Bangalore: Mid-sized information technology company Mindtree Ltd is championing a technology-based solution to Bangalore’s perennial garbage problem.

It essentially plans to allow waste pickers in the city to form franchises and to offer their services to households in different parts of the city.

It would also provide information to waste pickers on where to sell recyclable garbage. There are some 20,000 waste pickers in Bangalore, where they collect garbage from garbage heaps around the city, segregate the recyclable material and then sell it to waste collectors for recycling.

Mindtree chairman Subroto Bagchi issued a directive to engineers at the company to “make IT work for ragpickers" after he went on the ‘garbage trail’ to see how trash was collected and sorted, according to Prashant Mehra, chief architect of social inclusion for Mindtree. After he went on what he called the ‘garbage trail’ to see how garbage was collected and sorted he said.

The initiative, called the ‘I Got Garbage’, has some 5,251 wastepickers and some 6,907 households enrolled. Details on the environmental and social impact of the programme can also be seen on the website www.igotgarbage.com.

To be sure, the more immediate problem affecting Bangalore is where it disposes of its waste. In 2012, villagers in Mavallipura in Bangalore’s northern outskirts protested and blocked access to a land-fill operated by a private company for the city administration.

Then early this year, villagers around Mandur protested the presence of a landfill in their neighbourhood, blocking the trucks that deliver some 1,800 tonnes of waste, much of it unsegregated, every day.

Bangalore generates an estimated 4,000 tonnes of garbage everyday. India generates some 48 million tonnes of garbage a day.

This story has been modified to reflect the correct name of Mindtree Ltd.

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