100 Million Tons of Trash Wasted Per Annum; An Awakened Citizenry Must Intervene

December 10th, 2014


Centre for Public Policy, New Delhi

India’s race with other developing countries to reach the zenith of ‘Urban-Economic Development’ seems to go nowhere except in one aspect; i.e., garbage generation. According to several news reports, waste generation in South Asian hub especially India will reach the mark of two million tons a day in next 12 years alone; reserving our throne of ‘highest waste producer’ in the world.

Almost 1.2 billion socially-cultured and civilized populace of India generate more than 100 million tons of solid waste per annum and proudly dispose off almost 80% blatantly. Reports by Census of India, accentuate waste production and stingy trash managing situation of the country. Our country generates all types of waste starting from solid to chemical, plastic to bio-degradable, hazardous to medicinal, packaging to nuclear, out of which only 20% is managed and disposed correctly but the rest of 80% is dumped off in open lands.

Sadly, not realizing the essence of waste management we use several hectares of fertile land & forest areas as garbage dumping zones. A recent survey held by ‘The Energy Research Institute’ guesstimate essentiality of approx 1400 sq. km. land for municipal waste by 2047.

While government and private agencies working rigorously to change the state; visuals like spitting & peeing on roads, disposal of waste in public, overflowing drains, scorn aloud on existing sanitation habits of Indians. Despite of demonstrating the message “USE ME”, litters and municipal toilets are among one of the least used public facility available on any Indian street.

Growing consumption ratio has positioned India among highest per capita waste producer countries. Increasing trash pressure has overloaded existing landfill areas and is silently upsetting lives of many. Solely responsible for ill-health & debeautification of neighbourhood; noxious landfills like Yamuna in Delhi and Deonar of Mumbai are declared totally unfit for any human use.

Every Indian household generates an average of 0.2 to 0.6 kg trash per head/day. We are the producer of almost 5.6 million metric tons of plastic waste and 8.00 lakh MT of e-waste annually.

While we are about to win the waste generation race as highest trash producers, scene is totally opposite in managing the same. Due to ignorance, unawareness and restlessness of public, 50-60% efficiency rate of municipal bodies in India is not enough to manage existing trash pressure.

Situation is alarming and to change the scene it’s high time when we quit murmuring & start initiating. With one such thought in mind, Narendra Modi’s recent initiative ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ aka Clean Indian Movement focuses to clean Indian province by involving commoners in the abhiyan.

Stressing on the need to clean scattered waste from Indian streets, PM quoted on the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan that India can’t be cleaned without equal contribution of its citizens and it can’t get dirtier if each of us pledges for cleanliness.

Ignorance of commoners has become a fundamental reason backing failure of several cleanliness movements & laws in India. So habituated of filth and dirt, we are OKAY to live and respire in unhygienic surroundings. In a morally-cultured country where one and all are into cleaning their own space, government has to launch special programs to educate populace about communal sanitation and cleanliness. Despite of blaming administration, why don’t we change?

India practicing 4R-Model of waste management, i.e, Reduction, Re-use, Recycle & Recovery; does not need any guardian angel to change the situation, all that it demands is awakened Indian civilization following cleanliness in every aspect.

Centre of Public Policy actively involved in nation building processes extend its support for ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ and emphasizes on mass awareness. Apart from educating the masses, situation also demands for establishment of 100% efficient & equipped waste management wing in every city and village of India. Need for programs such as WtE (Waste to Energy) is also felt nationwide. Implementation of new bio-degradable and eco-friendly waste disposal techniques is needed. Country needs revolutionary change in waste management & recycling system and it can only be achieved by changing every strata of existing module.

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