Privatising waste management. Is it a good idea?

Well, Bengaluru was hailed as the Green City but is it the same till date? Industrialisation, illegal constructions, failure in maintaining balance in ecosystem etc are some of the many reasons for the city to lose its glory. However, Bengaluru is on its way to regain the lost reputation and is sweating hard to achieve the same. For any city to be clean, hygenic and green, one of the most important aspects to be cared for is waste management. There are several instances where thoughts of privatising waste management in Bengaluru are popping up on the screen. If we take a closer look at this, we find an array of different perspectives and opinions. 


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The Silver End: 


Yes, we should admit that private sector frees the government entities of the costs and burden they have to bear. If waste management is handed over to private sector, the responsibility of removal, disposal and recycling the waste can be lifted from the shoulders of the government. Just as in the case of most of the industries, this move can also help improve the efficiency of the sector as a whole. Government can enjoy multiple benefits like cost savings, better initiatives and improved work along with cutting down on debts. 


As private companies have the resources and economies to scale up their investments, more chances of introducing the upgraded technologies in waste management are possible. Privatising also helps in offering better risk protection and safety record. 


Private entities have enough economies to take up aspects like environmental protection and ecosystem conservation into account. They have the capacity to procure costs from across contracts and facilities. Private companies also stand firm to the environmental compliance. 


Private entities shoulder the primary responsibility to ensure liability as compared to their governmental counterparts. 


When waste management falls into the hands of private sector, services are improved along with ensuring development, if not, consistency can also become the primary outcome. New technologies like alternative fuel vehicles, single stream collection of recyclables, new truck technologies, computer/advanced systems to track and manage the collection fleet shall be incorporated by the private sector's desire and ability to improve their services. Their competitive spirit improves the quality of work. Having greater access to capital as compared to the municipalities to improve, introduce or replace equipment, as well as a desire to offer the best service compared to their competitors in the field will surely benefit the scenario. 


The workforce management in private sector helps the mainline workers work more efficiently. Payment plans, incentives for performance, attractive tokens for their personal accountability etc. will keep the performance graph of the employees rising. This results in the reduction of service downtime as compared to public sector. Municipalities don't have to maintain their own waste collection and removal services when they outsource the project. 


The Dark Side: 


Every coin has two sides and so does this. Though there are perks involved in the privatisation of waste management, one thing that needs to be borne in mind is the significant increase in the rates. Public sector/government officials also hold no accountability. There are high chances that in the drive to gain more profits, private companies cost the peace of their employees, causing increased fear of layoffs and displacement among them. This might lead to lowering of their morale. 


Though work efficiency might increase and few people of the community also might find some tax benefits, it depends on the members of the community on a wholesome basis. If the community is interested to spend on a privatised system, then they surely expect value for their money. So, I feel that a wise decision on this can be made only by taking the community-specific needs and interests into account by incorporating/implemeting what's best for majority of those who are involved. 


What is your say on this? 

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