We manage 21 types of waste in Sobha Althea-Azalea, every day…


How would you feel if a housekeeper trained by you gives back lessons on how to differentiate between many types of plastic waste?

This is what happened a week ago when I went down to the basement to check if things were in order. This is where secondary segregation of our dry waste collected from each household happens every day.

When I asked Lakshmi, our housekeeper, why plastic waste was lying in 3-4 separate bins, she said type A fetches more money than type B… She and the remaining 11 housekeepers know it better than perhaps I will ever know.

The result? We are segregating TWENTYONE types of waste every day at Sobha Althea-Azalea!

When we kicked off segregation at source last October, the plan was to separate our dry waste into 5-6 categories like metal, plastic, paper, cardboard and glass. With each drywaste recycler coming up with his own demands to suit his commercial interests, our segregation exercise got a lot more intricate and detailed. Here it goes…

Primary segregation (as suggested by BBMP):

1. Kitchen/wet waste.
2. Household hazardous waste
3. Sanitary/bio waste
4. Garden waste
5. e-waste
6. Dry waste

Secondary segregation of dry waste:

  1. Water bottle waste (fetches very good results when recycled).
  2. Milk packet waste (fetches very good results when recycled).
  3. Other plastic waste (bottles, cans, containers, etc).
  4. Recyclable plastic: the one that does not make sound like bubble-wrap, soft high-quality plastic.
  5. Partially recyclable plastic: the one that does make sound (basically, low-quality plastic)
  6. Metal waste: coke/beer cans, etc.
  7. Unbroken glass waste (beer bottles, etc).
  8. Broken glass waste
  9. Soiled but recyclable paper waste.
  10. Newspaper waste
  11. Cardboard waste
  12. Thermocol waste
  13. Tetrapacks
  14. Rubber
  15. Wood
  16. Coconut shells.

In fact, each time I met the housekeepers, we discussed the problems faced by them since it is heavily process-driven and then we tried to fix them as quickly as possible. But we never got down to counting all the types we were handling. The number thrilled us all!

Let naysayers rule the roost and call BBMP’s drive a bunch of hooey, we know at least this much: our dry waste isn’t ending up at Mandur landfill.

Up next: Why secondary segregation is a must to make waste management a success.

For related stories, please visit ‘Endlessly Green’ category.

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