Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Trash Trail

Our morning started at 6 a.m., where we met a man named Marwan who works for Hasiru Dala Innovations Private Limited: Total Waste Management.
Our morning started at 6 a.m., where we met a man named Marwan who works for Hasiru Dala Innovations Private Limited: Total Waste Management. Marwan brought us on a walking tour to see how waste pickers are integrated into the system. Waste pickers survive off the trash on the streets for their income. They thrive off cities who don't manage their waste well. Bangalore created landfills that were supposed to last 20-25 years, but after 5 years they were full, so the government wanted to implement sorting. The pickers clean up what the government doesn't, and Hasiru Dala gives them recognition for their work. The company ensures they get paid, which is around $3-$6 USA dollars per day. They also get health care, a vehicle, and sometimes housing. The trash pickers get local identity ID cards which is very important so they don't get harassed by police or considered thieves. Bangalore has 30,000 waste pickers in the city.


We had breakfast nearby then walked to the Dry Waste Collection Centre. Marwan split the students and interns into two groups. He made a circle of empty trash bags and filled the middle of the circle with trash. He asked the group to each pick one type of waste and hand sort it. Luckily we were given face masks and gloves. Later, we met the two women that sort dry waste all day.


It was interesting because they chose not to wear any protection. Typically the workers sell the provided protection for extra cash. The Dry Waste Centre gets 3,000 tons per day from the city, and 1,500 tons arrives from the waste pickers. This gives the trash pickers a good relationship and reputation. Hasiru Dala works hard to bring back a circular economy and do an excellent job.


We learned about how the waste pickers classify and value various materials, mostly plastics metals and packing materials. A kilogram of thin film plastics is valued between 3-7 rupees while thicker plastics like PVC and toothbrushes are worth 20-30 rupees per kilogram. A walk across a littered canal led us to the old site of operations, now inhabited by families. Our tour guide explained how the development of high rises was driving the waste pickers and their families away because the property values were being raised.

After our project we got a tour of the bio waste system they had on site.





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