Will Bengaluru residents soon have to compost wet waste at home?

Bengaluru generates about 4,200 metric tonnes of garbage every day and the city’s civic body – the BBMP, is grappling with the problem of excess waste piling up in landfills. Time and again, the BBMP has failed to perform one duty – to ensure that the waste collected from residential areas is segregated into wet and dry waste.

Since there is no viable way to ensure that recalcitrant residents segregate the waste, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) is proposing the idea of compulsory composting of wet waste in all homes.

The KSPCB in its proposal to the Urban Development department has stated that by bringing in amendments to the Karnataka Municipal Act, the BBMP will be able to ensure that each household in the city composts its own wet waste.

“This has not been mandated by any other state government in the country and if we make it mandatory that every household compost their own wet waste, the amount of garbage being piled up in landfills will be minimised. We will be the first state in India to implement this policy, if we get government approval. Around 70% of all waste generated in Bengaluru is wet waste. Almost 60% of the households do not segregate their waste and hence it ends up in landfills,” a KSPCB official said.

KSPCB has proposed that households compost the wet waste individually or have localised collection points where the wet waste can be turned into compost and then sold for agricultural purposes.

“No matter how many awareness programs BBMP conducts, people still do not segregate waste at home and dump everything into the auto tippers which arrive at their door step to collect waste. These garbage loads end up in landfills because contractors are not willing to sift through tonnes of garbage daily and segregate it. If BBMP stops collecting wet waste, then people will become more responsible,” the official added.

KSPCB has suggested that the civic body issue occupancy certificates to new residents, only if they have the provision for on-site composting. The proposal, however, is pending approval. “After the election code of conduct is lifted, the decision will be made,” the official said. 

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