Mansoor runs a DWCC in Ward 168, Pattabhiramanagara. Like in multiple locations in the city, his DWCC is yet to receive payment from BBMP, which has been pending since January and the money amounts to 4lac. Payments for his workers, loans, diesel, vehicle costs are all, he says, amounting to too much to handle without aid. Despite his situation, Mansoor, who holds himself responsible for efficient dry waste collection in the ward, continues his door-to-door collection duties.
In this episode, Mansoor talks about the calamities that are sure to occur in case he is forced to shut his center down. Segregation work at the DWCC is currently going on smoothly with volunteers supporting the workers. If there are no funds to work with, the reappearance of black spots is inevitable, he says, as there will be no segregation. Mixed waste too will go to the landfills, which is further problematic.
The RR Nagar DWCC run by Allabakash is another one of the unfortunate waste collection centers that are facing problems because of the BBMP. They were promised collection orders of four months but finally only given one month’s order. Further, over the past 8 months, Allabakash has had to spend his own money on the center to ensure that the work goes on.
Both Mansoor and Allabakash have taken loans to fulfill the requirements of the DWCC. This attracts a lot of interest and is an additional burden for the loan-takers. Moreover, the maintenance of a dry waste collection center, its employees, and other needs cannot be done solely off of a loan, especially for a long time.
The BBMP is also responsible for maintaining good infrastructure at the DWCCs but the building Alla Bakash works in is very old, with cracks and leaks being inevitable during the rainy season. The center also does not have proper washrooms and water facilities for workers there. Ismail runs a DWCC in ward 178, Sarakki and has been working with waste for about 15 years. His complaint is that there is no proper place to dispose off unwanted waste such as a shed either. Mattresses, furniture, etc, lay on the streets, and even make dry waste collection difficult. Food packages were earlier taken back by the recycling facilities sponsored by the manufacturing companies, but have been shut down now which makes matters worse. Also, food waste and other reject waste is not being collected by the BBMP. It is troublesome, especially in the monsoons and has been the case for many months. The BBMP has also not given any recognition for the workers of the DWCCs.
Many people who run these centers are stuck between the devil and the deep sea with neither being able to close the center nor able to work properly. This can only be remedied if the BBMP takes note of their problems and takes the necessary steps to help them. It isn’t difficult to imagine what the condition of the city would be like if dry waste management is not done properly. There is no alternative to an efficient system of waste management and all bodies tied to the cause must function towards fulfilling the same.