Waste management in India falls under the purview of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). In 2016, this ministry released the Solid Wastage Management (SWM) Rules, which replaced by the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, and 2000 of which had been in place for 16 years. This national policy plays a significant role in the acknowledgement and inclusion of the informal sector (waste pickers) into the waste management process for the first time.
India generates 62 million tonnes of waste each year. About 43 million tonnes (70%) are collected of which about 12 million tonnes are treated and 31 million tonnes are dumped in landfill sites.
Solid waste management (SWM) is a major problem for many urban local bodies (ULBs) in India, where urbanization, industrialization and economic growth have resulted in increased municipal solid waste (MSW) generation per person . Effective SWM is a major challenge in cities with high population density. Achieving sustainable development within a country experiencing rapid population growth and improvements in living standards is made more difficult in India because it is a diverse country with many different religious groups, cultures and traditions.
Despite development in social, economic and environmental areas, SWM systems in India have remained relatively unchanged. The informal sector has a key role in extracting value from waste, with approximately 90% of residual waste currently dumped rather than properly landfilled . There is an urgent need to move to more sustainable SWM, which requires new management systems and waste management facilities. Current SWM systems are inefficient, with waste having a negative impact on public health, the environment and the economy . The Waste Management and Handling Rules in India were introduced by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) , yet, compliance is variable and limited.
The global e-waste monitor, a collaboration between the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations University, estimated that India generated 1.975 million tonnes of e-waste in 2016 or approximately 1.5 kg of e-waste per capita.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) stated rapid economic growth and changing consumer behaviour was likely to increase e-waste generation in India to 5.2 million tonnes per year by 2020.
Solid Waste Management Rules were inaugurated in 2016. Highlights include:
By 2025, the waste management market size in India is projected to be worth ~USD 15 Billion with annual growth around 7 percent.
A growing economy, soaring urban population, rising living standards and increasing consumption levels are common trends in emerging economies across the globe. Similarly, in India, an increase in the purchasing power parity has led to more affordability, accessibility to resource use and a rapid surge in the waste volumes as well. Considering the current trend toward urbanization in India, the MSW quantum is expected to double the existing volumes within ten years. At approximately 80-85 MTs by 2030, presenting a business opportunity estimated at US$20 Billion.
In 2014 India inaugurated the Swachh Bharat Mission, a five-year nationwide cleanup effort. Before this national consolidated effort for systematic and total waste management came into common consciousness, many cities and towns in India had already launched individual efforts directed at municipal waste collection of segregated waste, either based on citizen activism and/or municipal efforts to set up sustainable systems.
Some examples are Swach based in Pune (formed in 1993), Clean Cities Championship in Warangal, Nirmal Bhavanam, Nirmal Nagaram or Clean Homes, Clean City in Alappuzha, Engage 14 campaign in Gangtok, Zero Waste in Bobbili, Andhra Pradesh, Waste Management in Mysore and Solid Waste Management Round Table, Bangalore (formed in 2009). Bangalore's Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike was directed by the High Court of Karnataka to implement mandatory segregation of municipal waste at the household level before collection - a first for the country. It is a representation of citizen-based activism at a local level, and the litigation was led by notable activists such as Almitra Patel and Nalini Shekar. Following this High Court ruling, other cities in India have followed suit to make segregation of municipal waste mandatory at the generator level, Mumbai, in typical. As per the Swachh Survekshan 2020 (Clean Survey, released in August, 2020) of the Govt. of India, the order of top 20 cleanest cities, with name of the respective state in parenthesis, in India are as follows: 1. Indore (Madhya Pradesh) for the fourth consecutive year, 2. Surat (Gujarat), 3. Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra), 4. Ambikapur (Chhattisgarh), 5. Mysuru (Karnataka), 6. Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh), 7. Ahmedabad (Gujarat), 8. New Delhi (Delhi), 9. Chandrapur (Maharashtra), 10. Khargone (Madhya Pradesh), 11. Rajkot (Gujarat), 12. Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), 13. Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), 14. Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), 15. Gandhinagar (Gujarat), 16. Chandigarh (Union Territory), 17. Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), 18. Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh), 19. Nashik (Maharashtra) and 20. Raigarh (Chhattisgarh).
|State||City||Initiative Name||Implementing Agency|
|Ladakh (UT)||Leh||Project Tsangda||Rural Development Department|
|Maharashtra||Navi Mumbai||-||Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation|
|Andhra Pradesh||Visakhapatnam||-||Municipal Corporation|
|Karnataka||Bengaluru||-||Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike|
|Madhya Pradesh||Indore||-||Indore Municipal Corporation|
|Maharashtra||Pune||-||Pune Municipal Corporation|
|Tamil Nadu||Madurai||T Kallupatti||Town panchayat|
|West Bengal||Kolkata||Kolkata Solid Waste Management Improvement Project||Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority|
MoEFCC launched a web based application in 2016 to track and monitor waste management in India. The application, Integrated Waste Management System, collects information and assists in coordinating waste generators, recyclers, operators of disposal facilities and state agencies.
Public-private partnerships (PPP) have been promoted by the Government of India for improving waste management services, yet, have remained problematic. The challenges of improving solid waste management services in India are caused by lack of financial resources, lack of appropriate skills and technological competencies with the public sector. Governments have started to explore PPPs as an alternative. The progress and improvement achieved remained low. Research on this has suggested recommendations in accordance with some issues uncovered. For example, PPP in MSW is considered immature, yet, high pre-qualification requirements were established. The urban local bodies (ULBs) found difficulties in defining an appropriate scope for some PPP projects. The specific issue encounters include a dire need of services are the primary reason behind opting for PPP mode; the perception that PPP gives greater benefit to the public; third and interconnected: PPPs avoid financial stress on the public sector; and fourth, PPPs are thought to constrain transaction costs and give value for the money invested. The research also revealed some serious negative issues that have crept-in while using PPP mode. They are often procured in an incompetent manner, and as opposed to the expectation, they have resulted in high transaction costs and ineffective projects. The private sector appeared to be exploiting the sector without any beneficial projects. There are numerous facets that are yet to be understood while using PPP in the waste management sector.
|url=value (help) (PDF). Ministry of Finance, Government of India. Department of Economic Affairs. November 2009.
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