Promoting Decentralized Waste Management in India (video)

 The rapidly growing Indian city of Bangalore produces 3,000 metric tons (more than 6,600 lbs) of waste a day. Most of this waste winds up in landfills in communities outside of Bangalore resulting in tremendous transportation costs for the local government and degraded living environments for the communities that live near these landfills. Longer term effects include the leaching of contaminants and chemicals from the landfills into the soil and groundwater.  
 
One way to help reduce the burden of all this trash is by promoting decentralized waste management. 
Decentralized waste management means that waste is managed as close to its source as possible. Global Communities' local partner, Saahas has been working on solutions for Bangalore's solid waste management problems for more than a decade. Working with Saahaas and supported by funding from the Caterpillar Foundation, Global Communities built the Kasa Rasa Centre – a neighborhood-based waste management facility that can process 1.5 tons of trash a day. The idea behind centers like Kasa Rasa is to create a place where waste can be collected and sorted in the neighborhoods where it is produced rather than be transported to a landfill.  

Decentralized waste management begins at home where residents are taught about recycling and how to sort their trash appropriately. Organic or wet waste is composted at Kasa Rasa which can then be sold to farmers and landscapers. Dry waste is sorted according to type. The recyclable materials are aggregated and then sold to recyclers in bulk, who can then use the materials to create new products. The benefits of such a system are numerous: the amount of waste in the landfill is decreased, the local government saves money on transportation costs, air pollution and traffic congestion is reduced as fewer, large trucks are needed for transportation, waste is recycled to create useful products, and local jobs are created for those who collect, sort and manage the waste at the center.
 
Watch the short video below to learn more about the process and about Saahas’ efforts to promote decentralized waste management.