A success formula for green volunteers: Get downward management going strong

(From L to R) Green champions of Purva Venezia, Yelahanka New Town: Geetha Karthik, Vinuta Kadakol and Padma Patil. This team of 9 volunteers manages waste coming from 1,000 houses.

(From L to R) Green champions of Purva Venezia, Yelahanka New Town: Geetha Karthik, Vinuta Kadakol and Padma Patil. This team of 9 volunteers manages waste coming from 1,000 houses.

Bangalore, despite the ruckus it witnesses over the garbage problem every day, is the frontrunner in India when it comes to ideating, designing and implementing sustainable solutions. We have a number of communities in Bangalore who have adopted sensible strategies to manage their waste and many more are willing to tread the same path. But, year after year, how come some of these communities clock high levels of segregation, churn out loads of compost and go organic? What is it that they do differently than the rest? Continue reading

Will Minister George’s new 1000-acre landfill quest solve City’s garbage problem?


Minister for Bangalore Development K J George

Just like the curiosity surrounding the potential whereabouts of the Holy Grail refuses to cease, the Karnataka government’s quest for a new landfill does not quite seem to be coming to an end.

Once again yesterday, Bangalore Development Minister K J George revealed his latest trick of solving the City’s garbage problem based on Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa’s advice: To identify at least 1,000 acres of land for dumping and processing… Further, he stated that this would help “break the politicians-officials-garbage contractors’ nexus”. Continue reading

If crackers are a must for Diwali, why not go for these “70% safe”, eco-friendly ones?


If you are one of those who feels guilty after firing a rocket filled with toxic pollutants but finds it impossible to say ‘no’ to fireworks at the same time, here’s a safer option: Kaliswari Fireworks from Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, a manufacturer since 1923, has come up with eco-friendly fireworks which are claimed to release drastically low levels of pollutants in the air. Continue reading

Yelahanka Eco Group does fantastic waste management on Ganesha, Bakrid & Dasara; sets a benchmark for Bangalore


No grandiose statements or placards. No chest-beating. No gaggle of mediapersons or TV cameras trying to devour glimpses of roadside spot clean-ups. Instead, this is what it was: An unprecedented co-ordinated effort by BBMP officials of all rungs and committed volunteers from Yelahanka, North Bangalore, that cleaned up the waste overnight on the last three major festivals—Ganesha, Bakrid and Dasara. They call themselves, Yelahanka Eco Group (YEG).

To put it succinctly, it’s the real Swachh Bharat we have all been dreaming of. In letter and spirit. Continue reading

How to further enrich your compost


First things first: My first experiment with lab-produced microbes took place in June 2013. And, I am still learning. One lifetime is not enough to unravel the mysteries hidden in a fistful of soil. But meanwhile, I thought of sharing this info with you which helped us transform our eight-acre community garden into completely organic. I am open to inputs, corrections and suggestions on this topic. For all I know, I have been able to merely scratch the surface. Continue reading

Community composting: If it’s costlier & fancier, does it get better?


One of my Solid Waste Round Table Management (SWMRT) colleagues told me about an apartment which is getting ready to spend up to Rs 45 lakhs on a certain method for its in situ wet waste composting. In other cases, some companies which have succeeded in installing their 24-hour composting machines in some apartments at the cost of up to Rs 20 lakhs or more are laughing all the way to the bank.

Should a residential community invest so much in composting alone? Continue reading