Garbage Disposal and Collection - Mysore model

February 26, 2018
1 year

What is the issue?

  • India has a poor garbage disposal and collection mechanism, which leads to various problems.
  • Innovative solutions and behavioural change based on Mysore model will address the concerns.

What are the concerns with garbage collection mechanisms?

  • In India ‘Reduce, reuse, recycle’ mechanism lags people’s commitment, a certain level of awareness.
  • Source segregation method to separate the bio-degradable from the non-bio-degradable garbage (usually packaging) continues to see patchy success for various reasons.
  • Coercive methods of penalties and fines are also not easily implementable in a democratic polity.
  • The result is many of our cities are often eyesores with garbage strewn around and our waterways heavily polluted with floating junk, causing enormous problems for citizens and animals alike.

What is the Mysore model?

  • Karnataka government is following an innovative solution in Mysore Zoo to address the garbage disposal concerns.
  • Mysore Zoo collects a fixed amount for the plastic bottles and other disposable items at the entrance.
  • At the exit the money is returned if the empty bottle or other disposable items are turned in.
  • This model is very successful and rarely came across a case where a person threw away garbage not caring for the amount that he would get back on surrendering it.

What behaviour pattern need to be created in this regard?

  • Consumers need to be ensure that the discards have a value attached to them that is assuredly ‘redeemable’ in the immediate future.
  • When a person thinks twice about the worth of their junk before throwing it away simply, they will try to monetize it anyhow.
  • Consumers rarely throw old newspapers into the garbage bin, they would rather sell them to old paper shops because we know that they will fetch some returns.
  • In the same way consumers must be made aware that used cans, polythene bags, etc. which generate tonnes of garbage can also monetized.
  • Some institutions, cities and countries across the globe have tried this quite successfully.

What methods can be followed?

  • Polluter Pays -Some municipal bodies have tried to ‘purchase’ recyclable junk but this needs funds and then there are the logistics involved.
  • This can be addressed through principle of ‘polluter pays’ in this case both the producer and consumer of the good are the polluters and so both should pay or be held responsible for its disposal.
  • Refund Method - In the era of e-commerce, every single delivery will entail expensive packaging that is virtually useless to the buyer, Packaging comprises a large volume of garbage.
  • If the value to packages in general has assumed people would take to keep the packages safe and they won’t simply litter with the packages.
  • The producer of the good would have to cough up this money that would be mandatorily payable to anyone who returns the packaging.
  • If every single packaging material or container cardboard boxes, plastic packages and bags, sachets etc. need to come with manufacture will pay the compensation if the packs are returned.
  • For non-branded goods and packaging a separate dispensation is need.
  • Regulatory framework -Assigning a ‘monetary value’ to garbage, cannot be arbitrary, it has to have proper institutional arrangements.


Source: Business Line

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