Institute for Social and Economic Change

Established in 1972 by Professor V K R V Rao, ISEC is an All-India Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Training in the Social Sciences

Initiatives in Solid Waste Management: A Case Study of the City of Bengaluru – isec

Initiatives in Solid Waste Management: A Case Study of the City of Bengaluru


Globally, unplanned urbanisation has been posing serious administrative, economical, ecological and social challenges. Factors like increased labour migration to urban areas, high population growth, increase in consumption, higher disposable income, consumerism and change in lifestyle preferences are further pressurising the vulnerable civic services system, especially in the developing world.

One of the after-effects of urbanisation has been the high rate of waste generation, which is one of the major concerns for citizens, administrators, and policy makers, as well as, among experts from different fields. Apart from the traditional approaches like composting and landfill dumping, waste management is now witnessing several innovative initiatives and multiple stakeholder participation across various phases of waste management process starting from awareness to segregation, collection, transportation, treatment and disposal. Green movements like plog runs, compost santhe, zero-waste events & weddings, composting, recycling and events promoting eco-friendly products, green entrepreneurs are gaining momentum in the city. Multiple innovative techniques for information dissemination about effective waste management are been adopted both by local administration and citizens. For instance, black spot cleaning, anti-plastic & segregation awareness campaigns have been widely publicised through radio, television, banners and posters at public places and also through social media platforms like Watsapp groups, Facebook and Twitter handles. Some of the above mentioned initiatives have turned into best practices, which have been replicated successfully.

This paper is a modest attempt to understand and map the initiatives and few best practices in the process of solid waste management across the city of Bengaluru.. These initiatives have been classified and discussed in detail as per the process of waste management. Secondary data sources and some primary field observations have been referred to compile these initiatives. Subsequently, cases on three best practices have been discussed in detail. It has been observed that many initiatives have been undertaken under the phase of awareness creation on waste management and the phase of treatment of waste. Also the engagement of multiple stakeholders, particularly community participation, is relatively higher in these two phases compared to the remaining phases.

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