City struggles with animal waste management

The city is struggling with the disposal of animal waste due to lack of a proper waste management system.

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The animal waste alongside other waste which is regularly dumped outside Russell Market being picked up by an excavator machine.
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Waste outside Russell Market
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Many meat shops in Bangalore struggle to dispose animal left-overs.
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Unprocessed remains of animals in a meat shop.


Bangalore, October 17, 2017: Butchers, meat shop owners and residents are complaining about mounds of animal waste in various localities due to lack of a proper waste disposal system in place.

Mohammad Sameer, a butcher in Yelachenahalli, said Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) does not regularly pick up the poultry waste from his shop. He mentioned there have been instances when the garbage truck only collected ordinary waste and left without collecting animal waste from the neighborhood despite him paying Rs. 1500 every month for 10 years. He added, “I have been beaten by the residents for dumping poultry waste in the Avalahalli Lake and other open spaces. But where else do I put it?”

The shopkeepers in the area are complaining too. Puneet Raj, owner of a photo studio in the area, said his business has reduced due to the stench of poultry waste lying in the open spaces across the street from his shop.

The problem is also evident in JP Nagar and Russell Market. Salman, owner of Salman Fish World in Russell Market, said, “BBMP refuses to collect the fish waste. So, I end up paying about Rs. 50 to 100 per day to a private garbage collector. They use the waste for feeding other fish.”  Raseed, owner of Royal Mutton Shop in the area, added that the days when BBMP does not pick up waste, his shop attracts a swarm of flies.

Rayan, owner of Kashmir seeds, whose business is down due to the stench in Russell market, said, “No use of complaining, BBMP is sold out (sic). We are praying the market gets demolished soon.”

The incidence of dumping of animal waste in many lakes in Bangalore has increased. Anand Yadawad, member of Alahalli Lake Neighborhood Development Trust, said cleaning the animal waste is more difficult than ordinary waste. He added, “It stinks a lot more than ordinary waste and looks uglier as well. It is a menace.”

Nitya, Assistant Executive Engineer, BBMP Lakes, said, “Among the lakes under my jurisdiction, Nayandahalli Lake is facing this issue. It is surrounded by slums and meat shops. The slum dwellers illegally dump all kinds of waste into the lake.” 
Lake pollution due to animal waste can lead to serious environmental issues. Ankit Agarwal, an environmentalist based in Bangalore, said, “Uncontrolled dumping of animal waste can generate froth in lakes. It certainly helps cause frothing. A good example would be RK Puram Lake in Hyderabad which faced a similar issue.”

The statistics by BBMP state that Bangalore generates 150 tons of animal waste every day which goes unprocessed. 
K.V. Sunil Kumar, manager of Shiva Subramaniya Industries, which manufactures machinery for animal waste processing, said “Our equipment has been sold in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Although, there have been enquiries from Bangalore to buy the equipment but after knowing the cost, they don’t order. The equipment is expensive and costs Rs. 45 lakhs.” He added that much of the animal waste in Bangalore is disposed off as food for catfish at rearing farms which is an offence since the waste is unprocessed and may be poisonous.

Earlier this year in June, BBMP had planned to set up four animal waste processing units in addition to the existing two in Bangalore to combat the problem. The two units are privately-owned and are located on the outskirts of the city in Malur and Doddaballapur. Dr. Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner, BBMP said the civic body will set up the four units in the city as promised.

Even though the problem persists, there are many ways to process the waste. Nalini Shekhar, co-founder of Hasirudala, an organization of waste workers, explained, “A method called deep burrow can be used which turns the waste into beautiful manure after 45 days which is extremely rich. If you can process the manure, it is very good for soil. There are easier methods to compost feathers also, which is a big problem right now. Chicken waste can be easily composted too. Biogas is also a good option for animal waste, if done well. The other option is incineration.”

SWACHA, an NGO dealing with municipal solid waste management in Bangalore, had earlier sent a proposal to BBMP to set up animal waste processing units in each ward but the deal was scrapped by the civic body.

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