Out Of Sight; But Never Out Of Mind

Shobha Dahlia – Waste Segregation

“Out of sight, out of mind”

Not for the residents of Shobha Dahlia. The residents of this Bengaluru apartment complex took the conscious decision to be accountable for their wastes.

Bengaluru alone generates over 5000 tonnes of garbage per day. The majority of this trash ends up in landfills causing pollution and increasing emission of greenhouse gases. The first productive step to manage wastes is segregation at source. A seemingly simple step, waste segregation, can go a long way to help India deal with her trash problem.

Who and why?

The residents of Shobha Dahlia have shown exemplary wisdom in taking the first step of waste management as a community – waste segregation. The inspiration came from daily observation and simple awareness. “Mandur was filled with tons of mixed waste from our urban world. Enormous amount of garbage piles with plastic bags full of unsegregated waste made us realise that waste if segregated properly we can avoid harming the environment and be more sustainable. At that time support from Kasa Muktha Bangalore helped us get started.”, says Gauri Sengupta, member of the Management Committee.

How?

Having started the community initiative on 1st July, 2014, it was not an entirely smooth road to success. Some of the challenges the volunteers of Shobha Dahlia faced were:

  • Convincing some of them the need to segregate.
  • Enforcing No plastic liners in bins.
  • Stopping disposal of unsegregated waste in common area bins.
  • Constant reminders for washing food containers and packets.
  • Educating residents to wrap sanitary waste and sharps in newspaper.
  • Reminding people to not use disposables.

However, constant communication and awareness about the benefits of waste segregation ensured the community has turned their aspirations of being a green society into reality.

All waste generated per flat is divided into 4 categories:

  • Green bucket: Wet Waste/Compostable waste: Daily Collection
  • Pink bucket: Reject/Sanitary waste: Daily Collection
  • White Rexine Bag: Clean and Dry Recyclable waste: Tri weekly Collection
  • E- Waste: Not collected by Housekeeping. Resident to deposit in bin near Main Gate

There are 6 blocks in Dahlia. There are 3 teams of 2 members each. The teams do 3 blocks at a time. The Housekeeping is well trained and wears gloves and masks at all times while handling the waste. The wet waste is processed and composted in house, while the dry waste and e-waste go to selected vendors for recycling.

Impact Of The Initiative

Patience always bears the sweetest fruits. Shobha Dahlia is a living breathing example of the virtue of patience. Their efforts have borne fruit:

  • The apartment complex is 100% waste compliant
  • All food waste is processed in-situ.
  • All e-waste is handed over to a certified vendor.
  • Over 460 tonnes of waste ( 93% of total collections) has been stopped from going to the landfill in the last 5 years.
  • Over 10 tonnes of compost is generated every year.
  • Shobha Dahlia has been recognised by “Beautiful Bengaluru” as the Green Award winner for June 2019.

Shobha Dahlia has stood up to its name – the residents have indeed gracefully beautified not only their community, but also, their environment at large. They are true leaders in sustainable community living and let their initiatives Rise High and higher to continue inspiring the urban population to be torch bearers to fight the environment crisis.

Want to see your sustainable living story here? Share your story with us here and nominate your apartment complex for Rise High Awards 2019.

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About the Author: Karnika Roy

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