Balcony Gardens

Balcony Gardens: Fun Tips for Decorating your Balcony

While apartments have their advantages, one big downside is the detachment from nature.  As opposed to a house with a big green yard, apartments tend to feel closed off and small. The only gateway to the outside world often comes in the form of balconies.  Sitting out on your balcony, sipping a warm cup of tea (or coffee), and just watching the world go by is an undeniably therapeutic hobby. But often balcony spaces are underutilized. A common sight is a couple of old chairs, some pots with small plants, and heaps of refuse that we store for no real reason.

In recent years the concept of “handkerchief gardens” has blossomed (pun intended). What originally started as small, square garden spaces is now a term used to describe gardens in small spaces. So why not bring this concept to your balcony?

Landscaping small spaces can be a daunting task. Not only does it need to be space efficient, it also needs to fit your personal creative tastes. Here are some tips that can help set the wheel in motion.

Plan it well
As with any DIY project, the first step is planning. Having a clear idea of the space available is a must. Measure the area and create a plan for where you want to eventually place each item.

 

Clean it up
The next thing you need to do is clean up the balcony. Remove the clutter that has been lying around. Keep a lookout for cobwebs and dust bunnies that may have appeared in the unused space. Put up nails and hooks wherever you may need them. Remember to check the wiring and sockets that can be used. If you want to go the extra mile why not try hand painting the wall for extra flair?

Know your climate 
The primary requirement of any garden is, naturally, plants. While everyone loves the idea of exotic sweet-smelling flowers, we should remember that these plants need a lot of work. Look up plants that may be easier to grow in your locality. Also, check the direction of your balcony. This will have a direct effect on the amount of sunlight your plants will receive. Instead of flowers, consider growing herbs (like mint) that not only smell good but can be used in your kitchen.

Pots and pans 
A pot garden with the little mud pots is a common sight in most balconies. But why stop there? Almost anything can be reused as garden pots; bottles, old buckets, kettles, old cans, everything is fair game. To add a little variety you can also purchase hanging pots or hooked planters.

Stack it up
Balconies are usually small. In such small spaces, vertical gardens are usually a good idea. Old bookshelves, step ladders, tables and stools, all provide good surfaces to put your pots on. Do not be afraid to add variations in height. It is all part of the aesthetic.

 

 

Drape it down
Another dramatic addition you can make to your balcony garden is vines and creepers. If you want to add an aura of magic and fairy tales to your space, this is the way to go. Just remember, vines take a little extra effort to maintain.  Team it up with your vertical garden and it can make a striking impression.

 

Read more about the types of vines you can grow: https://www.houzz.in/ideabooks/98947783/list/8-climbing-plants-great-for-indian-balconies-and-gardens

 

Always accessorize
Gardens do not have to be limited to growing plants. Adding decor pieces that compliment your setup is always a good idea. Place random knick-knacks like figurines and windchimes. A popular addition you can install is a water feature. Small fountains and aquariums can add a bit more zing. You can also create a small bird bath. If you are lucky, the chirping of birds will be a great new feature of your new garden.

 

Let there be light 
Outdoor lighting can go a long way in building the aesthetic. Drape fairy lights along your walls or hang paper lanterns from the ceiling. This is usually cost-effective and easy to remove. However, if you want something permanent, buy new light fixtures for the space. Try to opt for warm lighting. It creates a more cosy ambience.

 

Keep it simple
One of the most effective ways of creating a low-maintenance garden is through terrariums. A terrarium is a glass container with a plant growing inside. It is a usually self-sustaining ecosystem. The evaporated water condenses on the surface of the glass and waters the plant over and over again. Once in place, it requires almost no help to grow. All you need to do is open up the container every so often to fertilize or trim your plants.

 

Seats for all
Do not forget to add some outdoor furniture to the mix. Your balcony could be used for anything from reading to meditation. Seats and throw cushions can help create a comfortable nook. Outdoor swings are an ever-popular choice in India. Choose quick dry foam cushions to avoid rain damage. Make sure whatever furniture you place outside is weather resistant or coated with oil paint.

 

A balcony garden is a very good place to relax and unwind after a long day. The sense of tranquillity that comes from being surrounded by foliage is unparalleled. Big or small, it has a proven effect on your mood and psychological well-being. In a life always on the move, everybody deserves a chance to stop and smell the flowers.

So pick your favourite ideas from this list and create your own handkerchief-sized masterpiece. Happy gardening!


Housing Society Knowhow – Why Green Buildings Have Higher Resale Value

Higher Resale Value
In India, the concept of Green Homes is not new anymore and neither is the idea of buying a real estate property. A green home means an apartment where the builder incorporates all the green principles such as effective waste management, rainwater harvesting, water efficiency or focusing on energy conservation.

This increases a level of eco-consciousness in people, and hence, such houses have been in great demand in the recent times. This unique combination of high-end technology and green principles has provided a huge boost to the real estate sector and has taken this to an altogether new level. Green technology also eliminates the wastage of building material, water and energy.

The Rules of Buying a Green House that will Have a High Resale Value

You should not necessarily spend a lot to make your neighbourhood and home clean and green. Now developers and builder bring innovative techniques to transform their project into a green home that is affordable. However, if you already have built a home few years back, it would not be advisable to spend a lot of money in making it green.

Easy and simple ways to conserve the environment and at the same time to transform your existing apartments into green ones is to replace your home appliances that consume a lot of electricity or the fittings or taps which have water seepages. You can insulate your homes with lightings and natural ventilation and also replace them with energy star appliances and other water saving features.

You can also convert your apartment into a green one by hanging container gardens and balcony gardening. Using single coloured flower sticks or a bunch of flowers in your bedroom could ensure some extra oxygen to these plants.

What to Look for While Buying a Green Home

  • Make sure that the property has proper energy saving and water-saving devices.
  • Choose marbles as the flooring option as they are eco-friendly.
  • Granite has an added advantage of absorbing heat and hence, is recommended as cooking slabs.
  • The location of your property should be closer to office, school and entertainment centres.
  • If the distance or location between office and home is very easy to commute on a bicycle; use the option at least twice a week.
  • Allow natural sunlight to come into your house, as it prevents the growth of mites and bed bugs.
  • Promote composting in the area you leave and avoid your usage of plastics.
  • Go for a low-VOC paint while painting your place.

All these tips can help you figure out the right eco-friendly apartment for you and lead a green life. This in turn gives you a healthy lifestyle and also helps conserve the environment. As these homes are in a great demand now, it comes with a huge resale value. This trend will continue even after a few years from now when you might look forward to buy a new apartment. Hence, make a wise purchase while buying a home as it can be helpful years down the line.


Get your Society on ApnaComplex – Today!
ApnaComplex is India’s most comprehensive web based housing society accounting, management and communication software. It is designed to make the life of residents and owners a lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out the features of ApnaComplex and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer a free 30-day trail as well so that you can try before you buy!


Slides from Waste Management in Apartments Awareness and Best Practices Sessions

Below are the presentations from the Waste Management and Awareness Sessions” held on Nov 24th 2012 by ApnaComplex.

Waste Segregation for Dummies – Presentation by Ragpicker


SAAHAS – Nothing is Waste presentation by Wilma R


Solid Waste Management at Ferns Paradise – A Villa Community(340 Plots)


Waste Management in Sobha Aster, a 49 flat complex


Youth for Seva Presentation at Waste Management in Apartments event by ApnaComplex



Bookmark – Waste Management in Apartments for all these resources and more!


Want to manage your Apartment Complex or Housing Society in a Better Way? Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We even offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Waste Management in Apartments: Awareness and Best Practice Sessions Updates

ApnaComplex with support from Bannerghatta Neighborhood Association, conducted Waste Management Awareness and Best Practices Sharing Sessions on Saturday, 24th November, 2012.

After a warm welcome from Mr. Sanjeev Bansal of Vithola Apartments, the event kick-started off with a small video on the WHY of Waste Management – the current status of Bangalore’s garbage dumps, BBMP’s diktats and securing the future for our children.

The Waste Management expert speaker sessions started with Waste Management for Dummies by Mr. Vijay Krishnan of RagPicker who gave a simplified, practical, down-to-earth explanation of WHATs of waste management. What were the different categories of waste, What are the composting options? What garbage goes into what bucket/bin/bag for disposal? What’s done with the garbage after it leaves our homes?

Wilma Rodrigues, the guru of Waste Management from way back in 2001, from Saahas group next presented some practical HOWs of Waste Management. She explained about various tailored and customized options for apartments and gated communities in terms of services offered by Saahas. She explained how we can contribute back to not just environment by significantly reducing the output generated to landfills, but also giving back to the society in terms of employment for people manning the composting and segregation units right in the apartment/complex premises. The women and men employed with Saahas are given training, proper protection equipment and ergonomic tools and techniques to go about their mundane work. The services while being a big boon for societies who are always pressed for time and resources – is also very economical with charges only for covering the basic expenses.

Up next was Ms Poonam of Daily Dump, another veteran in this area. Daily Dump, popular for providing eye-catching, colourful and beautiful composting units – be it for individual homes, society or office, was ubiquitously mentioned by almost everyone in the following Best Practices sessions. She gave some sharp, hard-hitting and thought provoking perspectives straight from the field – how to think of the bigger picture beyond just my home, my apartment, my backyard. For example how there was no CFL recycling plant in Bangalore and it needs to be transported several miles outside the city just for that.

The Best Practices sessions generated the maximum question/answers from the audience with practical issues & tips shared by passionate committee members – Savitha from Sobha Azalea and Althea, Babita Saxena and Radhika from Ferns Paradise, Asia from Purva Panorama, and Anoop of Sobha Aster.


Practical questions on how to change the mind set of maids, cooks and housekeeping (use incentives scheme, talk to them in the language they understand, use visuals instead of charts), how to practically collect wet garbage ( keep it newspaper lined buckets/bins outside your door and have the housekeeping staff empty it into larger trolley-bins), contacts of alternate conscientious waste collectors who actually don’t mix up after you have taken all the pains to segregate, how to mobilize the residents from indifference to active participants (go door to door, involve children, have fests, make garbage interesting!). This was the section that generated the maximum laughter and interaction too! What struck the audience was the professional presentation by these green champions. “Phased-implementation”, “Early Adopters”, “100% compliance”, “Soft Launch”, “Post Pilot” were some of the terms used by the presenters – which showed the corporate style commitment and execution towards making Bangalore a better place to live.

The event ended with an inspiring note from Ms. Lavanya of Youth For Seva. The finale session was most appropriate as she urged people to not just recycle – but also reduce. Take a moment before buying – do you really need it, can you get by with something more simpler option that we actually knew and used 10 years ago (do we really need that e-waste generating sensor activated liquid soap dropper?!, Do we really need black plastic refuse bags?). Once you buy it – take another moment before throwing it away – has it been used to fullest extent? Can you not repair instead of replace? Don’t fall for the consumerist marketing is the message she asked people to think about. YFS also has other areas of service such as health, education where volunteers can register and give back to society at large.

A copy of Solid Waste Management Template for Apartment Complexes and an attractive Waste Segregation Poster have been distributed to the participants. There was a crossword puzzle on Waste Management that was handed over to all participants and Mr. Manish from Klassik Benchmark has won the lucky draw for the same.

Waste Management Puzzle from ApnaComplex

“The sessions were very very useful. I have had lot of takeaways. Although we were practicing Waste Management to some extent in our apartment, I have got lots of new ideas now and I am going to spread the word to not just my apartment but my entire neighbourhood” – words from the happy and satisfied member from the audience – Ms. Meeakshi of Ittina Abby sums it all.

The sessions were attended by more than 60 participants from various housing societies. All presentations are available on ApnaComplex Slideshare.

Update: Some of hyperlinks given above were broken earlier. The broken links have been corrected to point to correct urls


Want to manage your Apartment Complex or Housing Society in a Better Way? Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We even offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Waste Management for Apartment Complexes – Awareness and Best Practice Sharing Sessions by ApnaComplex

ApnaComplex with active support of Bannerghatta Neighborhood Association (BANA) is conducting Awareness and Best Practice Sharing Sessions on Waste Management for Apartments in Bangalore.

Waste ManagementDate & Time: Event is scheduled to happen on Nov 24th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Venue: Club House, Vithola Apartments, Off Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore (Google Map of the Venue)

Agenda: 

Event will include presentations by Daily Dump, Ragpicker, Saahas, Youth for Seva – organizations dealing in Waste Management and Best Practices from Apartment Complexes who have successfully implemented Waste Management in their respective societies.

  • Introductions & Welcome
  • Need of Waste Management & the options available – Video Presentation
  • Waste Management for Dummies by RagPicker – Mr. Vijay Krishnan
  • Saahas Presentation – Ms. Wilma R
  • Daily Dump Presentation – Ms. Poonam Kasturi
  • Tea Break
  • Best Practice Sharing from BANA
  • Best Practice Sharing from Sobha Azalea & Althea
  • Best Practice Sharing from Ferns Paradise
  • Youth for Seva Presentation on their services
  • Vote of Thanks

Who can attend:
Any one in and around Bangalore who is part of a gated community (Managing Committee Members, Green Committee Members, Facility Managers, Residents of Apartment Complexes, Villa Layouts)

Does it cost?
The event is free for ApnaComplex paid customers and for BANA members.
For others, Rs. 100/- shall be collected at the venue on the event day to cover the incidentals.

Please register your details at http://bit.ly/VZkCUd

Please check out the event on Facebook as well.

Please drop a comment below if you want to know more information or mail to support at apnacomplex.com


Striving for a Waste Sensitive Bangalore – Featuring SAAHAS!

ApnaComplex is delighted to feature an interview from Saahas – the organization that every waste sensitive communities would know. Below is a detailed interview from Ms. Babita Saxena, Program Head at Saahas who explains more about Saahas and gives advice on how Gated Communities can benefit from services offered by Saahas.

Saahas has been doing tremendous work in Waste Management in Bangalore for many years. Can you please explain the background and about the mission of Saahas?

Saahas is registered as a society in 2001 has been into solid waste management for the past 12 years and has been committed towards the goal of Zero Waste Bangalore. Based in Bangalore, we work with government institutions, companies, households and schools to bring attention to best practices in the management of solid waste and support implementation of these systems. We work with the informal sector to strengthen the capacities of workers and provide better livelihood opportunities.

Saahas LogoThough we are based in Bangalore, we have recently begun operations in Chennai and Goa as well. In the medium to long term, we would look to expand to second or third tier cities around Bangalore. Our organization has studied the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling Rules) 2000 and we believe that it provides excellent guidelines for improving the existing situation of solid waste management in the city.

Our Vision: To have waste managed in a manner which will recover all the embedded resources, while enhancing livelihood options and safeguarding our environment.

Our Mission: Our mission is to develop and facilitate implementation of best practices in waste management so that generators take responsibility for their waste. This in turn will ensure minimal impact to the environment even while livelihood options are enhanced.

What are the different services offered by Saahas?

Saahas provides different types of services that can be broadly categorized as follows:

  • Complete management of wet and dry waste. (Wet waste management through composting and dry waste sorted and sent to respective recyclers / scrap dealers) at the client’s premises. (option of only wet or only dry waste management is also provided)
  • Dry waste collection from the client premises on a weekly basis, so that they are sorted and sent to respective recyclers / scrap dealers). This option is feasible for small sized apartments.
  • E-waste collection
  • Hand Holding clients with management of wet waste for a period of 1 or two months. This is especially useful for clients where wet waste generation is not huge and does not require a full time personnel to manage the wet waste. In such places, house keeping staff can be trained to handle this activity along with their regular activity.

Can Apartment Complexes approach Saahas for consultancy on SWM and for audit of their SWM practices?

Yes, apartment complexes can approach Saahas for consultancy on SWM and for audit of their SWM practices. We can help them get started.

Can Apartment Complexes totally outsource their waste management to Saahas?

Wet Waste, Dry / Recyclable Waste, Garden Waste as well as e-Waste can be handled by Saahas. The hazardous and sanitary waste will continue to be picked up by BBMP.

Does Saahas cater to Private Layouts as well?

Yes, as long as the layout has mechanism established to collect waste (door to door) and bring it to a central location which can then be handled by Saahas.

Are there any apartment complexes using services of Saahas?

Yes. We are servicing a number of apartments in Bangalore. Some of our existing large clients are Mantri Tranquil, Prestige Shantiniketan, Mantri Flora, Brigade Classic etc.

Want to get featured here?
If you or people you know or your organization makes a difference to Gated Communities, please contact us with your story! We will feature it.

With the increased awareness of Solid Waste Management in Bangalore communities, is there any message you want to say to residents of gated communities in regards to SWM practices?

Instead of getting demotivated that nothing is happening w.r.t the new rules, the communities should take up responsibility to manage their own waste, so as to reduce the burden on the landfills. Any such major changes are bound to have teething problems, and it is only prudent that each community comes forward and take care of their waste atleast and contribute towards a better city and better environment. With communities / apartments it is easier.

Communities must also take responsibility to ensure that the low value waste like packing materials from kitchen, wrappers, tetrapak etc., are truly put to recycling by the vendor who picks up the recyclable waste.

How to reach out to Saahas?

431, 8th Cross
Jayanagar 1st block
Bangalore -11
Ph: 41689889, 26563663
Email: response@saahas.org
Saahas.sujatha@gmail.com
Website: www.saahas.org

Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Solid Waste Management in Apartments and Layouts – Best Practices

Below are presentations on Solid Waste Management from two of ApnaComplex customers Ferns Paradise, a 340 plot layout near Marathahalli, Bangalore and Purva Panorama, a 710 unit apartment complex on Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore.



Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Solid Waste Management Plan Implementation in Sobha Althea & Azalea, Yelahanka, Bangalore

This is a guest post from Ms. Savita Hiremath, Green Committee Member of Sobha Azalea & Althea, an apartment complex in Yelahanka, Bangalore. Sobha Azalea & Althea owners association have been using ApnaComplex for last 1.5+ years to manage thier society’s operations and finances.

At Sobha Althea & Azalea, we are a motley group of women coming from various backgrounds. We were thinking of putting a waste management system in place even before the BBMP legislation came into force. But for some reasons, it didn’t take off.

The legislation was just the kind of nudge we needed to get going and start thinking about HOWs and WHYs.

A string of meetings helped us frame certain guidelines for our own residential community while keeping in mind the larger picture: A waste-free zone.

1. Get the Green Committee members together: This is the first step. If the GC members are not like-minded and united, then the community won’t give a hoot to your rules. In many cases, committees are either inactive or suffer from absenteeism. A couple of get-togethers can kick off unprecedented bonhomie and help focus on work. If each one gets complimented for the sincere work they do, team work becomes a pleasure and truly rewarding.

2. GC members must remain up-to-date with the developments. Be always a step ahead of others to reinforce your authority on the subject you are trying to handle. Power without authority on the subject cuts no ice.

3. Put necessary infrastructure in place. Labeled bins for storage and others for collection. Make sure housekeepers have safety equipment like gloves and masks. Tie up with agents for dry waste recycling. If you are going for community composting of wet waste, make sure the entire workforce is trained along with one or two GC members.

4. Prepare a Dos & Don’ts file on waste segregation before informing the community that the exercise will begin on a certain date. Let this be as comprehensive as it gets. Send the printed note to all the flats and secure their signatures to make sure that nobody feigns ignorance later. Put up notices on ApnaComplex, community’s Facebook page and spread the message through all other active email groups.

5. Train the Housekeepers first and keep the Facility Manager in the loop (training methodology given below).

Sobha Althea and Azalea Residents goal - Make their complex a Waste Free Zone

Sobha Althea and Azalea Residents working towards the goal of being a Waste Free Zone


6. Notices & reminders: Put up notices wherever possible. Create an atmosphere in community areas with colourful posters. Use ApnaComplex, Facebook, personal ids for spreading info on upcoming training sessions/meeting and also Dos & Don’ts. Create a sense of urgency so that people are pressured to attend the meetings. Do not reveal when the next session will be held. Warn of serious action if people fail to comply.

7. Invite residents to take part in the cause. Call these meetings interactive sessions”, not “trainings”, as some residents may already know a lot about segregation and their knowledge/intelligence should not be underestimated. If the turnout isn’t good, persist and call for another session.

8. Build a relationship with every one Given the demographic makeup of Bangalore’s population, it’s a given that people come here from various places/speak various languages. In our complex, a good chunk of people flit in and out of India often and there’s a chance that they may miss out on the local socio-political developments. There are certain subtle contextual nuances that non-Kannadigas may not get. We all know how the mainstream English newspapers and TV channels focus more on news that caters to English-speaking people, quotes are gathered from those who can speak English. However, when it comes to dealing with issues like waste segregation which needs co-ordination with your maids and cooks (most of them speak local languages) day in and day out, developing a CONNECTION with them is a step taken in the right direction.

9. But first, build a backgrounder. In the meetings, brief the people on how it all began and where we are headed. Tell them about how hellish life got for people in Mylappanahalli, Mavallipura and Mandur landfills. Most people may not know how BBMP dealt with tonnes of garbage all this while. Be prepared for such ‘revelations’. Once the backgrounder is laid bare, get down to specifics.

10. Be firm, yet flexible. To make anything work, there WILL BE and HAVE TO BE certain negotiables and non-negotiables.

In our case, NON-NEGOTIABLES included the following:
a. Everyone has to follow the BBMP law. No exceptions. No giving room to cynicism that no such law has ever worked and is bound to fail this time, too. Just say that we will go ahead even if the entire Bangalore fails to execute. Certain decisions (that affect the entire community) cannot be left to individual choices.

b. No using plastic bags for lining the kitchen and dry waste bins. No question of giving leeway to anyone just because they are working men/women. Tell the residents not to tie the bags but empty their bins directly into the large mobile bins pushed by the housekeepers. This way, it’s easy to figure out if there’s any mixed waste and pinpoint the errors right on the spot. Many of our residents initially found this practice pretty cumbersome and “stinky”. We stuck to our guns and said that newspaper sheets lining will not leave solid leftovers/residue sticking to the bin and will be easy to wash. So far, so good!

c. No saying ‘no’ to rinsing milk packets/food containers. Tell them that the dry waste agent comes only once in a fortnight and storing badly segregated waste in the basement means stench and of course, inviting rodents, houseflies, mosquitoes, etc.

d. They must send ALL their maids/cooks/drivers for training. This became the highlight of our discussions because we had to explain how language barriers between the owners and maids/cooks can be exploited by either of them to commit errors. At the same time, tell the residents that it makes their job easier because the housemaids/cooks will sense how serious everyone is.

NEGOTIABLES: a. It’s left to the residents if they want to line the kitchen bin with newspapers sheets or not. You can recommend a certain type of bin, but if they already have inbuilt modular bins, let them decide how they want to store and dispose of wet waste.

b. Place bins near the lift entrance so that working men/women can dump the wet waste while they leave for work early in the morning. But do make sure that they don’t use plastic bags for this purpose. Luckily, our residents have found newspaper sheet lining pretty effective!

c. If some residents want to train their own in-house maids/cooks, leave it to their discretion. But, if they make mistakes, make sure that you emphasize the need for training session and tell them that they must attend the next session.

11. Launch door-to-door campaigns immediately. This will reinforce the seriousness of the GC’s commitment to going green. Secondly, it gives a chance to know your neighbours better. And most importantly, their reaction to the whole thing will, in most cases, lets you figure out who has taken it seriously and who is likely to fall out of line.

12. Involve Everyone Invite more volunteers and appoint block co-ordinators. If necessary, floor co-ordinators, too.

13. Incentivising Housekeeping Staff
We have realized that selling dry waste fetches a decent amount of money. A part of it can be used to incentivise the housekeepers who deal with stink and dirt every day. Tell them it will all get mutually beneficial if the collective aim is achieved.

14. Punitive Measures
Enforce punitive measures, if necessary. However, remember that the ultimate aim is NOT to punish people, but to achieve 100% compliance. For that, be ready for any number of trainings/monthly sessions as you move on.

Maids/Cooks Training

Attendance is mandatory. Those who attend get their identity cards signed by GC members on the spot. If residents remain cold to this rule, tell them this will help them in more than one way:

a. Once they attend the training, domestic helps cannot say they can’t do segregation.
b. They cannot exploit the language barrier (if any) to go lax.
c. If there is no language barrier, the seriousness with which the GC members proceed, fellow workers’ enthusiasm, or at least, willingness to participate in the cause, will put pressure on the rest.

Explain the background. If you just say “put wet waste here and dry waste there”, they don’t see the value behind the exercise. You have to explain WHY it has to be done and WHAT will happen if we don’t follow the rules.

It’s natural for domestic helps and cooks to think that we are stretching this segregation thing a bit too far and adding more burden to their already difficult lives. But if you tell them clearly that they are some other people—pourakarmikas—whose lives are even more difficult, they begin to CONNECT! This has been the case with our electricians, plumbers, security guards, drivers, gardeners, etc.

Explain how we think everything that rots is “stinky”. We have to lay bare our own stupidity in front them and laugh at it and invite them to learn from our mistakes. They will begin to think educated people also make mistakes and are also learning just as they are.

To think that they don’t get the larger picture of environmental health is a bit too condescending. If you get them to talk, you will know life has taught them a good deal. We have found that, if explained in simpler terms, they are able to get scientific details, too.

If they remain impassive/indifferent to rules on rinsing milk/food packets, collecting wet waste directly in a bin without lining, remind them that this is exactly what they are doing in their houses, too.

Make sure that the entire workforce employed by an individual household attends the training. Otherwise, blame game starts in no time. We have experienced this.

In a few cases, we saw some thinking residents sitting along with their maids in the training sessions. This in itself made the workforce realize how serious we all were and how we wanted the rest to be involved to make it a success. Nothing can work better than this! If we are serious, we don’t see why our maids can’t get serious.

Ultimately, nothing much can be achieved if the helps/cooks do not co-operate. Let the residents decide how they want to reward them when they do a good job. Sometimes, just a compliment will go long way in achieving compliance.

Training for the rest of the Workforce

You may wonder why train electricians, plumbers, security guards, drivers, gardeners, etc. But we can’t do without their co-operation. They often dispose of waste after cleaning cars into wrong bins. Electricians dump e-waste just anywhere and so do plumbers. It’s essential that they know the basics of segregation as some of them eat lunch in the parking lots, smoke and drink tea, and throw the leftovers, beedis/cigarette butts and plastic tea cups just anywhere in the car parking areas. Paan/gutka stains and spitting into sand buckets are also issues that need immediate action. In short, anybody who enters the complex should know the rules in place.

Follow the same method of explaining the backgrounder before talking about types of waste. Help them connect with your message. Be warm and receptive. Be ready to entertain their views and complaints. Talk beyond segregation and show them that you care for their welfare in general. Try to SINCERELY look into complaints if they have any. Once trust is established, it’s becomes relatively easier to enforce rules.

As a closing remark – Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’d rather lose some battles on the way when you know you are out to win the war. Patience is of paramount importance!


About the Author
Savita is a Bangalore-based a journalist since 1995 and consults several NGOs and a human rights group to research and document socio-political issues. She has earlier worked with Deccan Herald, The Times of India, and The New Indian Express, and headed a journalism institute for an year. She loves to write on women’s issues, HIV/AIDS, caste and religion, rural poverty, environmental issues, and tennis. You can read more about her on her blog at www.savitahiremath.com. Please leave a comment below if you want to get in touch with her.


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Solid Waste Management: Waste Segregation at Source Video

Inline with our objective of sharing comprehensive information on Solid Waste Management to Apartments in Bangalore, we here share an informative video on Waste Segregation at Source from Namm Bengaluru Foundation on YouTube (the video is in Kannada).


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.


Poster for Solid Waste Management in Apartments

Here is an attractive poster from RagPcikers on Solid Waste Management that you can use to promote Waste Segrgation by residents of your apartment complex. You can get this printed on A4 size and put it on notice boards and even request residents to pin it up on fridge inside the apartment so that residents are constantly reminded on the importance of waste segregation.

Cheat Sheet for Waste Segregation in Apartments

Cheat Sheet for Waste Segregation in Apartments


Want to manage your apartment easily and financials transparently in your Housing Society? – Get on to ApnaComplex – Today!

ApnaComplex is India’s best web based housing society accounting software.

ApnaComplex is designed to make the life of residents and owners lot better by bringing in more transparency and accountability in managing a housing society. Check out why we say ApnaComplex is Best Apartment Management Software and sign up your society today to get the benefits! We offer ApnaComplex – Free Edition with awesome capabilities which you can use free of cost forever.