Bengaluru's municipal corporation - the BBMP - is facing a large-scale waste disposal problem. The agency's few waste processing units are facing protests by villagers, who feel swamped by the city's garbage - which is taking a toll on their health. 


If the issue continues as is, without resolution, the city will soon wake up to reeking stenches, as the city's 'garbage bomb' is set to explode.


According to Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, Health in charge of solid waste management, converting waste into energy is only the solution and not the segregation plants - seven of which have been closed down in any case.


"Thousands of tonnes of garbage byproducts liked compost is piled up at all the seven units. To ensure there is no piling of waste in the city, the existing byproducts (like compost) should be cleared so that we can bring in every day's load of 3,500 tonnes of waste," said Sarfaraz Khan.


Bengaluru Mayor G Padmavathi, who is lobbying with the agriculture department to give a subsidy for farmers to take in the BBMP's compost, says,


"About 3,500 tonnes of compost is lying uncleared. The farmers say that it is not feasible to take compost from BBMP as they have to pay for transport. Hence we have asked the State government to help the BBMP by announcing a subsidy on BBMP compost. Apart from this, the BBMP also has asked the cement industries in Kalburgi to come forward and take refuse-derived fuel under its corporate social responsibility".


According to the BBMP, 19,000 tonnes of refuse-derived fuel is pending in various BBMP's segregation plants. This can be used by the cement industry. Instead of coal, this refuse-derived fuel can be burned to make bricks.
 

Due to the piling of waste, the villagers near the segregation plants in a few places had blocked roads and objected to the dumping of the city's waste at their villages. This has impacted the daily collection and sending of waste to the processing plant.


The government has planned waste-to-energy plants. But it will take 17 months for such plants to commence full-fledged operations. Till such time, we have to manage with these segregation plants.


Padmanabha Reddy, Former Opposition Leader in BBMP and Kacharakanahalli, criticized the Congress and JD(S), saying the ruling BBMP has failed the city badly. 


"It floods during rains, the garbage is still an issue and it will become worse in coming days as villagers are complaining of bad smell and infection due to dumping of garbage in their village. The government should have taken the steps long back and set up the waste to energy plants," he said. 


Mohammed Idrees Chaudry, General Secretary of Russel Market Traders Association says, the BBMP's commitment towards garbage clearance is questionable as piles of garbage is seen in various parts of the city.


"Once in every three days, the road next to Russel Market gets piled up with tonnes of animal and green waste and it smells bad. The permanent solution is required for garbage issue," he said.