Friday, November 21, 2014

How waste is currently collected and disposed in India? Is the current process efficient? What can be a better way?

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter

We all know every households produce waste on a daily basis and the garbage collector comes to every house to collect garbage. A typical process involves household emptying their bin in the dilapidated truck or vehicle of the garbage collector, the garbage collector takes waste from all the households in an assigned territory and then dumps it on a secluded piece of land. Garbage collectors from all territories in the city meet there to do the same. And it creates a landfill which stinks and is not good for the health of the citizens.

This landfill method is hazardous and detrimental to environment. It creates land pollution (and in some cases, ground water contamination). The waste is not recycled. No electricity, bio-gas, or fertilizers are made from this extremely useful waste.


Part I - The current process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:




M - Municipality
C - Contractors
H - Households




An example of how Municipalities in India invite tenders from contractors to collect Waste:





Part II - The suggested process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:



M - Municipality
V - Vehicle used by Municipality to collect waste bags from Households
H- Households



A typical 30 liters waste bag:



Part III - Benefits of new Process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:

  1. Household waste will be in sealed waste bags, therefore no possibilities of littering on the streets.
  2. Eliminates or minimize the role of contractors.
  3. Segregation of waste in the plant becomes easy and fast.
  4. Pay as you produce. Citizens will now pay based on the waste they produce. Each waste bag to cost Rupees 5 or the cost determined by each municipality.
  5. No need for the municipal body to dump waste at various sites. All waste bags go to a central waste plant.


Part IV - Challenges of implementing new Process of collecting and disposing of waste in India:

  1. People are resistant to change – therefore change management practices to be implemented including the robust media campaign.
  2. Municipalities may resist the new process because of lobbying from contractors.
  3. Investment is needed to build high quality waste management plants along with investments to be made in waste collecting vehicles.
  4. Low Income Group (LIG) or Economic Weaker Section (EWS) of the society may not be able to afford the cost of Waste Bags. However, their costs can be reimbursed by way of Direct Cash Transfers.
  5. Spending on media campaign – can become part of Government of India’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan.


Part V - Implementation – A staged Process:

The entire campaign needs to be carried out in phased manner:
  1. First phase: Implementation of the process in one district (or MP Constituency) in India
  2. Second phase: Implementation of the process in one district in each state across the country
  3. Third phase: Implementation of the process across all districts (MP Constituencies) across India

Note: Waste Plants can be developed on (Public Private Partnership) PPP model.


Have any Questions?

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