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Bangalore “maps” trash to aid waste pickers

The I Got Garbage website matches trash scavengers in Bangalore, India with homes, apartments and businesses to ensure that refuse is sorted for recyclables.

As India’s leading technology hub, Bangalore is accustomed to solving problems with innovative solutions. Now, the city is applying those skills to waste management via a new website that matches households with trash pickers, Carlin Carr writes for Urb. im. 

The idea behind I Got Garbage is to put refuse, scrap and recyclables directly into the hands of scavengers. That way, they don’t have to sort through trash in unhygienic conditions at landfill sites. The website, created by Bangalore-based tech firm Mindtree, empowers waste pickers by turning them into waste managers, the article says. Enabling these informal workers to salvage more material allows them to increase their meager salaries.

Ninety percent of the 4,000 tons of garbage that Bangalore creates each day is dumped in landfills, reports. Most households don’t bother to separate garbage and recyclables despite a 2012 mandate to do so. Many residents say they are reluctant to separate items because they are combined when hauled away. 

Last April, Citiscope reported on a program in Bangalore that gives waste pickers ID cards and a sanitary place to separate recyclables. Read that story here.


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