In this edition of Trash Talk, RJ Priyanka discusses the state of dry waste collection in the city of Bengaluru with Indha Mahoor. A consultant with city-based organisation Hasiru Dala, Indha’s work involves coordinating the efforts of scrap dealers, waste pickers, and officials from the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP).
Indha’s interest in waste management was ignited while studying at the Azim Premji University & Foundation, specifically a course in ‘Work, Labour and Informality’. She visited Hasiru Dala during a field visit project and later worked for a waste management organisation in Pune. In January 2017, she officially joined Hasiru Dala.
“Shortly after I joined, a circular about the door-to-door collection of dry waste was circulated in the city. So, I started working with a focus on it.”
Indha holds forth on Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCC) – how they function, how effective they have been, and what challenges remain in their day-to-day running. The DWCCs have been instrumental in empowering scrap dealers and waste pickers through better income and safer working conditions. The sorters at DWCCs are often recruited by the operators from nearby bastis and get paid and fed well. The collection van drivers these operators employ also receive ESI and PF benefits.
Door-to-door collection of dry waste has picked up because of greater awareness and participation among the citizens of the city. The interview also reveals the fascinating details that make up the dry waste management mechanism in the city – think micro-planning, unique challenges that afflict every single ward, and more. The movement continues to pick up pace because of greater government support; the official statements recently recognised waste pickers as a labour force and mentioned them as such in policy documents.
Indha’s passion is to help implement these new policies in every ward of the city and help more and more people find lucrative livelihoods through them. “And, of course, to help make the city clean and green again!”
Listen in for more…
Written by Shruti Sharada.