NEW DELHI: Environmental NGO Toxics Link on Tuesday put forward a slew of recommendations on municipal waste management in cities. Decentralizing waste collection and processing are among the key suggestions.
The policy brief comes in the wake of the new draft waste management rules released by the environment ministry last month. The ministry is currently holding consultations with stakeholders across the country. The NGO has prepared the recommendations, along with University of Sussex-based STEPS Centre and Centre for Studies in Science Policy at JNU.
Some waste streams such as biomedical waste, e-waste, plastic waste, and construction and demolition waste need technical interventions which work best at a larger scale. But urban household waste can be processed in a decentralized manner, using methods such as composting and biomethanation instead of landfilling all the waste, the brief said. One of the reasons why large-scale composting plants don’t work is because adequate markets for compost are not available.
“We started this process of studying waste management about three years ago. The policy brief with eight major recommendations is a result of that,” said Satish Sinha, associate director, Toxics Link.
Another recommendation suggests that privatization of waste management is not necessarily the best way. “Our field work in Delhi shows that despite private companies having primary collection contracts, more than 50% of the primary waste collection is being done by the informal sector,” it said.the brief said and argued that waste collection contracts be directly given to the waste pickers or the informal sector through the resident welfare associations (RWAs). Some private companies have started realizing these challenges, for instance a waste management company in Delhi has entered in to a contract with an ngo that works with waste pickers in Rohini and Civil Lines.
The NGO also recommends the need of making elected representatives more accountable; including mechanisms for public consultations in local planning and implementing processes; incentives for supporting local technologies; subsidizing compost and social incentives for people who segregate waste at source; and buying compost for kitchen garden; etc.
Source- Times of India