Waste Management for Apartments – WHAT

8AM. The door-bell rings and you hand out your waste – one bag of around 1 KG to the Housekeeping Staff.

The bag contains kitchen wet waste, bathroom waste, 3 used batteries, a jam bottle, 4 milk packets, a thermocol board – all mixed up.

Case 1: The whole bag is dumped as it is and the municipal waste collectors come and take it. 95% of this goes to the Landfill. The toxins eventually get into the groundwater.

Case 2: The Housekeeping staff, puts her hand into the bag and takes out the jam bottle & milk packets and puts in her collection to be sold to the Kabaadiwalla (recycler) for some petty cash. If the jam bottle was broken the housekeeping staff may end up with a bleeding cut on her hand.

Fact: BBMP & many other Municipal Bodies are not responsible for Solid Waste Disposal of Apartment Complexes. The garbage collectors that arrive to pick up the community’s garbage are private bodies licensed by BBMP.

Many Apartment Complexes have realized that much of the waste generated in the Complex can be RECYCLED/REUSED, only if they can be SEGGREGATED AT THE SOURCE.

What is Seggregation at Source?

Each Household is instructed to segregate their waste into categories. Typically –

1) Kitchen waste – stale food, peels etc.

2) Dry Waste – Paper, Milk Packets, Plastic containers etc.

3) Toxics – Bathroom Waste, Broken Glass, razors etc.

4) E-Waste  – Used Batteries, phone chargers, cables etc.

The door-to-door garbage collector (housekeeping staff) come with 4 large bags to collect these separately.  Dry Waste is further separated by the housekeeping staff and sold together to a recycling vendor. E-waste is sold separately to a recycling vendor. Only the Toxics and Kitchen Waste are taken away by the Garbage Collector.

Some Apartment Complexes even compost the Kitchen Waste if they have adequate land allocated by the Builder.

If your Association plans to initiate a Waste Recycling campaign and you are wondering how to, check out our next post:

Waste Management for Apartments – HOW

It has Success Stories from Brigade Millenium, Diamond District along with the resources you can reuse such as stickers, posters and most importantly – experience!

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About the Author: San Banerjee

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