Incorrect disposal and burning of solid waste results in emission of climate change, causing greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide to the tune of 12.69 million tonne of carbon dioxide in the country per year. A recent study revealed that improper solid waste management causes 15 diseases including hepatitis, cholera and malaria.
Segregation of dry and wet waste at source leads to removal of carcinogenic and heavy metals from organic waste resulting in production of good quality compost. Segregation also assists in conversion of non-recyclable dry waste to refuse derived fuel (RDF) or energy through waste-to-energy/RDF plants, with minimal amount of inert waste going to landfills.
That said, solid waste management in Delhi besides Gurugram, Faridabad, Noida and Ghaziabad have adopted segregation of municipal solid waste (MSW) at source like households, hotels, restaurants etc., henceforth, wet waste will be collected in “Green bins” and dry waste in “Blue bins”.
This major new initiative to address the problem of solid waste management has been launched in 130 cities where waste-to-compost plants are either functional or under construction.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), about 15,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste is being generated every day while about 65 million tones of such waste is produced every day in urban areas of the country.
Launch of waste segregation at source is being done in the backdrop of 145 waste-to-compost plants becoming functional across the country increasing compost production from 1.50 lakh tonne in March 2016 to 13.13 lakh tonne, till date. Another 150 compost making plants are under construction with total compost production capacity of 95 lakh tonne per year.
At present, Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu is the only city so far to have ensured 100 per cent segregation of solid waste at source.
Under ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission, 100 per cent door-to-door collection, transportation and processing of solid waste is targeted by October 2019. While 100 per cent door-to-door collection and transport of solid waste has been achieved in over 41,000 of the total 81,000 urban wards in the country, processing of such waste is about 22 per cent.