Solid Waste Management in the Karez Area (Bidar, Karnataka)

To maintain the long-term cleanliness of the Karez, the DHF installed a solid waste management system in collaboration with Saahas

To prevent the unscrupulous disposal and accumulation of waste in the Karez wells, tunnel and street corners, the solid waste management programme in the habitations along the Karez in Naubad, Bidar, Karnataka, began in January 2018. The project was initiated by DHF, India, in collaboration with Saahas, and with funding support from Nestle India Pvt. Ltd. A three-wheeled electric vehicle goes door-to-door, collecting waste from 650 houses and 105 businesses after which it is sorted and disposed of scientifically, ensuring that absolutely no waste ends up in the landfill. Waste collection, being an essential service, continued even during the Covid lockdowns of 2020 and 2021.

The key issues seen in the area around the Karez, leading to pollution of its waters, were:

  • No waste collection system: waste was either thrown on the streets or burnt in the open
  • Drains were clogged, predominantly with plastic waste
  • Lack of a collection mechanism drove a behavioural tendency to dump garbage at black spots
  • A lack of awareness about the ill-effects of burning or dumping waste

The objectives of the project were to:

  • Bring about a behavioural change to inculcate practices of source segregation and anti-littering among residents
  • Spread awareness about pollution caused by burning and dumping of plastic/other waste
  • Facilitate weekly door-to-door collection of waste, both wet and dry, using an electric vehicle
  • Set up infrastructure for wet waste composting and dry waste sorting
  • Ensure the non-recyclable low-grade waste is sent to cement factories for incineration as fuel

The Program Impact Area covered houses and establishments up to 200 m on both sides of the entire stretch of the Karez

  • Houses: 650 (Lumbini Nagar, Buddha Colony, Siddeshwara Colony, Raghavendra Colony, Khadri Nagar, KIADB)
  • Schools and Colleges: 7
  • Shops: 105
  • Sunday Market: 1

This project has introduced a radical shift in how garbage is handled in Bidar, a town of a quarter million people, and serves as a model for the DHF’s vision for Heritage Conservation. It is our view that the mere restoration of a monument is not enough to preserve it for the generations to come. Ensuring that a project has a social impact, on the other hand, promotes community participation and creates a sense of custodianship towards the monument.



Project Status



Bidar, Karnataka


Funding Agency: Nestle India Private Limited
Implementation Partner: Saahas


Introduced the first scientific, sustainable and environmentally friendly waste collection and disposal system in the town of Bidar

Ensured that waste in the Karez area is not unscientifically incinerated, and does not end up in the landfill

Ensured that the Karez wells and tunnels do not get polluted with solid waste


Educated the public about the importance of waste segregation and proper disposal

Ensures clean streets and a reliable waste collection mechanism in the Karez area

Supported and gave rise to an entrepreneurial venture in waste collection and management