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Managing solid waste management


               By Vikas Goswami, Head of the Godrej Group’s Good & Green programme

               Vikas Goswami, Head of the Godrej Group’s Good & Green programme, discusses how a
               collaborative effort by the community, local bodies, government and the private sector
               can help in effective solid waste management

               Deepa, a resident of south Delhi, was            the open or dumped in landfill sites
               recently featured in the media for her           without any provisions for processing
               zero-waste lifestyle. Since the past four        it. This can have serious health, safety,
               years, she has been reducing and                 and environmental consequences, as
               reusing what she purchases, recycling            was witnessed in Mumbai recently
               whatever she can, and composting                 when heavy smog choked the citizens
               waste to use in her kitchen garden               for weeks together, after a spate of fires
               where she grows supplies for her own             broke out at the city’s largest dumping
               kitchen. Deepa also works with others            ground in Deonar in 2016.  Experts said
               to help them understand how they can             the unsystematic dumping of waste had
               lead a zero-waste life.                          led to the formation of combustible
                                                                methane gas, which sparked off fires at

                                                                the dump. The fires led to the thick,
               Rising waste generation rates                    toxic smog cover, which affected local

               Deepa’s lifestyle is still considered            residents, and many of them even faced
               niche in India, but it’s a concept that is       health issues.
               much required given the amount of
               waste that is collectively generated
               each day. India alone generates 62               The importance of proper waste
               million tonnes of municipal waste                management/Proper waste
               annually, according to Ministry of               management is key
               Environment, Forest & Climate Change.            Effective waste management is clearly
               This is expected to increase to around           the need of the hour, but getting it right
               165 million tonnes by 2030.                      remains a challenge. The Government’s
                                                                Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which aims for
               Waste generation rates across the
               world are also going up. The World               ‘Clean India’ by 2019, has been a step in
               Bank states that in 2012, cities across          the right direction. Solid waste
               the world generated 1.3 billion tonnes           management is a crucial component of
               of solid waste. By 2025, this figure is          the ambitious mission and among its
               expected to touch 2.2 billion tonnes.            other objectives, Swachh Bharat
                                                                Abhiyan wants to introduce scientific
               The World Bank has also raised alarm             municipal solid waste management
               bells about how waste is being poorly            practices, enable private sector
               managed in low and middle-income                 participation in the sanitation sector,
               countries. This is a common scenario in          and change people’s attitudes to
               India as well where waste, which is              sanitation.
               usually unsegregated, is often burned in
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