by Rajeev Doddanavar
I have lived all my life in Belagavi, with climate that would make it feel like an air conditioned city, and am proud of it to the core. Every day when I take my morning walk, one thing that strikes me is the tendency of burning waste on the street side.
The City Corporation cleaning staff collects and piles up garbage, usually comprising leaves, twigs and plastic, to one side of the road. Then one they light a matchstick to this pile every day. The whole pile of dried leaves, twigs along with plastic burns, emitting smoke (mostly toxic owing to the plastic within. I keep a tab on the Air Quality Index of Belagavi on my mobile app and many times I find it to be bad. When we blame the farmers of Punjab for the worsening Air Quality of Delhi, we must not commit the same mistake.
As an engineer and entrepreneur myself, I understand that one can’t find a solution by being part of the problem. I would like to narrate my experience during one of my visits to America where my daughter resides with her family. The trees there shed massive amount of leaves in the autumn and fall seasons ( cold regions don’t have evergreen trees).
The city council staff also regularly trims these trees. That makes a huge pile of leaves and twigs, much more than what we see in India. But they have devised a way to fruitfully use this organic waste. In the accompanying pictures, you will see a truck attached with a shredder.
The cleaning staff piles up this organic waste from the sidewalks and inserts it inside the shredder which turns it into tiny bits. A large part of these shredded bits is laid on the open spaces in gardens and sidewalks itself. What remains is then taken away. These bits now serve two purposes- they can be packed in large volumes in trucks and also they are then transported to dumping bins where the waste is turned into compost.
My suggestion to the City Corporation to make Belagavi a Smarter City, would be to procure at least two such shredders or try and get them made in Belgaum and use it- one for the South and one for the North part of the city. I would also urge the citizens of Belagavi to try and use these leaves and the twigs from trees nearby by turning it into compost wherever possible. That way, what comes from the earth goes back to the earth to enrich it.
- Rajeev Doddanavar
Secretary, Bharatesh Education Trust