Current status of municipal solid waste management in India
Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is a crucial aspect of urban development in India, and it has been a challenge for the country for several years. With the rapid urbanization and population growth, the amount of waste generated in India has increased significantly, and the existing waste management infrastructure has not been able to keep up with the pace.
In India, MSWM is the responsibility of urban local bodies (ULBs) such as Municipal Corporations, Municipal Councils, and Nagar Panchayats. These ULBs are responsible for the collection, transportation, and disposal of waste in their respective areas. However, the existing infrastructure is inadequate, and the ULBs often lack the resources and capacity to effectively manage the waste.
According to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), India generates around 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste annually, of which only 43 million tonnes are collected and 11.9 million tonnes are treated. The remaining waste is either dumped in landfill sites or left uncollected, leading to severe environmental and health hazards.
One of the major challenges in MSWM in India is the lack of segregation at source. Due to the low level of awareness among the general public and the absence of an effective waste segregation system, a large amount of waste that could be recycled or composted ends up in landfill sites.
To address these issues, the Indian government has launched several initiatives such as the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) to improve MSWM in the country. These initiatives aim to promote waste segregation at source, increase the capacity of ULBs, and encourage public participation in waste management.
Several cities in India have also implemented innovative waste management techniques such as waste-to-energy plants, biogas plants, and composting facilities. For instance, in Bengaluru, the city has set up a bio methanation plant that converts wet waste into biogas, while dry waste is recycled.
Despite these efforts, there is still a long way to go to achieve sustainable and effective MSWM in India. It requires a concerted effort from the government, ULBs, the private sector, and citizens to address the challenges and implement innovative solutions to manage waste in a sustainable manner.