Waste Management

The 148-year-old Sassoon docks, located at Mumbai's southernmost tip is set for a complete revamp to get rid of the foul smell emanating from the docks.  The docks were developed as a sea port over a century ago by Albert Abdul Sassoon, then a prominent textile trader. Today, it is Mumbai's oldest and biggest wholesale fishing harbour with an estimated daily fish catch of 150 tonnes brought in by around 600 registered boats.  The Mumbai Port Authority (MbPA), is the governing body of the 60,000 sq meters-huge dock (3.7 hectares of old dock and 3.8 hectares of new dock). It…

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Chennai has long grappled with the daunting challenges of managing its waste effectively. Over the years, the city has experienced substantial population growth, rapid urban development, and increased industrialisation. These factors have culminated in a significant upsurge in the volume of waste generated on a daily basis. In response to these mounting challenges, Chennai initiated a transformative shift to confront challenges in its approaches to waste collection, sorting, and management. The introduction of a decentralised waste management system and the subsequent changes to the waste landscape in the city bear taking a closer look. Decentralised waste management system in Chennai…

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In India alone, roughly 121 million women and girls use an average of eight disposable and non-compostable pads per month, generating 12.3 billion pads as waste annually, and 113,000 metric tons of annual menstrual waste. But there is a stark lack of awareness around the subject, and the subject is not always open to conversation, which makes the handling of this waste stream even more difficult. However, city administrators are scrambling for solutions and ordering thousands of small incinerators to tackle this problem. Our sanitation systems are designed with urine and faeces in mind. Unable to cope with the menstrual…

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“We are not treated as humans: hamein koi izzat nahi deta hai” — a common sentiment resonating through the voices of waste workers, who gathered for a recent event in Delhi. It is indeed ironic that those who clean for us are considered ‘dirty’ or unclean and seldom treated with the respect and courtesy that every human being deserves. The rhetoric of Swachh Bharat, despite being sung in high decibels, rarely resonates with these groups, let alone include their rights and dignity in the clarion call for a Clean India.  These workers often belong to socially and economically oppressed classes…

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The Karnataka 2023-24 budget must be examined through the lens of the Congress party's welfare and policy promises. They gave several assurances towards making 'public works' more accessible, particularly in Bengaluru. Towards this end, a section titled 'Sector 4: Comprehensive Development of Bengaluru' was added to the budget document. In this article, I analyse to what extent these developmental initiatives align with the needs of the urban poor. I also highlight the missed opportunities and inadequate measures within the budget and how it fails to address the complexities of Bengaluru’s urban crisis. Read more: Hundreds of crores of SWM budget…

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Bengaluru generates around 4,500 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. To regulate this, the Solid Waste Management(SWM) rules, 2016 and the SWM bye-laws were passed, which notifies the best practices of waste management in a sustainable manner. The SWM rules, 2016, are an outcome of several Public Interest litigations (WP 24739/2012 & WP 46523/2012) filed before the Karnataka High Court in 2012, where a range  of directions were issued that ordered the BBMP to stop landfilling, incineration waste as well as ensure source segregation. However, the implementation of these orders is tardy to date. An unscientific landfill continues…

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At the recently held BBMP – Work Orders, Budgets and Processes Datajam, a group of citizen volunteers analysed the data available in the public domain. Here are their observations and suggestions on BBMP’s expenditure and efforts in waste management. To:Dr. Harishkumar, Special Commissioner (SWM) Dear Sir, We are a group of citizen volunteers who would like to share our observations and suggestions on BBMP’s expenditure and efforts in waste management. Solid waste management constitutes 14.7% of the BBMP budget (1643.72 crores). As part of the Shubra Bengaluru Project, BBMP has identified 1,555 Garbage Vulnerable Points (GVPs) also called as ‘black…

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While much of Chennai enjoys the benefits of privatised Solid Waste Management (SWM), the Zones managed by the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) have faced issues such as a shortage of equipment and manpower. As different agencies have managed solid waste in these Zones over the years, the present state of affairs calls for a switch to a more efficient, privatised system of waste management for the greater good.  History of SWM in Perambur The conservancy services in Perambur in Zone 6 used to be handled by the government for several decades post-independence. As a young kid, I recall the conservancy…

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Every Saturday, there are neatly lined up boxes of plastics, bottles, electronic waste and more at the gates of many societies in and around Thane. A truck picks it all up, and takes it to Kopri, where it is segregated and sent for recycling. This practice has been in place for a couple for years now, and the response has only multiplied. Women workers, who segregate garbage for a living, and housekeeping staff of residential societies are the main links in efficient solid waste management. Workers, whose livelihoods depend on collection, segregation and selling of dry waste to scrap dealers,…

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Every morning, Tony Aranha, a resident of Malad West, wakes up to find a pile of garbage right in front of his housing society. The situation is so dire that he avoids stepping out even for bare minimum errands to the nearest market. "It is difficult to walk due to the stench of garbage. The area is extremely unclean, and I feel that the machinery put up by the BMC is ineffective. Instead of going from society to society, the BMC should designate a centre for segregation at Malad," says Tony. Malad (P/N Ward) is one of the most populated…

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