How is solid waste management in India?
MoEF&CC (Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change) is in charge of solid waste management in India. The ministry issued the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules in 2016, which were superseded by the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, which had been in effect for 16 years. This national strategy is notable in recognizing and including the informal sector (trash pickers) into the waste management process for the first time.
Every year, India creates around 62 million tonnes of solid waste. Approximately 43 million tonnes (70 percent) are collected, with approximately 12 million tonnes being processed and 31 million tonnes being disposed in landfill sites.With shifting consumption patterns and strong economic expansion, metropolitan municipal solid waste output is expected to reach 165 million tonnes by 2030.
Production of solid waste
Solid waste management (SWM) is a serious issue for many urban local bodies (ULBs) in India, where increased municipal solid waste (MSW) creation per person has come from urbanization, industrialisation, and economic expansion. In densely populated cities, effective SWM is a huge difficulty.
Despite advances in social, economic, and environmental development, India's SWM systems have remained remarkably constant. About 90% of residual waste is typically discarded, rather than properly landfilled;thus, the informal sector plays a serious role in extracting value from the waste. There is an urgent need to transition to more sustainable SWM, which necessitates the installation of new management systems and waste disposal facilities.
Rules for Solid Waste Management
In 2016, the Solid Waste Management Rules were implemented. Among the highlights are:
1. Waste separation at the source is required. Households must segregate their waste into three categories: organic or biodegradable waste, dry waste (such as plastic, paper, metal, and wood), and domestic hazardous waste (diapers, napkins, mosquito repellents, cleaning agents). Furthermore, large waste generators such as hotels and hospitals are expected to process organic waste on-site or in collaboration with the metropolitan local government.
2. Municipalities and metropolitan local governments have been instructed to incorporate informal garbage pickers and rag pickers into their waste management processes. This is the first time in national policy that the informal sector has been recognised and incorporated in the waste management process.India has around 1.5 million poor informal garbage pickers, and integrating them into the formal waste management system provides an opportunity for urban local governments to simplify their operations while providing greater earning prospects for the waste pickers.
3. Manufacturers of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) who use non-biodegradable packaging must set up a mechanism to collect the packaging waste created during manufacturing.
India's waste management market
The waste management industry in India is expected to be valued USD 15 billion by 2025, with annual growth of roughly 7%.
Growing economies, soaring urban populations, rising living standards, and rising consumption levels are all prevalent phenomena in emerging nations across the world. Similarly, in India, a gain in buying power parity has resulted in greater affordability, accessibility to resource consumption and a quick increase in waste quantities.Given India's present trend of urbanization, the MSW quantity is predicted to quadruple during the next ten years.
Initiatives for public-private partnerships
The Government of India has advocated public-private partnerships (PPPs) to improve waste management services, but they have remained troublesome.The difficulties in enhancing solid waste management services in India are due to a lack of financial resources, sufficient skills, and technological capabilities in the public sector.
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