Journey of our trash in Bangalore III

This is the final part of what we saw on the Trash Trail tour organised by Daily dump. It was late afternoon, a short while after a healthy lunch, we entered the by lanes adjoining Nagarbhavi lay out behind the notorious Nayandahalli junction (where there is a metro line, flyover and the poor Mysore road, most of it under construction or repair).

The place is the end point of recyclable/downcyclable material. The streets are narrow, the rooms are dark and rectangular. The machines seem old and the workers seem to be veterans at this end point of the waste stream. I think pictures tell a far clear picture. Here are some from a shop/recycling-plant

A truck unloading at this plant. This seems to be from an organised market. The gunny bags are neatly tied up and the material inside could be off one type. All ready for final sorting and recycling.

Plastic Bottles and bottles, heaps of them stashed away. They must have been trucked down here. Did not seem like industry rejects. Collected painstakingly by the rag-picker and funnelled upwards via the local whole saler to recyclable markets they land up in bundles like these. The exact route seemed secretive to the outside observer like me but got the feeling it was a well-known one amongst the players.

Some of the half open bags seemed like mixed waste. This one has wires, parts and such.

Materials that have arrived in packets are unloaded onto the floor of the dark room. The air was not fresh at this plant

Then the sorting begins. In the video below the workers seem to know exact what they are doing while segregating plastic waste for the recycling machine.

All the plastic material is sorted into bins. The material is sorted by type and colour (in the next step). The women at this plant seem knowledgeable about various types of plastic that arrive at the plant. The final products of the process briefly illustrated in the video look like the picture below

Once sorted then the recycling begins. First the plastic (of the same colour, today they are doing blue) is crushed and then melted, cooled and cut to form pellets. The videos below illustrate the process.

If you walk along the bylanes of this neighbourhood you will find several shops making buckets and other plastic products. Nayandahalli is one of the recycling plant centres of Bangalore. We visited several plants that played with waste material. One plant made pressure cooker from recycled metal but since I have focussed on plastic I will close by a voilá moment!.

In the video below, a bucket is made from recycled plastic. We were told that it is a mix of both new and recycled plastic. The key indicator was white colour of the bucket.

That ends my log of the trash trail tour organised by daily dump. I would have typically ended by saying that to make a significant impact on the effect of waste on our environment all we need to (in Bangalore) do is to :

Segregate our household waste into (Bag 1) kitchen waste, (Bag 3) reject waste and (Bag 2) dry waste. Put in:

  1. Bag 1: that is compostable kitchen waste(All Vegetable & Fruit peels, spoilt cooked Food, Coffee ground and filters, Tea leaves, Meat,Bones, Egg Shells, Dried leaves from potted plants,flowers,dried out plants etc) into one bag.
  2. Bag 2: All dry waste (cleaned empty juice packets, bottles, e-waste,..).
  3. Bag 3: Everything that does not go in Bag 1 and Bag 2 (soiled sambar packets, or not clean containers, household dirt from sweeping, sanitary and medical waste)

However, in the last couple of months the waste collection industry in Bangalore has been torpedoed. Villages around landfills that take up Bangalore’s garbage protested, chaos reigned, commissioners changed and it ended by a landmark public notice by the BBMP. In my next blog I will try to capture the workings of this remarkable unprecedented attempt at reigning in waste by a government body. If it works then Bangalore will be the model for the world. Till then I am trying to figure out a way to follow public notice by the BBMP. Its not easy!