Resource Recovery Center Project

From Rising Citizen


1 Problem Definition:

Bangalore generates 3000-4000 tons of waste per day. 60% of this waste is organic and should ideally be composted in a decentralized fashion, close to source. However, there isn’t enough composting happening due to a lack of awareness and understanding. Additionally, the dry waste that is generated can be classified as high value waste, which typically ends up with a recycler in the informal sector and low value waste, which gets burnt or dumped into lakes and storm water drains or sent to a landfill, all of which have an ecological impact. When segregated garbage is not handled responsibly, residents do not feel inclined to segregate their garbage as mandated by BBMP.

Waste pickers in the city collect discarded materials that have zero value and convert it into a tradable commodity through their labor in extraction, collection, sorting, grading and transporting (Alliance of Indian Waste pickers). They work in the informal economy and do not have the training or equipment to handle waste correctly. They are mostly immigrant women who belong to one of the most marginalized sections of the urban landscape with no education, poor compensation, no health benefits, toxic working conditions, no government benefits and no education for their children.


2 Proposed Solution:

The plan is to tackle the garbage issue one ward at a time, throughout Whitefield.

3 Project Goals:

  • Collect and Process all the dry waste that BBMP & Hasiru Dala collects from Ward 84 (Hagadur Ward). Expected to be 800-1200 kgs/day. Ideally needs to be 1.5 tons per day. Collection of garbage at these levels has been successfully done at other 29 units where Hasiru Dala operates the DWCC.
  • Waste aggregation center for non-recyclable, low value dry waste for the ward & neighboring wards. These include unusable cloth, foot ware, multi-layered and fused packaging material (chips, biscuit packets, small medicine bottles etc.). The goal is to bale this waste which is then used as feeder material to making Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF). RDF needs to make up at least 5% of Cement kiln or any industry using solid fuel per the 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules. This unit may be the first in the country to model collection, aggregation and preparation of feeder material for RDF. Currently, these low value non-recyclables are either burnt, dumped into lakes or sent to a landfill. The plan is to process 650 kgs to 1 ton of such material per day.
  • Showcase various composting methods for wet waste and leaf litter. This facility can help educate housekeeping staff, school children and others who may not know the value of compost or how to make it. Additionally, this unit can process the wet waste for the immediate neighborhood who may not have a composting facility and garden waste for the entire ward. Expected volume to be processed is 1.5 tons per day including 250 kgs of garden waste per week (which typically gets burnt especially during the dry season). ____________________________

4 Livelihood and social goals:

  • After extensive surveys, 65 families of waste-pickers and informal waste collectors in Ward 84 will be enrolled as members (later to be extended to Dodnekundhi, Ward No: 85 with 280 households)
  • Support for schooling of children of waste pickers by enrolling them into government / bridge schools and providing low cost loans.
  • Running campaigns against burning of garbage and child marriages.

5 Operational Model

After the Dry Waste center is built, the aim is to have it operated by an entrepreneur who will take ownership and run the unit in a profitable fashion. Hasiru Dala will identify this entrepreneur from the neighborhood, provide training (Jain university certificate course) and managerial support to this entrepreneur. Hasiru Dala will also be responsible to provide oversight of the operations and ensure that fair wages are paid to the employees, child labor is not used, garbage is handled or managed in an appropriate fashion etc.

29 Dry Waste Collection centers run by Hasiru Dala in the city are run via an individual entrepreneur model.

The MoU will be between BBMP and this entrepreneur for a period of 3 years. Hasiru Dala will manage and run the RDF aggregation unit and the Compost Academy.

Whitefield Rising will aid these MoUs and provide a supporting role to ensure that they are properly executed.

United Way of Bengaluru will be responsible for managing and providing reporting on all aspects of the project and money and any statutory reporting. They will also appoint a project manager to run this project and assist with obtaining government approvals.

6 Why is this a great idea?

Whitefield Rising is partnering with Hasiru Dala and United Way Bengaluru for this project. Founded in 2013, Hasiru Dala is a membership based non-profit organization of waste-pickers which strives to integrate marginalized waste-pickers in the solid waste management framework by utilizing their expertise in the domain. Their membership of 7400 waste pickers manages 29 Dry waste segregation centers in Bangalore and diverts nearly 90% of dry waste away from landfills.

A little over an acre of land has been allotted by BBMP for this project for this facility here and the Corporator of Hagadur Ward is aware and supports this project. Garbage burning and dumping of waste into neighborhood lakes, especially into Varthur Lake has contributed to polluting the land and water of Whitefield.

Additionally, given Hasiru Dala’s focus on cultivating and nurturing entrepreneurs in the solid waste management business and in main-streaming this marginalized profession, this unit would improve the livelihood of 20 workers and their families when the unit is fully operational. Additionally, their children could be encouraged to enroll in the neighborhood (Vijayanagara) Government School, which is being renovated as a part of another Whitefield Rising project.

7 Key Stakeholders:

  • BBMP Commissioner: Manjunath Prasad
  • BBMP Health/SWM Joint Commissioner: Sarfaraz Khan
  • BBMP Zonal Commissioner, Mahadevpura : Dr.Vasanthi
  • Project Sponsors: CSR India & Ikanos India (Qualcomm India subsidiaries) Karnataka Home Minister: K.J.George
  • MLA, Mahadevpura Constituency: Aravind Limbavali
  • Corporator, Hagadur Ward: Uday Kumar
  • Community Partner: Whitefield Rising – Anu Govind, Murali Govindarajulu, Viji Vennelakanti, Nitya Ramakrishnan
  • Knowledge & Implementation Partner: Hasiru Dala – Nalini Shekar, Marwan Abubaker
  • Project Partner: United Way Bengaluru – Manish Michael, Rajesh Krishnan

8 Estimated Time for Completion:

15 months from start date, after receiving funding and all government approvals. Project expected to start in April 2017.

9 Approvals Needed:

  • Local Corporator has already approved the project.
  • BBMP has already issued a letter to initiate this project.
  • An MoU needs to be signed between BBMP and an entrepreneur to commence operations.

10 Challenges foreseen:

  1. Issues with neighbors who may prevent the completion of this project due to perceptions regarding how waste will be processed. This resistance could be addressed by regularly publishing information on the project and education neighbors on the benefits and how the unit will be maintained post go live.
  2. Land related delays are often seen as the biggest delay and this unit is lucky to have the land already allocated by BBMP. After much follow up by Whitefield Rising, the Thalisdar has outlined the land allocated to the project. There is a piece of encroached land which would need to ideally be cleared. However, it has not been considered in the construction plan.
  3. There is an existing Dry Waste Collection Center and garbage unloading unit which will need to be relocate across the street to make way for this construction.

11 Current Status

May 2 2017 - BBMP Fencing work has been stopped due to alleged ownership issues with the land. The Corporator Mr Uday Kumar has committed to resolving it. Without this, the project cannot even begin. The design of the structure is based on the allocated land (which is received in writing);