c) If we have good paper, sell it to old paper vendor (I dont take money, as he is helping me)

d) All Nandini milk sachets are washed and dried. Many times used as "seeding" trays in gardening. Remaining are given to old paper vendor for recycling

e) If glass items are in good shape, used for planting some ornamental plants. But if they are broken, dumped in BBMP truck. But glass items are rare, such as fused bulbs and tube lights.

f) Any plastic item which is wet and comes as food packed (for example - a sambar packet along with idli parcel) is washed and given to old paper vendor for recycling

g) Sweeping waste(dust) is mixed with water and that water is used for plants. The human hair is seperated and dumped into BBMP truck

h) All packaging materials are given to old paper vendor for recycling(except toothpaste tube. May be he will take that too one day)

i) Any metal waste is dumped into BBMP

j) Dry leaves are collected and used as layer in compost bin






" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
Sanjeev's picture

Thanks for sharing your Practice

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We need  to practice in our daily life  in our homes so that we do not  dump too much to BBMP trucks. 

Certain extent, I do practice but we miss it few times.

My biggest worry is on Thermocoal packing materials.  How do we dispose it :  It can not be recycled and their are no places in cities to dump this waste except mix with regualr waste  and BBMP will be struggling to segregate later.

Can we get the details on where we can dump used plastic,  few places BBMP or BDA  may have provided the facility,  can any one update for me.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Thermocoal disposal

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I have "created" 2 ways for that. As I did not want to dispose such a good material, I have done following:

a) Give it to kids for making models or any form of creativity

b) I have ew bean bags at home. So I cut thermocoal into tiny pieces and fill bean bags !

The third way is there, re-use as packing material, but we dont need that always, hence we need to store them, not possible to store always!

Hope this helps.

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

Co ordination is important to consolidate.

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Every now and then articles about garbage miss management in Bangalore keep appearing in the news papers.

 An analysis of water samples from 10 sources in and around Mavallipura, the city’s garbage dump yard, reveals pollution levels are alarmingly high. Be it harmful iron, chloride or overall hardness of water, high levels of pH are equally worrisome, the analysis report pointed out. The sample testing was done by department of mines and geology, Bangalore, and the analysis sheet threw up some very disturbing figures. [1]

Some companies seem to be working in the area of solid waste management too.

 Started by Magsaysay Award-winner Harish Hande, Selco primarily works with solar energy applications. It has started exploring the possibility of effective solid waste management in various parts of the state. Beginning with the districts, it plans to implement this solution in urban areas too. [2]

Individual efforts by a few enthusiasts will not take the city of Bangalore far enough. There is a need to change the present system of collecting and disposing the garbage.

The Segregation Step is best done at the household level ie at source.

  1. Wet = waste food / veg - non veg shavings / bones / etc
  2. Used Plastic Bags / items
  3. descrded Electronic goods 
  4. Thermocole
  5. Etc

Praja need to convince the concerned authorities, to collect a garbage type on a designated day of a week ! 

Vijay Srinivas's picture

Good idea of Garbage Segregation

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Garbage Segregation is a good idea. I feel that people must be educated in which type of garbage be thrown in which bags etc.

This is a practice implemented in other countries as well.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Usage of coconut shell

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The coconut shells will act as protective layer to un-used space of terraceCoconut shell

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

Uses of Coconut Shell

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Uses of coconut shell are a very interesting topic. Using it to protect the terrace is an innovative idea indeed.

Coconut shell powder is manufactured from matured coconut shells. The manufacture of coconut shell powder is not an organized industry in India. The product finds extensive use in plywood and laminated board industry as a phenol extruder and as filler in synthetic resin glues, mosquito coils and agarbattis. Coconut shell powder is preferred to other alternate materials available in the market such as bark powder, furfural and peanut shell powder because of its uniformity in quality and chemical composition, better properties in respect of water absorption and resistance to fungal attack. The product is manufactured in sizes ranging from 80-200 mesh. Keeping in view of the vast industrial uses, the demand for coconut shell powder appears to be promising. [1]

Dishelming the coconut is also a laborious process. As such we do find machines for it in the market [2]. Coconut industry has a strorehouse companies armed with U tube vidioes.

Charcoal is produced by burning dry coconut shells and sprinkling water midway through. This has to be dried and ground to produce what is called as char coal Powder, another useful product. This charcoal drying process is mechanized too!!! [3].

Thus dry coconut shells do have economical value, hence not found in garbage dump. 


Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Thanks psaram42, really

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Thanks psaram42, really educative. So I know what is the value I have stored in my terrace. I am further planning to use it in whatever way possible in gardening

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

 The coconut shell example

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The coconut shell example was interesting. Bheema Your Face book account shows expertise not only in gardening but also in photography!

Now, it may be right to classify house hold garbage in to just two categories: - wet [kitchen and Garden] and dry [all others]. We see many plastic bags with garbage over the mound of other wet and dry garbage, in these dumps. The tricycle rag pickers collect these plastic bags after discarding the garbage selectively. They work furiously, shifting small metal items in to their pockets.

A time and motion study (or time-motion study) is an analysis of the efficiency with which an industrial operation is performed. This is also called “motion study” or just “time study”. In this particular situation faced by our corporation it is wise to ask the public to do the segregation. They[Corporation] only need to designate officially a place for dumping in addition to door to door collection as of now. They should also install two containers for each type of Garbage. schedule of collection accommodating two types of garbage specified week days is what is required. 

Hence the central idea is to have designated place / places for garbage at each Ward. Each of these having separate compartments for wet / non-wet garbage is the key. BBMP needs to be taken in confidence. This is the much needed business efficiency. A general praja discussion with appropriate Government bodies would be in order if not done so far.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

psram42 thanks

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psram42 thanks again.

Regarding green waste and domestic waste management , Daily Dump is really doing job of educating people. At the same time The Ugly Indians are doing microlevel but inspirational job. They are also indirectly indicating waste is "managable". Parallely Oraganic Gardening FB group is guiding us how to use green waste and turn them into fresh veggies and flowers and home grown fruits.

Finally, as you said, rag pickers and waste paper collectors are doing great job indirectly. Whatever really is waste (which can not be even used/reused/upcycled in anyway) they take away. Unfortunately, we are all "profession racists", meaning we dont give due importance to their job. We are so mean , we collect money from them even for waste paper which otherwise we would throw.


" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

Amazing indeed

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Though I did not notice it earlier, I am amazed at the line of thought hidden in the comment Bheema!

“Rag pickers and waste paper collectors are doing great job indirectly. Whatever really is waste which can not be even used/reused/up cycled in anyway? “

I thought that the rag pickers are fighting for survival. They restore the life of otherwise wasted material which could have been recycled. A dirty job because we mix it with filth and throw into illegal garbage dumps. Waste news paper fetches a few Rs per Kg. Plastic bags are also recycled hence a source of income. Please see my earlier blogs on this. [1]   [2]

Profession Racists! I am dumfounded indeed.

“We are so mean; we collect money from them even for waste paper which otherwise we would throw.”

Old news paper is no longer a news paper after the day passes. However it is still “paper” which should be recycled as recycling is environmental friendly.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

May be I was vague in

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May be I was vague in writing. There are 3 types of workers.

a) Old paper vendors

b) Rag pickers

c) BBMP contractor worker who really do daily garbage pickers.


a) Old paper vendors seem to be kinda organized. They collect recyclable items which are in "good shape". They pay for material which they "purchase" from us. 

b) Rag pickers are next category of people who really do help society by collecting which we classified as can not be "used/reused/recycled/up cycled". As you said rightly, we mix with filth and throw it in illegal dumps and "clean" our houses. These are humble people  who pick up this waste and fight for survival by selling it somewhere. As a token of thanks, whenever I see a rag-picker anywhere, I pay Rs.10(nothing in this world). He/she/others will stare at me, as if I am eccentric, but I am ok with that :)

c) We all know BBMP trucks do regular job of garbage collection. Initially I though "paura karmika"s (BBMP employees) doing the job. But its not them, its contractors who do the job. I talked to BBMP garbage collector. Their hiearchy is as follows:

BBMP Health Inspector-->main contractor (the bigboss who got official contract from BBMP) -> Sub contractor(boss)--> mestri(chota boss)->BBMP truck driver->assistant labour

They are not even paid a minimum salary(paid as low as 3-4k). They are emloyeed only for half day. 

I dont think their life is any better ! 

Again, while we spend a "simple" Rs.100 for tip at "simple" hotels or we happily pay Rs.200 for dabba movie at a mall, we launch "investigation" on that poor guy who asks for "Mane Hana"(Monthly fee for a house) of unspecified amount. This is what I called profession racism. Sorry for rude words.

We are not going to improve unless we grow up as citizen (Includes me too-_-), so is India ! 




" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

Daily Dump Compost at home my experience

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Poonam Bir Kasturi‘s [1] passion for design and the environment is epitomized in the elegant and practical “Daily Dump” home composting system. It was selected as one of the “Top Nominees” for the INDEX Design Award in 2007, apart from receiving several other awards. Poonam talks about her inspiration behind this great design idea. She also clarifies why composting is a much needed decentralized waste management solution. She is based in Bangalore, India. She has a solid background in Industrial Design, Technology and Art, a powerful combination! How did the idea of the Daily Dump come to her? [2}

This is what Poonam had to say:-

It is strange but the first project at design school was about waste in a city. My Dad was a very proud Indian and he was also a designer, he would inspire me and my siblings about working for this great country, of working to solve immediate issues with design. He left a deep impression on my life when he passed away in 1987.  Growing up in such a family and then being privileged to study at NID (National Institute of Design, Ahmadabad) at the time it was just awakening, did a lot to building a sense of purpose.

I had a chat with the lady at her residence at Indiranagar II Stage near to my place. It was a wonder full experience in her Office cum residence to go around. She has provided laptops to many of her employees. The lady who attended me after completing the sale immediately gave me a printed receipt.

Now I am bitten by the Composting Bug:-

psaram42's picture

Some pictures taken at Daily dump office

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Picture [1] - Pots of various sizes lined up along the front wall of the house

Picture [2] – Way to Office which is below ground level

Picture [3] – Close up Showing the well. Poonams Office is at this level 


Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

I use simply gunny bag for composting.

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I am waiting for my first batch of compost, which takes 90 days. It wil be heartening to get dual advantage one being disposal of green waste in-house, while other is getting around 25Kgs of nutricious manure for my chota-garden.


" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
ssheragu's picture

garbage collection

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very interesting subject of discussion; I have not read all the posts but glimpsed through many of them;   

kudos to all of you, especially psaram42 & Bheema Upadhyaya who manages the garbage so well, that there is no garbage to be disposed; but that type garbage disposal takes a lot of time & effort (though everyone should put that much time & effort)

my suggestion is, that if we are able to break the chain between the BBMP Health Inspector and the pouralarmika so that the BBMP health inspector is able to offer the contract directly to the truck driver & the porakarmika; in that case the driver / pourakarmika (at the extreme end of the chain) can get his rightful due (which would be a decent bounty); the BBMP health inspector & the driver / pourakarmika can be organized to collect the segregated waste and give to a organized industry which can use the waste or convert the waste in the manner being done by Bheema Upadhyaya; this would help a lot, especially those citizens like me who do not have the time to manage the waste or are lazy to do so; (again as I repeatedly say & quote the pourakarmikas shoud be given gloves and protective gear during garbage collection, so that there job is respectful & respected and conforms to the adage that a place is as clean as the man who cleans it or as respectful as the dignity of the man is)

many thanks

Srinath Heragu

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

At personal end, I would be

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At personal end, I would be dontaing a set of handgloves (2 pairs) to the person who actually touches garbage in our lay-out. To sustain it to maximum extent, planning to repeat donation for every 6 months or till they get official hand gloves

Everything *must* start with self, so this decision taken few days ago. Watch out for updates !!!


" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

Terra Firma Biotechnologies

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Terra Firma Biotechnologies a Ramki group company [1] has its own land of 150 acres at Dodda-Ballapur. [2] Some time back there was an event which had appeared in Praja about a visit organized to this company’s yard.

“DB is a Bustling city near Chikballapur and Devanahalli in Bangalore outskirts. It is a Site of significant industrial, commercial, and residential development. With the development of the Bangalore International Airport and the 12,000 acre IT Development Region near Nandi Hills, land prices are on the upswing.” [3]

This company, owned by Dr. Ganesh a PhD from USA, is responsible for processing garbage only from a few localities in Bangalore. They segregate and compost the green garbage. The company office is situated at 104, No 5, Ranka Park, K H Road, Sampangirama Nagar Bangalore, 560027.

Dr. Ganesh a Biotechnology expert did mention that segregation is the real stumbling block when contacted.

There are plenty of BT firms in Bangalore [4] apart from Terra firma.

Biotechnology (sometimes shortened to "biotech") [5] is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, and it is usually seen in agriculture, food production and medicine production. Modern use of similar terms includes genetic engineering as well as cell and tissue culture technologies. The concept encompasses a wide range of procedures (and history) for modifying living organisms according to human purposes — going back to domestication of animals, cultivation of plants, and "improvements" to these through breeding programs that employ artificial selection andhybridization. By comparison to biotechnology, bioengineering is generally thought of as a related field with its emphasis more on higher systems approaches (not necessarily altering or using biological materials directly) for interfacing with and utilizing living things. TheUnited Nations Convention on Biological Diversity defines biotechnology as:

BBMP has to depend upon private contractors for collecting garbage form various localities. These private contractors in turn sub contract.  Huge amounts of this garbage were being disposed without segregation at Mavallipura land fills. They had to abandon this on protests by the residents.

Locating other areas for land fills is hardly the solution

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Few more pics about my practice

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Plastic is dumped to specific place in kitchen and collected every month 

Plastic is segregated to different sizes

Nandini milk sacks are washed, cleaned and dried every day

They are arranged and packed well

Then they make way to my car along with old news paper.

And thick plastics find their way to my garden.

Making way to new life forms :)

Hope this encourages everyone

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
ssheragu's picture

garbage collection

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kudos to Bheema Upadhyaya & psaram42;

I also donate & have donated gloves (thin, strong, rubber or rexin gloves) to the person / garbage picker / pourakarmika, who touches / picks garbage in my locality (DRDO Complex); initially I asked the mastri to give; he blamed the garbage picker / pourakarmika saying that he or she does not wear gloves which are provided; the garbage picker / pourakarmika blamned the mastri / contractor saying that they do not provide gloves; there was this usual blame game; so I personally started donating gloves and inisiated that they should wear in both hands; while initially there was reluctance, now it is a pleasant sight to see them wearing gloves (though only plastic gloves) provided by the mastri / contractor.

in fact I carry sets of gloves in my car & I donate it to the any garbage picker on the road; initially I ask him to wash his hands, dry it & wear the gloves; I also instruct him to clean the gloves daily after use, dry it and wear it the next day morning before resuming work;

I hope that this glove culture & protective gear culture picks up & is established so that there is dignity & respeactability of labor & the job of cleaning is exquisite.

Many thanks


Srinath Heragu

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

@Srinath - Wonderful

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This is the way to go. As I said, all things start with self :)

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

The easiest way to start with..

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The picture talks everything !!!

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

This is another way of using waste :)

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Image courtesy:  Runjhun. Incidentally a Kejrival. Thanks rock !

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

Slightly off-topic but an example

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@psaram42  This is what I called professional racism. Just to give example, not related to garbage collection in anyway. But see just because, he is a farmer VijayaKarnata Bangalore Edition (30-Aug-2012) wrote an article about his death treating him in singular words.(Highlighted in red). Imagine if a software engineer died, how they would mention in news. I will post another article when such mention comes. Not to spread hatred or create a heated discussion here, but giving an example, how cheap we are when it comes to treat dignity of a profession and how we differentiate :(

" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

This confusion can only be in

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This confusion can only be in our local language, not in english. In english plural is for numbers. Mr. Mrs is for gender. Respect is by title like sir M Vishveshvaraiah.  Dr. for actual degree in medicine or a title.

In kannada raita  who is namma Devaru always.

I do not feel any thing wrong in the example given by you Bheema. Each language has its own beautiful sematics, connotations. The set of associations implied by a word in addition to its literal meaning are to be taken into account for any language.

Note:- This part of discussion is off toopic. request shifting to a different thread please.

Bheema.Upadhyaya's picture

@psram42 agree

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Yes, I agree with you. Lets leave negative apart. Lets talk positive side of the subject :)

Okay ! Now I found a new way to use otherwise to become garbage. Coconut shell !!! A year's collection. See how its "cooling" terrace and my kids' room below it.

Collection continues. There are so many ways coconut shells can be used :)


" My mantra to public bodies=> Enable->Educate->Enforce. Where does  DDC  fit?"
psaram42's picture

Uses of Coconut Tree

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Coconut tree can be called "Kalpa vruksha". Tender coconut is like ' Amruta ' that is "devine drink" ! Coconut shavings are also useful in coir industry.

Bheema the coconut shells which you have illustrated above is not garbage at all to start with. Let me try to ennumerate its uses:-

  1. Very good Fuel in olden day boilers for heating water for bathing.
  2. Uefull in small furnaces used by goldsmiths to make ornaments
  3. add some more like in your example comment guidelines

Posting Guidelines apply for comments as well. No foul language, hate mongering or personal attacks. If criticizing third person or an authority, you must be fact based, as constructive as possible, and use gentle words. Avoid going off-topic no matter how nice your comment is. Moderators reserve the right to either edit or simply delete comments that don't meet these guidelines. If you are nice enough to realize you violated the guidelines, please save Moderators some time by editing and fixing yourself. Thanks!

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