Gurugram residents unaware of waste processing practice, experts call for stringent rules
Around 900 tonnes of waste from the city is dumped at the Bandhwari landfill site every day, but there seems to be little awareness among the residents about the site or its importance in keeping the city garbage-free.
Many people that Hindustan Times spoke with had not heard of Bandhwari or any other waste clearing mechanism that was being operated in the city.
“Someone comes to collect the garbage from my house every day. I think there is a waste recycling mechanism in place but I’m not sure how it really works. To be honest, I have not given much thought to this topic,” said Maaz Khan, a resident of DLF Silver Oaks.
Khan is not the only one who is unaware of the waste management mechanisms in the city.
“I don’t know where the waste goes. It’s not something that calls for a discussion,” said Shruti Dahiya, a software engineer, who works at Cyber Hub.
Tanya Sharma, a teacher at a private school, who lives in a gated society, said, “Until recently, I did not know that waste from the whole city was being dumped in Bandhwari. It was only last week that I learnt about the presence of the landfill from my roommate. I think the waste management situation in the city is bad. On the face of it, things seem fine in the gated colonies, but as one moves into the interior regions of the city, one can see a stark difference,” said Sharma.
Padma Nandyal, a waste management expert who lives in South City-1, said, “I don’t think people in Gurugram are even aware of Bandhwari. We hold workshops on waste management in schools. Children know nothing about it. If one were to give an estimate, I would say that only 20% of citizens know what is going in the landfill.” Nandyal is the founder and director of Sampoorna Zero Waste, a city-based waste management company.
“Awareness is there but people are not coming forward to implement it. There is a culture of ‘why should we do it? People should be fined if they do not segregate waste. Let the waste stay in their house for three to four days. Once it starts smelling, they’ll realise the perils faced by the people in Bandhwari. It’s high time that citizens start taking responsibility for the waste they produce,” said Nandyal.
Raagini Jaain, a bioremediation expert, has worked as a consultant with the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram in the past. Jaain, who was an implementing partner at Bandhwari, said that lessons in waste management should be taught at an early age for a better inculcation.
“Awareness on waste management should be started at the school level. Even parents can learn from their children if these lessons are imparted at an early age. Moreover, RWAs should ensure that residents practice segregation. The MCG can also initiate an information campaign,” said Jaain.