Why Is Managing Solid Waste In Indian Cities Such A Difficult Task?

Solid waste management is one of the largest development concerns in metropolitan India. Studies show that improper waste disposal produces harmful leachates and gases. Urban local bodies (ULBs) are therefore required to maintain clean cities and towns.

However, the bulk of ULBs struggle with inadequate infrastructure. This involves a lack of political commitment, inadequate money, and insufficient institutional capacity. Despite receiving government financing, many ULBs nevertheless experience financial volatility. In India, every landfill site has already been used up, and the corresponding ULBs lack the money to buy more land. It’s hard to locate more waste sites. This occurs as a result of the hesitation of many local governments to offer land for rubbish from other locations.

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Management of Solid Waste in India

Despite efficient technology and ample municipal funding, solid waste management (SWM) is nevertheless a problem. The most basic yet effective waste management technique used globally is the separation of organic and inorganic municipal solid waste. However, because it necessitates the equal participation of residents and officials, most locations find it difficult to put this straightforward strategy into practise. Untreated trash is a concern to large cities in India in particular. This is due to the rise in both legal and illegal dumps close to residential areas. The public’s health is at risk because of this.




Getting Rid of Solid Waste

The two primary methods of disposing of waste in India are still waste burning and waste dumping. Most towns and cities get rid of their rubbish by dumping it in low-lying areas outside the metropolis. According to a 2014 report by the Planning Commission, people dispose more than 80% of their trash in dump yards. The environment and human health are at risk as a result. In India, it is not unusual to see trash by the side of the road, pouring over drains, or laying on the water’s surface.


Governmental Rules and SWM Guidelines

2016 Rules

The Municipal Solid Waste Rules of 2000 were superseded with SWM Rules in April 2016. The new rules now apply to areas outside of municipalities. It makes it possible for waste generators to segregate trash at the source. Dry trash is an option for recycling and reuse. Wet waste can also be used for biomethanation or composting.


2016 Rules for the Management of Plastic Waste

The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules of 2011 were superseded by the Plastic Waste Management Rules of 2016, which were released by the MoEFCC. The new laws expand the towns’ power to rural areas. People need to sort their plastic debris before delivering it to a garbage collection company. The 2016 Solid Waste Management Rules state as much.



management challenges (SWM)

India is the third-largest producer of solid garbage after China and the US. Garbage collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal present significant challenges. Urban consumption habits as well as the Solid Waste Management System have undergone substantial changes as a result of the growing metropolitan population and affluence. ULBs lack the tools necessary to control the growing amount of garbage. Some of the issues include a lack of waste separation and inadequate treatment techniques. The problem got worse because of the public’s wastefulness. Some of the main problems that SWM in India is now facing are as follows:

  • There is no system in place to regularly gather statistics on garbage generation. As a result, there is inconsistency in the data on garbage produce in India. As a result, different authorities have different estimations and expectations for solid waste management.
  • Biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and hazardous waste are the three categories into which waste producers must segregate their trash. The segregated rubbish must then be delivered to the designated trash haulers. Many ULBs lack the technology necessary to collect, sort, and treat different waste kinds. A further issue is that not everyone is aware of the segregation practise.
  • India’s garbage collection system is not consistent, according to studies. Low trash-collection efficiency is the outcome of this. Only certain locations have effective garbage collection.

SWM Guidelines

  • The majority of Indian villages and cities dump their rubbish outside of their boundaries. They dispose of trash without taking the appropriate safety precautions in low-lying locations. There is no terrain suitable for landfills, according to study. It becomes challenging to find new land since ULBs lack the funds to purchase it.
  • More study in the area is still pending. It is difficult for the government to come up with solutions for the rubbish generated as a result.
  • The Solid Waste Management System cannot be fix by local governments because they lack the tools and infrastructure required. They are unable to adopt efficient garbage disposal and treatment technology as a result.
  • Waste-to-energy (WtE) technology is available in India. But it has a number of problems. Some of these include seasonal fluctuations in trash content and mixed rubbish. Studies have shown that most WtE plants cannot function due to operational problems.



Solid waste management conclusion

The solid waste management system in India is in disrepair. ULBs have often had difficulty managing solid waste due to a lack of support for these regional businesses. Additionally, waste collectors are not protected by the law. They find it challenging to gather and sort rubbish because of this. Despite the fact that the 2016 SWM Rules address a number of issues, compliance rates are still low. Therefore, a strategy for decentralising the waste management system is require.






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