Bangalore startup turns garbage into gas | Global Ideas | DW | 05.11.2019
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Bangalore startup turns garbage into gas

A Bangalore startup working with residents to clean up their city has won the new Better Together Award. Now it plans to export its model.

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Bangalore: India's Silicon Valley is drowning in trash

Project goal: The international Better Together Award honors innovations that tackle local climate change challenges through collaborations between local communities, private companies and governments.

Project implementation: The Carbonlites project in India, which converts organic waste into biogas fuel, is one of the five winners of the 2019 Better Together Award. The winners were invited to Germany and given support to further develop their business models. The Carbonlites team is now exploring setting up their biogas model in South Africa.

Project parter: The Better Together Award is a joint initiative by the German Environment Ministry and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ). It's carried out by Impact Hub Berlin.

Project funding: The Better Together Award is funded with €200,000 from the German Environment Ministry's International Climate Initiative (IKI) via the GIZ project "Transformative strategies for renewable energy to protect the climate in developing and emerging countries."

Project duration: The prize was awarded for the first time in May 2019. The initiators are now evaluating whether it should be continued for 2020

Bangalore was once famed as the Garden City of India for its hundreds of lakes and lush green gardens. But, over the decades, it has become known as "India's Silicon Valley," spurring unchecked growth and urban sprawl. The city's trash collection services have failed to cope and Bangalore now has a new nickname — "garbage city."

Carbon Masters is a startup that's trying to reduce the amount of waste heading out of Bangalore to overflowing landfills. They've joined up with local authorities and residents to collect and convert kitchen waste into biogas. The fuel is sold to local restaurants, IT parks and corporate campuses. That's helping to displace conventional fossil fuels used in cooking and reduce methane emissions from landfills, as well as to keep the city cleaner.

A film by Sonia Phalnikar

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