Nate Berg is a freelance reporter and a former staff writer for CityLab. He lives in Los Angeles.
Garbage piles on the streets of the Indian city as villagers protest dump's contamination.
Mavallipura is tired of Bangalore's trash. The small village about 20 miles outside the Indian megacity of 8.4 million has been the unofficial dumping grounds for Bangalore's garbage for the past nine years. But thanks of growing concerns in the village about contamination and a string of recent deaths, villagers have created a blockade to prevent any more of the city's garbage from entering the dump.
Community members in the Mavallipura area say that the 100-acre dump hasn't been properly established, which has led to leaching of hazardous materials and the contamination of water sources that feed about 15 nearby villages. At least two people have died in recent weeks, and many more report infections related to the contamination of soil and water sources and the breeding of mosquitoes in the dump. This report from 2010 details the death of a local boy from dengue.
Despite talks with waste management and government officials about the problems associated with the dump, garbage from Bangalore continues to file into the village. More than 3,000 tons of garbage are dumped there every day, according to the Deccan Herald.
For nearly two weeks, residents of the village have been blocking trucks from entering the dump. As a result, garbage is piling up on the streets of Bangalore, where waste management companies have simply stopped collecting it.
For now, the government is diverting some of the city's waste to another dump outside of town. Residents in Mavallipura are calling on the government to take actions to reverse the contamination of their water sources and prevent additional deaths. No agreements have yet been made.
Image credit: Flickr/pagastesi