In India, homes are super clean. There is sweeping and mopping every day and I know few homes where mopping is done even more than once to keep it squeaky clean. Shoes are often kept outside the main door to ensure cleanliness. But the same homes do not take that interest in ensuring the waste generated in their homes are stored in a clean manner, are separated according to the different types of waste/segregated, carried out to dispose the waste to the disposal mechanism available in the village, town or city.
In Bangalore where I live, BBMP or Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike, the municipal corporation arranges waste pickup door-to-door from homes. Where big apartments are there, bins are installed in the basement where residents dispose the waste and the civic worker collects it on a daily basis.
That way dwellers of Bengaluru are rather fortunate in contrast to most people living in Imphal, Manipur who have not had any agency pick up waste from their homes in the past two years.
But even with such high-end service available to us here, people do not make effort to segregate waste at home or throw their garbage correctly in the bins installed in their society building/apartments.
Once I saw a lady whose balcony is adjacent to mine sweep her entire house and throw the dust and dirt collected by her outside from her balcony from the fourth floor! I took long to recover from that shock. Additionally, the site of the bins in the society are anything but pretty because people do not care. Every time I go to place my house waste, I feel like puking on seeing, smelling or touching the bins and the mixed garbage because people do not care to segregate them.
And, the landfill in New Delhi fooled me to believe it was a mountain range.
Waste management has always been a tough challenge even for the government and authorities and even though a lot has been achieved in terms of policy and new technologies being installed and used for collection, recycling and processing, there is one area that is seriously lagging behind. And that is people’s involvement and commitment in waste management in their homes.
The management of menstrual waste is even tougher for the municipality and civic workers.
No amount of investing money and human resource in waste management by the authorities, NGOs and partners can give us clean neighbourhoods and safe environment till each unit, the household, takes the responsibility and does their part with their garbage once equipped with accurate information and motivation to make a contribution. Have you done your bit? Give yourself a chance to break the silence and raise your voice for a cleaner neighbourhoods and safer environment. Be the change.