How to fix the black spot near Madiwala Lake, BTM Layout, Bangalore

Hey everyone,
I have recently discovered this spot near Madiwala Lake, BTM 2nd phase; which I got to know after talking to local people that it’s here since two years. People told they filed multiple complaints previously. BBMP also collected fine from some people but the situation did not change.
This is also a waste transfer point and waste collection happens every morning but this spot is never clean. Waste transfer points have multiple auto carriers dump their waste into a larger dump truck which carries the waste out of the city. People keep on throwing the garbage throughout the day and mostly at night when no one is looking.

My question/ask from all of you-

  1. There are a lot of electronic waste and other types of waste too (wood, glass). What are the process of waste collection? What happens to these wastes?
  2. Can you suggest me any reading/article to understand more about how waste management/waste segregation/waste collection happens?
  3. Why do you think this is happening? Are you facing the same problem in your area/locality/city?
  4. Anyone staying near this spot (BTM Layout) wants to help with investigation or suggest solutions please comment here. I will connect with you all.
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  1. I live near BTM stage1, happy to help in investigating this issue more
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New Findings after Investigation

1. What does the area look like?

a. There are 2 pubs and almost 10 shops opposite to the spot and another 10 and more inside the lane.
b. There are almost 5 restaurants and one temple, a Royal Enfield showroom and the service center opposite, two educational institutions, hostels, and PGs nearby.
c. Lot of glass bottles mostly from the pubs, dead animals, animal wastes, plastic bags, polythene’s, wooden materials, household items, electronic waste, others are dumped here.
d. This is the traffic signal point, so assuming whenever the vehicles stop they throw the garbage here.
e. I have seen local people come in vans full of waste materials, stand in a queue, and throw the garbage here at night.
f. All the streetlights are working but they are on the other side of the road.

2. What are the local people saying?

a. This problem started when the garbage collectors were on a strike a week ago and people started dumping here as there was no other place to dump the waste. (10,000 garbage collectors call for strike over non-payment of salaries for six months)
b. The spot keeps moving, this spot was 300 meters away a few days back.
c. Fine has been collected from people but no changes occurred.
d. The local people have complained many times but no action has been taken yet.
e. Sometimes the foul smell is intolerable.

3. Observations after talking with the garbage collectors who were collecting the waste

a. They were not very keen to talk to me or answer my questions. (Assumptions- language is a barrier, I cannot speak Kannada, The strike happened one week back because of non payment of salaries, may be they are not very interested that’s why.)
b. I found them urinating in this place while collecting the waste. So public urination is common here.
c. 26 small tempos come here to dump the waste.
d. Only one young boy helped me while others started scolding him when he was speaking to me. He mentioned that what is the point of collecting all the waste when people keep on dropping throughout the day. Citizens should also understand.

4. Here are my questions to all of you again-
a. What do you understand from these findings?
b. What do you think should be my next steps?
c. If you want to help me with more investigation and suggest solutions, please comment here.

I’m happy to help in this initiative since i also stay near to BTM
I would like to expect some initiative from government and as well localites of BTM people to co-operate and solve this issue

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Thank you Srinivas. Will connect with you.

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So what’s next?? While doing the Investigation, Reporting is also very important.

  1. I collected the Nodal Officer’s number from

  2. I called and reported the issue to the Nodal Officer. I have send him pictures and the location on what’s app and following up with him regularly. He has further shared two other officer’s number.

  3. I called them and reported too along with sharing the pictures and location and some data from the investigation I did.

  4. The officers said that they will beautify the place soon and will eliminate blackspot. I will be following up with him.

I will keep on updating the information here.
If you have any other questions please reach out to me.

Are you curious to know what happened next?

Today we went to the Ward Meeting (Ward No 176, BTM layout)

The ward meeting happens every 1st and 3rd Saturday of a month and any citizen can attend the Ward meeting and be a part of the discussion. Citizens can get involved in participatory decision making at the ward committee level. It is in your, and your neighborhood’s interest to be involved and know how your ward committee is working. Here’s what you can do–

  1. Know the details of your ward and ward committee. This will be available on the municipal corporation’s website. (
  2. You can call the Nodal Officer and make the effort to get names of your ward committee members and try to meet them once in a while.
  3. Try understanding when the monthly ward meetings are scheduled and attend whenever you can.
  4. You can also motivate your friends to attend the ward meetings.
  5. You can complain on any issue that you have related to your neighborhood or ward.

Here is what we did today-
We went to the ward meeting, however there were no citizen and only the government officials were there. We complained about the issue that we had regarding the Black Spot.

They have allotted a person for the cleaning of the spot, the work has started and it will be done by Monday (7th March).

However there will be some challenges to fix the black spot entirely as this is also a transfer point.
The spot needs to cleaned properly, and maintained for the next few weeks and observe the behavior of the local people and the garbage collectors.

So what we can do?

Step 1: Cleaning- Removing the items that has been left out and cleaning the spot
Step 2: Bag all the waste, make the place look clean.
Step 3: Once all the waste is cleared out, is it enough? Asking local people if they think its enough and then levelling up the place if its uneven.
Step 4: Fencing around the spot with rangoli, pots, stones or bricks so that it can prevent people from throwing the garbage again.
Step 5: Painting and beautification
Step 6: Keep observing people’s behavior and think of other ways to maintain it.

Can we all come together to solve this issue? One small action helps us to make big difference.
We are also looking for support. The ask from all of you-

  1. If you are sick of passing by a black spot and if your area is facing the same issue, join us for this Cleaning Campaign and lead by example everyday. Reach out if you stay near BTM layout.
  2. Suggest us ideas/suggestions on how we can maintain the black spot after the cleaning is done.
  3. Share this with your friends and family and encourage them too.

9th March 2022:
Followed with the Assistant Executive(Mr Naresh)regarding the black spot for three times this week from 6th March till 9th March. We got the same reply that the cleaning is going to happen soon.

10th March 2022
The place looks more scary and terrible. This is at 9 am when the waste was getting transferred. You can spot a person urinating at the spot too.

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11th March to 14th March 2022

After two more follow ups with the officials, I found that they are segregating the waste.
The garbage collectors said that they will pick up the garbage and clean the place. Curious to know how will that look like.

Keep an eye for updates!

March 16th - 21st 2022

Its been exactly one month. The place still looks same.
Multiple follow ups done.
They have cleaned the debris and other materials but this place looks like a plastic zone now.

New Update from the BBBMP officials

  1. They are planning to transfer the Garbage Transfer Point to a new location
  2. They have asked us to help them clean and beautify the place. There will be 10 laborer’s and garbage collectors to help. They will be providing a Marshall to monitor the place after the cleaning is done.
  3. This Friday, 25th March 2022 we are going to clean and beautify this place.

Anyone staying near BTM can come and help us this Friday. Please comment and let us know if you want to help us cleaning and beautifying this place. We will contact you.

26th March 2022, Saturday, 7:30 am

Time to wear the Solve Ninja hats! 🥷

After 1 month of investigation, reporting, and following up. And 5 hours of on-ground effort from 3 members from Reap Benefit, one youngster, Srinivas who recently passed out from college, and 17 BBMP staff pourakarmikas + Marshall + on ground supervisor we have - 500+ kgs of garbage cleared from the black spot near Madiwala Lake.

BBMP Marshalls have taken the responsibility to keep an eye on the cleared spot from morning 5 am to 1 pm and evening 8 pm to 1 am.

What all we did?

  1. The BBMP garbage collectors segregated the waste
  2. Transferred the entire waste to the big truck
  3. Cleaned the entire place
  4. Levelled up the place using broken tiles, pebbles and using surrounding materials
  5. Using water from the nearby Royal Enfield showroom and cleaned all the leachate

  1. Painted the place
  2. Put rangolis
  3. Used white clothes to beautify the place

What are the next steps?

This place needs to be maintained for the next 100 days to see that it’s clean. The Marshall will be also monitoring the place. The local shopkeepers have also agreed to keep an eye and report immediately if they see any issue.

I want to thank each and everyone involved in this for making this happen and making us believe that if we are determined nothing can stop us to bring the change. This is the power of collectiveness.

Small steps everyday!

Solve Small, Dent big!

And this is not the end and just a start!

Now the most difficult task is to maintain the spot for the next 100 days.

How is it happening?

  1. The Marshal is monitoring the place at night and charging fine from people.
  2. The shopkeepers nearby are taking ownership and updating me with pictures and videos. They are even stopping random passer by to throw garbage at the spot.
  3. The BBMP officials said that they will fence the place by Friday with pots and plants to create a default. We are continuously following up with them. One challenge is the spot is also a transfer point. So keeping the pots will be difficult.
  4. Everyday rangolis are being put after the cleaning happens in the morning.

Firstly i would like to thank Poonam Maam for this Opportunity
Since we all face this issue but no one comes forward and make surrounding environment clean.
I volunteered as a citizen and joined hands with likeminded people and complete this mission.
It was a great experience and learnt a lot how changing something from worse to better can bring new start and this happened there by clearing the blackspot and making the place tidy and clean and PouraKarmikas have done the great job in cleaning this and few other BBMP people’s support.
Finally this new task has helped me to look into new perspective and bring more changes around us

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Plan of Action that we have and looking for help
Current status

  1. The shopkeepers nearby have started taking ownership. They constantly share pictures with me on what’s an app or call the Marshal directly
  2. On alternate days marshal is monitoring the place and charging fine. However this is not a long term solution.
  3. Since this is a transfer point so the transfer of waste is still happening every day from 9:30 to 10 am. Post that they are cleaning the place. But some amount of waste anyway remains.

Problems that we still see

  1. People are still throwing garbage at night.
    Looking for ideas here
    And this is where we are looking for support .

Do you any other organization/people who can help us with this?
We have reached out to another organization- Lets be the Change and the conversation are in progress.

a. painting the entire footpath
b. Placing some flashy lights at night
c. Inviting people for art challenges or drawing something loud and abstract
d. If we can keep dustbins for people to throw and everyday morning when the transfer happens the collectors can collect the garbage too
e. Pots with plants for fencing

  1. This is a transfer point so complete removal of garbage is probably not possible. This acts as a nudge for people to throw the garbage here.

Is there any way to prevent waste leakage in transfer points? Please suggest ideas for the same

  1. The shopkeepers nearby especially the mutton/chicken shop or the restaurants do not have any dustbins for segregating the waste. They directly dumping the waste on the spot.

Share your ideas here!

Today we went to the spot to meet another partner from the organization Let’s Be the Change. The Health Inspector of Ward Number 176 was also there.
After talking the following things were decided

  1. There is a Transformer on the spot which is not working. We will be calling BESCOM to remove that as they think it’s a hidden spot for people to throw garbage and also urinate.

  2. Post that we will clean the place again and paint it fully. Also will put fencing. We will maintain the spot for 100 days and make the footpath accessible to people.

  3. The transfer point will be changed and the Health Inspector mentioned the tarpaulin to be used to avoid the leakage during the transfer.

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Quite a few transfer points were using tarpaulin. It will be good to try out the same here.

Bengaluru generates about 3000 - 3500 tones of Solid Waste daily. The municipal solid waste landfills create lots of environmental pollution due to landfill gas combustion, leakage of leachate and foul smells. Among all these, leakage of leachate affects the surrounding environment the most, especially the surface and ground water bodies because the leachate consists of high concentrations of heavy metals, organic compounds and toxic contents.

We went to the Solid Waste Management Office on 20th April to meet Dr. Harish Kumar, Special Commissioner, SWM to understand more about the SOP or the plan of action they have with regards to the Solid Waste Management in Bangalore… However he was not there.
We met Nagesh Hanche, Technical officer (SWM). He said there is no SOP for transfer points. and added ‘why don’t you give us SOP.’

Regarding transfer points:

2/3 Years ago, SWM special committee had shared that, tarpaulin should be placed on the road, while transferring waste. After its done, the space has to be cleaned.
There are Pourakarmikas putting rangoli in many transfer points. Now this is not practiced anymore in most of the places.