We are working towards a road map for decentralised waste management and aim for "Zero-waste" to become a national policy.
Over the last 8 years, we have advocated for sustainable solid waste management (SWM) at a policy level in Bangalore, focussing on implementing the following structural changes:

  • Mandating segregation at source
  • Mandating waste stream, destination based collection and transportation
  • Promoting inclusion of informal sector in recycling
  • Promoting waste to compost/gas/recycling and not incineration
  • Promoting maximising of localised processing and minimising of landfill/dumping

We have worked closely with the BBMP, the Directorate of Municipal Administration of Karnataka and the State Pollution Control Board to initiate a number of changes in the approach of the Municipality towards solid waste - moving the city from waste ‘Disposal’ to ‘Management’ through adoption of sustainable practices.


Technical Advisor

SWMRT presented a road map to the Lok Adalat based on case studies on decentralised SWM and where taken on as a technical advisor.

2000 waste pickers got ID cards

The Alliance of Waste-pickers filled an affidavit for recognition of waste-pickers which led the Lok Adalat to issue the landmark directive to the BBMP - the registration and enumeration of waste-pickers and scrap dealers. Following the directive, the BBMP Commissioner issued an official order hailed as the first step towards formal recognition of their role. The BBMP also attained the unique distinction of being the country’s first urban local body to initiate this process.
SWMRT has played a role in pushing the recognition of the waste workers and the inclusion of them in the formal SWM system.

Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filled in High Court (HC) of Karnataka

WP no. 24739-40/2012 between Ms. Kavita Shankar (sister of Myriam Shankar) and the State of Karnataka and others. The PIL declare that the ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution of India includes the ‘Right to Life’ of the future generation also and therefore it is incumbent on the Respondents State to protect the natural environment and safe guard the same for not only the present generation but also for the future generation of the City of Bangalore.
SWMRT is core supporter to the petitioner with regards to research, technical knowledge and solutions to frame relevant submissions to the High Court

Segregation at source is mandatory

Karnataka High Court orders:
  • Every citizen has the fundamental duty to segregate at source. Thus, it is mandatory for every household to segregate into wet-dry-reject, and hazardous waste so that the BBMP can collect the segregated waste.
  • The Municipal Authority to issue a circular to citizens that segregation at source is mandatory.
  • The executive Magistrates are invested with powers to impost fines on households, which are failing to segregate garbage into dry and wet garbage.

    With this order BBMP for the first time recognised different waste streams, and that collection must be done separately.

Dry Waste Collections Centres

High Court orders Municipal Authorities to identify suitable land for establishing Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCC).
Waste pickers are given ID cards and ensured the right to the dry waste.

Decentralised Waste Management

It is agreed by all parties that merely receiving the MSW is not enough. Steps must be taken in earnest so that Waste Management Units are set up at the earliest.

Extended Producers Responsibility -EPR

High Court orders that plastic management is the responsibility of the Municipal Authority according to The Plastic Waste Management and Handling Rules 2011. They are responsible for setting up, operationalisation and co-ordination of the waste management system and for performing the associated functions.
The High Court orders
  • the Municipal Authority to seek the assistance of manufacturers of plastic carry bags, multi-layered plastic pouches or sachets or of brand owners using such products
  • the Municipal authority to work out the modalities of a mechanism based on Extended Producers responsibility involving such manufacturers and brand owners either individually or collectively, as feasible or set up such collection systems through its own agencies
  • the Municipal authority to encourage the use of plastic waste by adopting suitable technology such as road construction, co incineration etc.

Ward Committees

The HC orders the Municipal Authority to set up Ward Committees and thereby directs that it is the duty of the Ward Committee to ensure proper SWM and sanitation works in the ward.

Waste streams need destination

It is recognised that waste streams needs a destination and HC orders the Municipal Authority to allot land and take appropriate steps to ensure that proper handling is being done.
Wet waste processing plants are being set up and Dry Waste Collections Centres are after this being built in each ward.

Definition of Bulk Generators (BG)

It is brought to the attention of the HC that the main culprits are commercial establishments, choultries and also massive residential complexes where there is indiscriminate mixing of these plastics with the wet waste. They are the Bulk Generators in the city. HC orders
  • they should be treated as separate class by the BBMP
  • they are responsible for handling their waste in-situ

Tenders should be specified

HC orders:
  • That tenders should be specified in order to ensure segregation at source, proper separate collection and handling of the waste.
  • A contractor cannot have more than 5 tenders packages at a time. This is to prevent Cartel formation


HC gives comprehensive orders on duties of waste generators and collection of solid waste
  • The system 2bin1bag, made by the SWMRT in 2014, shall be mandatory for citizens and bulk generators alike
  • Every day the waste shall be handed over to waste collectors shall adopt. Thus, ensuring segregation at source and sustainable decentralised waste management
  • The BBMP shall carry out awareness activities for citizens

Home composting

HC directs the citizens of Bangalore to adopt composting processes in their house and BBMP to educate the citizens accordingly.

The Micro Plans

HC directed the Municipal Authority at ward level to prepare micro plans and action plans for to ensure proper decentralised SWM and sanitization. BBMP are to prepare booklets.

Find all the directions in the PIL by clicking the below button and select case type as WP (Writ Petition), case number as 24739, year as 2012 and click the "Submit" button.