BENGALURU: An apartment complex with 560 houses in the city made their annual day celebration a zero-waste or zero-litter event.
The occasion was the annual day of Gopalan Grandeur, located in Hoodi near Whitefield. It was held on January 26 and about 100 volunteers worked towards the event attended by 1,500 people.
The organisers aimed to reduce solid waste produced to almost zero by using compostable and recyclable materials.
The team of volunteers convinced 21 food stalls to use only bio-degradable cutlery, arranged for steel tumblers and bagasse cups instead of paper cups at water stations and stalls, prohibited the use of plastic bags and used banana leaves and aluminium foils to wrap takeaways instead.
Residents were instructed to carry handkerchiefs and shopping bags and sponsors were asked to not use flex banners.
Another reason the complex was able to achieve this was the fact that they have been working towards solid waste management for two years.
Lakshmi Sankaran, a campaigner for responsible waste management, and a resident of the complex who spearheaded the preparations said, “In 2014, Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate showed the garbage mafia and sustainability, which got a few individuals in our apartment to take up waste management efforts. A group of nine volunteers met, did door to door campaign and we have achieved 98 per cent segregation levels.” The complex has done good work in leaf composting, rainwater harvesting and LED conversions.
The residents had also dug 5x5 feet compost pits, into which all the 300 kg of waste generated was filled, in a scientific manner.
Lakshmi was earlier in charge of a similar event, which helped her this time.
“I was in charge of the food stalls and part of the waste management team for the Whitefield Habba which was conducted on November 27, 2016, in Innercircle park, Whitefield. It was a successful zero-waste event with a footfall of 4,000,” she said.
Does doing this cost more money? To this Lakshmi said, “Honestly, the extra cost incurred was a clean environment where no disposables got burnt, so it’s priceless.” She added that monetarily, biodegradable disposables cost thrice as much as plastic ones, but pointed out that plastic spoons are in fact banned in Karnataka.