Addressing resource efficiency in construction sector: How Jaipur sets an example

Rising population, rapid urbanisation can lead to more than two-fold rise in material consumption by 2030; it is imperative, therefore, to monitor C&D waste collection and disposal 

By Mitashi Singh, Aparna Choudhary
Published: Friday 02 April 2021
Jaipur in Rajasthan has a sound regulatory framework for C&D waste management. Photo: Flickr

India ranked second in terms of material consumption in the construction sector in 2007, forming 20 per cent of all material demand that year, according to NITI Aayog’s strategy paper on resource efficiency.

Material consumption in construction sector spiked by more than 1 billion tonnes, making it the fastest growing sector with respect to increase in absolute material consumption between 1997 and 2007.

To provide guidance to states and cities for achieving resource efficiency, India developed a national resource efficiency policy (NREP), according to which the country’s material consumption increased six times — to 7 billion tonnes in 2015 from 1.18 billion tonnes in 1970 — which has a cost on the natural environment.

Rising population, rapid urbanisation and growing aspirations can lead to more than two-fold rise in material consumption by 2030. NITI Aayog states that almost 70 per cent buildings that would exist by 2030 are yet to be built, and this calls for greater attention on the sector.

Resource efficiency is to be implemented for all resources such as metals and minerals and at all life cycles stages including raw material extraction, production and use, according to the NREP.

The policy throws light on achieving resource efficiency in several sectors, one of which is the construction sector. The policy supports development of codes and standards for promoting recycled materials from construction and demolition (C&D) waste.

C&D waste management rules

Various central rules and local-level rules exist to help promote resource efficiency and circularity in the C&D sector. Local body and users are primary actors for implementing the rules.

Urban local bodies are responsible for collection, transportation, processing and disposal of waste by developing a waste management plan. The National Green Tribunal has also directed all states to implement C&D waste management rules and submit compliance report.

Jaipur in Rajasthan has a sound regulatory framework for C&D waste management. Waste there is segregated in five streams: Concrete, soil, steel, wood and plastics, bricks and mortar and others. It is stored within the premise of the waste generator comprising non-bulk generators and bulk generators.

The bulk generator (that produces more than 20 tonnes of waste per month or 300 tonnes per project) has to prepare a waste management plan. User fee and penalty is also defined in the rules, but lack of segregation of waste is observed on most construction sites, with waste being dumped along the road due to space constraints at small sites.

There is poor compliance due to lack of awareness. Cities have been promoting storage and segregation through means of incentivisation. Gurugram, for example, charges lesser waste collection fee from users for segregated waste.

C&D waste recycling facility to enable circularity

C&D waste management rules enable circularity by providing a timeframe to local bodies for setting up waste recycling facilities. Almost three years later than the implementation timeframe, Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) has awarded contract to private company for establishing a recycling plant with capacity of 300 tonnes per day in Langareeyawas.

This is an important step towards promoting the reutilisation of C&D waste. Municipal Corporation of Delhi, in partnership with Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services, had set up the first C&D waste recycling plant in 2009 which recovers sand, stone and concrete.

Monitoring C&D waste

The rules ensure reutilisation of waste since it is mandatory for JMC to use at least 40 per cent of raw waste in non-structural applications and at least 10 per cent of material made from C&D waste in municipality-approved construction activities.

As Jaipur does not having a waste recycling facility, it will take a few years to use the products made from C&D waste.

Waste collection and disposal

It is the duty of the waste generator to inform JMC for waste pick-up as well as pay the waste collection charges (Rs 3,500 and Rs 2,600 for JCB and dumper respectively).

The waste generators rarely call JMC because they unaware; mostly C&D waste is dumped illegally along the roads, railway lines and vacancy plots. Unsegregated waste is observed on the construction sites. Any illegal dumping on roadsides and open areas is lifted by JMC on complaints.

Role of the informal sector

Informal sector is predominant in the C&D waste collection and disposal. Waste generators pay a fee of Rs 220 for a tonne of waste to the informal sector. JMC needs to rethink about its proposed fee of Rs 390 per tonne of waste in order to make its presence, for informal sector levies a lower fee.

Currently, two disposal sites — Sewapuraand and Mathuradaspura — receive nearly 130-150 tonne per day of C&D waste a day, from where the recyclable component of the waste is collected by the informal sector.

People find it difficult to visit the local bodies to pay the user fee; so digital platforms can be used to collect it for smooth transactions. Waste collection efficiency can be improved by using sophisticated infrastructure like skips or metal containers.

Transport vehicles need to be equipped with global positioning system (GPS) to increase efficiency.

Most construction activities are devoid of appropriates dust mitigation measures notified by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. These include ear-marking space for storage of building materials, covering building materials, wind barriers around the construction site, covering scaffolding around building and waste during transportation, as well as cutting and grinding materials in enclosed space.

Ensuring compliance with C&D waste management rules

Site inspection and completion certificate should be based up on adherence with the waste management rules and dust mitigation measures. Building bye laws should be integrated with the waste management rules, so that the tracking becomes easy and users are aware of their duties.

Self-declaration of waste management and dust mitigation measures should be made mandatory for the builders for better implementation of the rules. Ahmedabad has a demolition permit that helps keep track of waste generation enabling better management of waste.

Capacity building is required for all stakeholders, such as JMC officials and other practitioners. In case of lack of sufficient capacity, the urban local body may have a third party for enforcement of C&D waste management rules.

For example, Gurugram which has issued an assessment notice for C&D waste and has a private party (Pragati Al Natural Resources) for waste collection and disposal. Jaipur can fully comply with the waste management rules by adopting various measures at each stage, starting from waste generation till disposal.

A decentralised approach for waste management needs to be promoted as it helps to reduce inefficiencies in the process flow for waste management. Delhi has provided various waste collection points in the city for improving the efficiency of waste collection.

The way forward

There is a pressing need for capacity building of the urban local bodies along with awareness creation among people. The urban local bodies need to adopt a holistic approach towards C&D waste management, including improvement of waste collection efficiency, waste transportation efficiency along with setting up of C&D waste treatment facility and promotion of recycled products in the market.

Sustainable development can be promoted through a closed loop, which can be formed by considering the various life cycle stages of the construction sector.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.