Segregation at Source
Implementation of law can be achieved if residents and authorities work in tandem
The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, states it is the responsibility of generators to segregate waste into three categories — wet, dry and hazardous waste — and hand over the segregated waste to authorised waste collectors or local bodies.
Wet waste is biodegradable; dry waste includes plastic, paper, metal, wood among others; and domestic hazardous waste includes napkins, empty containers of cleaning agents, mosquito repellents, etc. This was reiterated in Delhi’s Solid Waste Management By-Laws notified in January 2018. However, a majority of Delhi is yet to implement segregation of waste at source, be it households, hotels, restaurants or other waste generators.
The Supreme Court had last year, while hearing a case initiated by it to curb dengue deaths in the city, opined that “the problem of solid waste management in Delhi will certainly require the active cooperation and assistance of the residents considering the fact that their position is very critical”. It had then ordered setting up of an expert panel to go “in-depth into all aspects of solid waste management”.
The committee, which submitted its report to the top court in January this year, stated that three of the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) — East Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and North Delhi Municipal Corporation — had “negligible” segregation at source.
At the time of submission, the report said that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment Board had 70% and 50% segregation respectively. In the report, the East civic body said it was aiming to achieve 80% segregation by September 2020, while the South and North bodies said they would aim to achieve 80% segregation by September 2021.
The committee recognised that segregation of municipal solid waste involved major behavioural changes both in the public and within the ULBs. It suggested that all Residents’ Welfare Associations registered under the Societies Registration Act, cooperative societies registered with the Registrar of Cooperative Societies/Delhi Development Authority and with government bodies be considered for the purpose of engagement with the ULBs.
To speed up the implementation, the ULBs have said they would make use of WhatsApp groups and social media to reward good practices and success stories in segregation.
Segregation at the source is the key in solid waste management, especially when we have limited economical resources. We divide solid waste into three categories Wet, Dry and hazardous waste. According to solid waste management rule, 2016 it is responsibility of generators to segregate waste into these three categories. Lack of awareness, loosely implementation of laws and various other reasons are obstacles in achieving appropriate results. After segregation we can choose Reduce, Reuse and Recycle for appropriate solid wastes. Solid waste management should be sustainable ecologically as well as economically. In a developing country like India it’s very important to have a cast effective solid management plan. We have to deal with poverty, population growth and high urbanization rate combines with ineffective and under-funded solid waste management technique.