Bengaluru’s goal of 100% solid waste collection proves that inefficient waste management can be turned around using digital mapping to inform waste collection and transportation systems.

The Challenge

A complex city fabric and a high degree of informality were challenging effective solid waste management in Bengaluru, resulting in a waste collection rate of just 50%. Facing rapid urbanization, the government came up with the solution to create a GIS-based model to manage solid waste, ensuring a more efficient and reliable collection and transportation system

 

The Solution

With several closed landfills, an ineffective solid waste management system, and unreliable data to accurately plan effective collection and transportation, Bengaluru needed a reset in its approach to solid waste management. In 2013, in collaboration with Center for Public Problem Solving, the city launched a process to create a geographic information system-based model (GIS) for its solid waste management, and is now ready to roll it out in almost half the city. GIS is a system that can store, analyze, and share mapped geographic information, such as decentralized infrastructure and existing vehicle routes, which are crucially important when planning waste collection and transportation.

 

Environmental Benefits – The data-driven model enables a cost-efficient waste management system by using optimal route algorithms and automated rules for data collection. A better-planned, efficient, and accountable collection and transportation system is expected to reduce the distance over which waste travels by 80% and expand the door-to-door collection system to cover the entire city by 2016, resulting in CO2 reductions from the waste sector.

Social Benefits – The new norms of waste handling will ensure cleaner and healthier living conditions in vulnerable communities.

Economic Benefits – Nineteen thousand jobs are expected to be created when the GIS model covers the entire city by 2016.

Health Benefits – With door-to-door collection for the entire city, open burning and dumping of waste is minimized, reducing air and soil pollution.

 

About Cities100

Presented by C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), Sustainia and Realdania – Cities100 showcases leading solutions to urban climate challenges in ten sectors, ranging from solid waste management to transportation.

Available online and in print, Cities100 provides stakeholders an accessible format to explore achievable solutions for climate action in cities, and will be a useful tool for relevant groups ranging from impact investors and development organizations, to mayors and city governments.  You can access the full Cities100 2015 publication online here.