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The purpose of a Policy is to recommend and promote an unambiguous and integrated approach to the total solid waste management, to ensure sustainable development and environmental protection. In addition to providing clear implementation guidelines to integration of multi stake-holders, it is equally important for policy to address waste hierarchy with prioritization of waste prevention, minimization, reuse and recycling. The outcome of policy through its policy statement and strategic plan, has to be a cohesive implementation plan of the rules, ensuring adherence to their compliance criteria.

Policy Advocacy

Policy Advocacy

The nature of SWMRT policy advocacy demonstrates strength and relies more on an evidence based approach, amplified with information campaigns rather than lobbying and activism.​Our strength is evidence informed or evidence influenced as opposed to opinion based policy advocacy, where action research, pilot studies and in depth multidisciplinary case studies feeds into the decision-making process. The persuasive nature of policy advocacy work which takes years to create the fundamental shift is reflected in our work which has been relentless and focussed for more than a decade.

Framework and Objective

The goal of the policy advocacy is to address and deliver a total solid waste management solution within the framework of sustainability. SWMRT prepared a strategy approach paper in 2012 which has been updated from time to time to keep it contextually relevant and responsive. Public policy is ultimately about achieving objectives and the following areas deserve mention in keeping with their influence on being able achieve the desired objectives.

Legal Advocacy

Legal Advocacy

Ongoing legal advocacy, in the early days through Lok Adalat and subsequently through the High Court of Karnataka has been an important game changer in influencing policy.


Jan 2010 - June 2012: Technical Advisor

SWMRT presented a road map to the Lok Adalat based on case studies on decentralized SWM and played the role of technical advisor. In this period a number of orders issued by the Lok Adalat saw the introducation of sustainable and decentralised systems . The mandating of three way segreation, the setting up of dry waste collection centres in every ward, setting up of organic waste processing centres in thirteen locations brought in a key shift in the approach by the municipality and the general public.


Jan 2012: 2000 waste pickers got ID cards

The Alliance of Waste-pickers filled an affidavit for recognition of waste-pickers. The Lok Adalat to issued the landmark directive to the BBMP for the registration and enumeration of waste-pickers and scrap dealers. Following the directive, the BBMP issued an official order hailed as the first step towards formal recognition of their role. The BBMP also attained the unique distinction of being the country’s first urban local body to initiate this process. SWMRT has played a role in pushing the recognition of the waste workers and the inclusion of them in the formal SWM system.


July 2012: Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in High Court (HC) of Karnataka

WP no. 24739-40/2012 between Ms. Kavita Shankar and the State of Karnataka and others. The PIL declared that the ‘Right to Life’ under Article 21 of the constitution of India includes the ‘Right to Life’ of the future generation also and therefore it is incumbent on the respondents state to protect the natural environment and safe guard the same for not only the present generation but also for the future generation of the city of Bangalore. SWMRT has played a key role as a supporter to the petitioner with regards to strategy, research, technical knowledge and solutions which formed part of the submissions to the High Court.


Sep 2012: Segregation at source made mandatory

As per the Karnataka high court order which rules that 'Every citizen has the fundamental duty to segregate at source. Thus, it is mandatory for every household to segregate into wet-dry-reject, and hazardous waste so that the BBMP can collect the segregated waste.The municipal authority to issue a circular to citizens that segregation at source is mandatory.The executive magistrates are invested with powers to impost fines on households, which are failing to segregate garbage into dry and wet garbage.' With this order BBMP for the first time recognized different waste streams, and that collection must be done separately.


Sep 2012: Dry waste collections centers

High Court orders municipal authorities to identify suitable land for establishing Dry Waste Collection Centers (DWCC). Waste pickers are given ID cards and ensured the right to the dry waste.


Nov 2012:Decentralised waste management

It is agreed by all parties that merely receiving the MSW is not enough. Steps must be taken in earnest so that waste management units are set up at the earliest.


Dec 2012: Extended producers responsibility (EPR)

High Court orders that plastic management is the responsibility of the municipal authority according to the Plastic Waste Management and Handling Rules 2011. They are responsible for setting up, operationalization and co-ordination of the waste management system and for performing the associated functions. The High Court orders the Municipal Authority to seek the assistance of manufacturers of plastic carry bags, multi-layered plastic pouches or sachets or of brand owners using such products to work out the modalities of a mechanism based on Extended Producers responsibility involving such manufacturers and brand owners either individually or collectively, as feasible or set up such collection systems through its own agencies to encourage the use of plastic waste by adopting suitable technology such as road construction, co incineration etc


Jan 2013: Ward Committees

The HC orders the municipal authority to set up ward committees and thereby directs that it is the duty of the ward committee to ensure proper SWM and sanitation works in the ward. Mar 2013 Waste streams destination It is recognised that waste streams needs a destination and the high court orders the municipal authority to allot land and take appropriate steps to ensure that proper handling is being done. Wet waste processing plants are being set up and dry waste collections centres are after this being built in each ward

March 2013: Waste Streams Destination 

It is recognised that waste streams need a destination and high court orders the municipal authority to allots land and take appropriate steps to ensure that proper handling is been done. Wet waste processing plants and dry waste collection centers to be setup. 


Apr 2013: Definition of bulk generators (BG)

It is brought to the attention of the high court that the main culprits are commercial establishments, choultries and also massive residential complexes where there is indiscriminate mixing of these plastics with the wet waste. They are the bulk generators in the city. High court orders they should be treated as separate class by the BBMP they are responsible for handling their waste in-situ


Apr 2013: Tenders should be specified

The high court orders that tenders should be specified in order to ensure segregation at source, proper separate collection and handling of the waste. A contractor cannot have more than 5 tenders packages at a time. This is to prevent cartel formation


Dec 2015: 2bin1bag

The high court gives comprehensive orders on the duties of waste generators and collection of solid waste The system 2bin1bag, proposed by the SWMRT in 2014, shall be mandatory for citizens and bulk generators alike Every day the waste shall be handed over to waste collectors while ensuring segregation at source and sustainable decentralized waste management.The BBMP shall carry out awareness activities for citizens


Jun 2016: Home composting

The high court directs the citizens of Bangalore to adopt composting processes in their house and BBMP to educate the citizens accordingly.


Oct 2017: The Micro Plans

The high court directs the municipal authority at ward level to prepare micro plans and action plans for to ensure proper decentralized waste management.

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