Zero landfill should be goal of municipal waste management

“Keeping our cities clean by only collecting and disposing wastes is not sufficient. What is required is source-segregation, proper treatment, recycle and reuse of the waste. Zero landfill should be the goal of municipal waste management in India,” said Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), at the inaugural session of the Regional Meeting for Eastern and North Eastern States under CSE’s ‘Forum of Cities that Segregate’ initiative attended by all the urban local bodies of Bihar and major cities from eastern and north-eastern India.

CSE has been working with cities to promote and implement source-segregation and decentralized model of waste management. ‘To advance this work and to create a movement in the country on source-segregation, CSE had launched the ‘Forum of Cities that Segregate’ on December 12, 2017. The Forum now has over 80 member cities from across the country including Indore, Thiruvananthapuram, Mysuru, Muzaffarpur and some municipal corporations of Delhi NCR and all the cities of Bihar.’, said Swati Singh Sambyal, Programme Manager, CSE.

‘Indian cities continue to struggle with waste- of the total 52 million tonnes that is generated yearly, only 21 per cent is processed and over 50 per cent is disposed in dumpsites, drains – contaminating our rivers and oceans. Also, with growing consumerism and changing lifestyles, plastics has become a huge problem especially single use plastics.’ added Bhushan.

The management of municipal solid waste in eastern and north-eastern India continues to be a severe problem because of the poor management systems. From collection of wastes to disposal, these cities are struggling to manage their waste. Majority of the cities in this region have been ranked low in the Swachh Survekshan assessments in the past few years.

“It is important for cities in states like Bihar to adopt successful waste management models like the one being implemented in Muzaffarpur. The Muzaffarpur model not only manages the waste sustainably, but it also makes money out of waste,” added Bhushan.

CSE’s latest report on the need for a new policy on City compost, titled ‘Çharting the Future of City Compost’, was also released in the inaugural session by the Urban Development Minister of Bihar Suresh Kumar Sharma.


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