US India Global Review 2018

fits of a healthier community. "We don't want waste to be waste; we want to get wealth out of it," says D.G. Nagaraj, health officer of the Mysuru City Corporation. "Zero landfill is our motto." As the morning whistle sounds in Mysuru, residents emerge from their homes with two bins -- com- postable and non-compostable -- for the sanitary workers, who load up 400 push carts and 170 auto- tippers to go to nine recycling centers and a compost plant. At the centers, the trash is segregat- ed, with reusable items such as bottles, metal, footwear and plas- tic cups being sold to scrap deal- ers. The remainder is composted and sold to farmers. "Waste is not a problem if it is converted into money," said D. Madegowda, 75, one of the volun- teers who set up a recycling plant near a graveyard in Kumbar Koppalu, where scrap items like used rubber gaskets are offered for sale. So far, the local government has managed to get the system to work by appealing to the public. The city, famed for its palaces of kings and maharajas, runs regular campaigns including morning radio jingles, WhatsApp mes- sages, street plays and pam- phlets. Government employees go door-to-door to create awareness among residents. The recycling units set up most- ly by local residents or non-gov- ernment organizations cover their costs through the sale of scrap and compost. Of the 402 tons of waste Mysuru produces each day, close to a quarter is processed by these centers and about half is treated at the compost plant. For the waste-to-fertilizer plant, Mysuru charges an annual fee and takes 5 percent of the fin- ished compost as payment. It also collects a solid-waste manage- ment levy from residents along with the property tax to help sub- sidize the program. "Separation of waste is very important, but it's only one part of the story," said Swati Sambyal, a program manager at the Centre Above Left: Dry household waste is sorted in a warehouse at a recycling facility operated by Mysuru City Corp. in Mysuru, India, on Nov. 21, 2017. Below Left: Arranged household waste sits in a warehouse at a recy- cling facility operated by Mysuru City Corp. in Mysuru, India, on Nov. 21, 2017. Photos: Samyukta Lakshmi/ Bloomberg 39 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW APRIL-JUNE 2018