waste management in bashettihalli

we’ve had so many field visits in the last few days that everything is starting to mix together in my head.  wednesday was bashettihalli, in the taluk of doddaballapur, thursday was bettakote and nallur, both in the taluk of devanhalli, and saturday was doddahullur, in the taluk of hosakote.  if you’ve noticed that many of these names seem to be permutations of each other, you are not alone.

what makes bashettihalli special – aside from the overwhelming welcome we receive and the impressive work that the community has done to encourage toilet construction and usage – is the unique waste management system they’ve put in place.  bashettihalli is a model village for an ngo called mythri, who work in water and sanitation throughout the state and elsewhere.  here, in full collaboration with the GP leadership, they have established a system of recycling inorganic waste, as well as composting organic waste for resale as fertilizer.

each household has two wastebins, provided by the GP, and separates inorganic from organic waste.  a cart goes through the town once a day to pick up the waste from households.  it then goes to a small warehouse building, the waste management center, which was constructed with funding from the GP on government land.  there, waste pickers sort the inorganic waste into piles based on composition (glass, metal, rubber, different types of plastic, coconuts, cloth, rice sacks, etc.).  periodically, junk dealers come and buy the materials for re-fabricating into other things.  the organic waste goes into a large compost pit, lined to prevent seepage.  rather than waiting the normal amount of time for this to biodegrade into manure for fields, mythri has developed (i believe with the help of unicef) an organic solution made from bacteria that speeds the process while eliminating odor.  the solution is inexpensive, safe for the environment, and can also be used as a household cleaner.  it turns organic waste into manure within 60 days, after which villagers using the solution can turn a profit by selling the manure.

the waste pickers, all women, will form a self-help group (SHG, code for women’s empowerment group and arranged around microfinance) through mythri to provide opportunities for education and microfinance.  mythri promote similar groups for waste pickers in urban areas around the country.  currently the GP pays their wages in bashettihalli, but the plan is that after a year the community will pay a small fee for the service, thereby making it sustainable.  the fee will vary for households and businesses, but households should expect to pay less than a dollar a month.  a similar delayed pricing scheme will go into effect for the individual household water taps that mythri subsidized and installed in connection with the TSC.

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~ by aliciawolcott on June 20, 2010.

One Response to “waste management in bashettihalli”

  1. That’s a great tree. Too bad that guy got in your picture. But still. Great tree.

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