A Dry and Wet Waste Collection centre to benefit 18 villages in North Bengaluru soon
Bengaluru: Embassy Services Pvt. Ltd. has partnered with the Bettahalasuru Panchayat to build a Dry and Wet Waste Collection Centre benefitting 18 villages, under EcoGram, their flagship Environment initiative. The project broke ground today, with a Bhoomi Puja held in the presence of Krishna Byre Gowda, MLA – Byatarayanapura, Aditya Virwani, COO – Embassy Group, Pradeep Lala, CEO & Managing Director – Embassy Services, Myriam Shankar, Managing Trustee – The Anonymous Indian Charitable Trust (TAICT) and Panchayat leaders.
Initiated in 2016, EcoGram is a sustainable CSR project of Embassy in partnership with TAICT, which jointly aims to create an ecologically sound replicable model Gram Panchayat to propagate sustainable waste, water and soil management. With current operations spread across eight villages in the Bettahalasuru Panchayat, benefitting 1811 households and 10 bulk generators, Embassy has invested Rs. 2.25 Cr. over the last 4 years towards the de-centralised solid waste collection reaching a segregation level of 92% at source.
Recognising the in-depth work carried out by Embassy and TAICT, the Panchayat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Embassy, allocating 2-acres of land dedicated to collection and segregation of dry and wet waste. Further, the Panchayats have requested Embassy to build the Dry and Wet Waste Collection Centre, with a greater capacity for gathering and sorting waste. This will enable the extension of waste collection from the present eight villages to eighteen villages, over two Panchayats. The Centre will be built at the cost of Rs. 1 Cr. with the Bettahalasuru Panchayat contributing 9 lakhs. Embassy has appointed TAICT to oversee the development and operations of the Dry and Wet Waste Centre.
Over 268 tons of dry waste and 289 tons of wet waste has been collected and ethically disposed till date, reaching a segregation level of 92% at source. The collected organic waste is then converted into compost, and the recyclable waste is sorted within the Gram Panchayat. Embassy currently funds the day-to-day operations at the cost of around 60 lakhs annually, including door-to-door waste collection, utilities, equipment for waste segregation, the salaries of the staff and vehicles.
On Embassy’s support, Shri Krishna Byre Gowda, MLA – Byatarayanapura, said, “The commitment demonstrated by Embassy Group towards creating a replicable waste model in North Bangalore has been truly commendable. Developing solutions to the enormous burden of waste and lack of infrastructure in villages is of utmost importance – the new Dry and Wet Waste Collection Centre will go a long way in promoting a more sustainable way of managing waste and will benefit 18 villages in both the Bettahalasuru and Meenakunte Panchayats. We hope that this example can be repeated across Urban and Rural Bangalore, creating a brighter, cleaner and more engaged city.”
Myriam Shankar, Managing Trustee, TAICT, said, “To implement waste management in a locality, which never saw a dustbin, let alone 3-way segregation at source, is an incredible uphill task. It entails creating intensive awareness amongst all stakeholders, be it the local government representatives, villagers or commercial establishments. It requires setting up solid operations of men, machinery and infrastructure. Through Embassy’s support we have been able to deliver the EcoGram project, which encompasses end-to-end waste, including collection, transportation, secondary segregation and further processing. The positive environmental impact is huge, in addition to creating employment for marginalised communities. The new Dry and Wet Waste Collection Centre will provide us the infrastructure to process the waste of two Panchayats in the future.”
To complement the solid waste management infrastructural solutions provided in the Panchayat, a strong emphasis is also placed on community engagement and awareness initiatives curated through women and children in the communities. Under the ‘EcoGram Shakthi Program.’ Women of the Gram Panchayat are empowered to take ownership of their villages in terms of environmental sustainability.
Rajeswari, Resident of Tarahunise Village, adds, “To visitors now, our village of Tarahunise looks very clean with little to no garbage on the streets. Earlier however, the situation was very different. There used to be garbage everywhere – due to this, there was no systemic way to dispose of waste. TAICT and Embassy came together to initiate daily collection of waste from every household and get us to separate our dry and wet waste, as well as provide us with buckets and bags for segregation. Due to their commitment, we have become a model village.”
Embassy has been actively working in the Bettahalasuru Panchayat since 2012, beginning with providing a new Government School building in the Tarahunise village, which continues to be adopted and maintained by them. Five additional Government schools in the Panchayat also benefit from holistic health & hygiene initiatives, including provision of health kits, awareness programs, comprehensive health screenings and treatments. Embassy has also developed the main arterial road in the village, restored the ancient temple and constructed a community hall in the village as well. Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Embassy and TAICT not only ensured uninterrupted waste management services, but they also provided cooked meals and dry rations thrice, masks and gloves to underprivileged residents of the Panchayat.