Thursday, July 03, 2014

Trash Trail - Walk Through the Garbage of Bangalore

Like many other Indian cities, Bangalore has a massive garbage problem—the product of rapid economic growth, overcrowding, poor urban planning, corrosive corruption, and political dysfunction.

Some excerpts from article appearing in the Atlantic.

What a Waste?

My search for the answer led me to sign up for an unusual tour of Bangalore. 

The “Trash Trail” is a nine-hour expedition on foot and by van through the city’s wastelands. It’s led by Poonam Bir Kasturi, the tireless director of a local non-profit called Daily Dump, which advocates for composting and better waste-management practices. Kasturi is one of dozens of Bangaloreans working to change the city’s attitude toward garbage.

Indian TV Show "Satyamev Jayate" Launches Campaign on Waste Burning in South Delhi

The Trash Trail may be the only tour of its kind in the world (you won’t find it on the Ministry of Tourism’s website). Kasturi promised that we would see trash-transfer depots, massive landfills, and the vast “informal” garbage sector where thousands of citizens make their living finding, sorting, and recycling garbage.

Air Pollution in India (Tehelka Magazine)

As I wound my way through Bangalore’s streets in the Daily Dump van, I spotted numerous American brands out the window: Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Levi’s, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut. But the United States doesn’t just export products to India—it exports a culture of consumption, backed by billions in advertising dollars.

How to compost wet waste @ Home?

Many Indians want what we have, and it’s hard to imagine what will happen once India’s middle class—now 300 million strong and growing fast—quadruples its consumption to match ours.

115,000 MT of Solid Waste are Generated Every Day in India

As Bangaloreans consume more luxury items, the composition of the city’s garbage is changing—from food scraps and organic waste 20 years ago to mountains of plastic today. During the afternoon leg of the Trash Trail, we set out to explore this new frontier of plastic, which is processed by workers in Bangalore’s informal garbage economy. Roughly 60,000 people make their living collecting, sorting, and recycling materials—entirely outside the city’s formal waste-collection process.

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