Rajanna Uganawadi and his ancestors have been working the soil on the outskirts of Bangalore as long as anyone can remember. Their seven acres are a patchwork of green plots pieced together amid the new apartment complexes sprouting up on farmland around India’s IT capital.
Next to Uganawadi’s cement-block house, a yellow tanker truck painted with lotus flowers backs up next to a stand of young banana trees. The stench of toilet water hangs in the air as a young man pops open a spout and a heavy stream of clear liquid and brown sludge sprays from the truck onto the base of the trees. It’s untreated sewage from a large apartment complex nearby.
From Waste to Resource
Credit: Bianca Vasquez Toness
The man repeats this all day – draining out septic tanks and delivering the contents to farmers around Bangalore. It’s an extreme twist on the old adage “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
”So that’s it,” the man says. “I meet the need. Some people want it to be emptied and I take it from them and I give it to those who want it.”