When one Bengaluru woman's battle changed how her apartment complex manages waste | Garv Hai - Stories of Change | Swachh Survekshan 2019

When one Bengaluru woman’s battle changed how her apartment complex manages waste

Fighting for a better Bengaluru and rooting for a permanent solution for the garbage crisis that plagues the entire city, Savita Hiremath is working towards making composting and segregation an everyday affair.

The garbage mismanagement witnessed in 2012 became a triggering point for various apartment complexes in Bengaluru to invest in a permanent solution for waste disposal in order to reduce the burden on landfills such as Mandur and Mavallipura.

Working to make the environment endlessly green

In her quest to adopt a better waste management system for her own home and her apartment complex Sobha Althea comprising 202 flats, 41-year-old Savita Hiremath started experimenting with various green initiatives and documented her journey and 16 months of research on her blog, Endlessly Green. By following the three-bin segregation method and developing an in-house composting unit managed entirely by residents and housekeepers, Sobha Althea has become a role model for reducing waste at source.

The apartment has been successful in recycling and utilising approximately 95 percent of its waste and they send not more than 1kg of waste per day to landfills. Citing an example, Savita, a waste management activist and blogger, says that the residents use paper linings, which are recyclable, instead of garbage bags in their dustbins. As a result, within just a few months, the apartment has managed to keep close to one lakh plastic bags away from the landfill.

Waste is just the beginning. When we start to address this problem, many other problems solve themselves. Segregation, composting, and recycling have enabled the community to not only use the generated compost for their own gardening needs but have also helped them increase soil fertility and reduce air and water pollution.

Tangible benefits exceed cost of composting

While the cost will never go beyond Rs 100 per apartment per month, Savita feels that an actual cost-benefit ratio of composting and segregation is difficult to calculate. The tangible benefits of composting go beyond economics — the compost generated can be used in gardens or be sold to those who have boutique gardens.

Housekeepers sieving the compost prepared from kitchen waste.

Further, due to the usage of organic manure in gardening and the decreased use of pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, there is a reduction in water consumption. The payment given to the municipal and private garbage contractor also goes down, Savita elaborates.

Source: Your Story

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