India Now - page 23

to 3 tonnes of dry waste can be sold or converted into useful
products every day. Both these together can earn a minimum
of up to
150,000 per month for the urban local body (ULB),
1,800,000 annually. Generally the revenue is higher
even after investment. On the other hand, mixed solid waste
management requires the municipality or corporation to pay
tipping ranging from
700–800/tonne, which is a minimum
expenditure of
12,600,000 annually without any return on
investment except pollution and ill health. However, Prof
Mani categorically states, “Waste and wealth are opposites. If
you waste anything, you cannot generate wealth. If you want
anything to be a resource, then do not waste it or trash it.”
For anything to be a resource, it should be as clean and pure
as possible. Therefore, to generate wealth, anything that is not
useful in a particular location or for a person/s should be put
away without contaminating it with other ‘waste’ or useless
material. This is called ‘source segregation’, explains Dr Mani.
The reasons for her view are practically and scientifically backed.
For instance, to make compost from ‘wet waste’ generated in
homes, markets, educational institutions, hotels and restaurants
or religious places, it must be ensured that it is not contami-
nated with ‘toxic waste’ such as batteries, paints, pesticides, mer-
cury lamps and other hazardous chemicals. The quality of the
compost then is excellent and by carrying out bio-methanation
and composting, huge revenue from both the solid and liquid
fraction can be generated from the wet waste.
Many local self-bodies are already engaged in
this practice. Streetlights are run on the biogas
and slurry is dried, co-composted with other
biodegradable material and sold as rich manure.
Similarly, sanitary waste like sanitary napkins,
child and adult diapers, syringes, needles, soiled
dressing and linen called ‘soiled waste’ has to be
kept separately and streamlined to the common
biomedical waste management facility for safe
disposal and should not be allowed to contami-
distinct law was also drawn up for hospital waste when the
Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India
announced the Biomedical Waste (Management and Han-
dling) Rules, 1998 and implemented it from the year 2000.
The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011
were issued in supersession of the “Recycled Plastic Manu-
facture and Usage Rules, 1999” notified under the Environ-
ment (Protection) Act 1986. As Agarwal emphasises, “We have
several legislations already. However, these need capacity in
municipalities and regulatory bodies. Moreover, the country
needs a separate policy to deal with municipal waste both at the
central and state level. The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban
Renewal Mission (JNNURM) had been till now looking into
the urban and waste issues and now the
Swachch Bharat Abhi-
is trying to address the multiple problems including sani-
tation.” In August 2014, there were reports that the JNNURM,
whose term ended on March 31, 2014, may be renamed. Now,
following the fiscal devolution with more powers to states, the
Centre will take a decision as to whether centrally sponsored
schemes such as JNNURM are to be continued.
Dr Shyamala Mani, Professor, National Institute of Urban
Affairs (NIUA), Delhi, shows the wisdom of concerted indus-
trial efforts to manage waste. “If you take one lakh popula-
tion in India, on an average you will produce 50 tonnes of
waste per day. Of this waste, 70 per cent is wet waste, which
is 35 tonnes,” she says and proceeds to dem-
onstrate the mathematics of effective waste
management. If this is composted directly or
after producing methane gas from it, it will
yield 7 tonnes of compost per day because in
the composting process, the wet waste reduces
to one fifth its weight. Therefore, 42 tonnes of
compost can be obtained every month, which
if sold at
3/kg, will yield
126,000. In addi-
tion, methane gas will generate additional
revenue or savings. Furthermore, about 2.5
of GDP lost due
to ineffective
Waste Wise
Indeed, India got into the
legislation mode to tackle its
waste more than a decade
back. The Government of
India passed the Municipal
Solid Wastes (Management
and Handling) Rules, 2000
under the Environment
Protection Act of 1986. For
e-waste management, it drew
up a separate legislation, the
e-Waste (Management and
Handling) Rules, 2010, noti-
fied in 2011 and that came
into effect in May 2012. A
Waste and wealth are
opposites. If you waste
anything, you cannot
generate wealth. If you
want anything to be a
resource, then you should
not waste it or trash it.”
Dr Shyamala Mani
Professor, NIUA, Delhi
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