SWMRT was formed November 8th 2009 by a group of like-minded organizations and individuals who have been working, to build awareness and promoting the adoption of sustainable Waste Management practices, in residences, apartment complexes, commercial establishments and public offices.
From July 2010 to June 2012 SWMRT participated in the Lok Adalat for Environment as expert group for Solid Waste Management and convinced BBMP and KSPCB to improve various aspects of it in Bengaluru. To shift from centralized disposal to a decentralized model which starts with segregation at source, recycling and composting was one of the main agenda points. To make BBMP acknowledge the importance of the City waste pickers and to give ID cards to 5000 of them, was a step towards integrating the marginalized from the informal sector.
In July 2012 a PIL was filed by Kavitha Shankar against the Government and the respective departments for failure to comply with the laws under the Environment Protection Act, therefore the case of SWM for the city was moved from the Lok Adalat to the High Court. SWMRT has since then been the core supporters to the petitioner in regards to research, technical knowledge and solutions to frame relevant submissions to the High Court. (see also ‘Advocacy’). The last order given in December 2015 even acknowledged SWMRT’s 2bin1bag concept, and made it mandatory for all waste generators in the city.
Between 2009 and 2010 alone SWMRT converted 25,000 households, hundreds of schools, institutions and companies to segregation at source, recycling and composting, thereby saving about 650 tonnes a month from being dumped into landfills.
According to the organisation NO2CO2 calculation in 2010, SWMRT’s efforts on paper recycling alone, reduced the carbon footprint of Bengaluru by 4,633 tons, which equals climate change mitigation of 18,530 trees.
In 2011 SWMRT set up in-house waste management systems within the campuses of the BBMP and the BDA supported by back end dry waste collection and composting of its garden wastes. Members of the group trained over 125 environment officers in BBMP.
They also worked with the Horticulture department especially in the Yelahanka and South Bangalore areas to carry out composting of leaf litter in its parks. Community composting operations have been taken up in Malleswaram ( Market) , Ejipura and Jayanagar.
Dozens of go-downs in various parts of the City have been set up with the support of BBMP for facilitating dry waste collection and storage from the surrounding residential areas. Dry waste collection centre operations were started in Anandnagar, HSR Layout, Gottigere, Ejipura,Yelahanka, Domlur and Koramangala by the end of 2012. The concept gained more recognition, and today Bangalore has 170 DWCC across the city, which has increased the volumes of recyclables enormously.
The ‘Bengaluru Recycling Habba’ a week long event was conducted with the primary support and endorsement of the KSPCB, BBMP and the High Court Legal Services Cell. With the tag line ‘ THINK BEFORE YOU THROW “ this event was aimed to encourage Recycling and acknowledge communities who have implemented proper Waste Management in their campuses, complexes, schools and homes.
Discussions were held on Extended Producers Responsibility and Awards were given away in recognition of good work done by communities, waste pickers and BBMP officers.
2011 Namma Bengaluru Award for best Community Based group.
2013/14 Rotary NGO Award for Excellence as Social Change Maker.
2014/15 Karnataka Raja Parisara Award supported by the United Nations Environment Program.