Garbage: Your Problem

Several non-gonernmental organisations are showing the way to handle this problem

Published: Monday 31 January 2000

Garbage: Your Problem

-- There is just too much of it. And all of us contribute liberally every day. But what if the ragpicker doesn't come one day? What if the garbage-collecting truck doesn't arrive? What if... While most of us cover our noses with our handkerchiefs and look the other way, the estimated 30 million tonnes of solid waste that urban India produces each year is creating mountains of problems. And like the mythical Sisyphus, municipalities are failing miserably, victims of the all-too-familiar bureaucratic impotence. The result is there for all to see in urban India. Yet several non-governmental organisations are showing the way to handle the problem. They are increasingly coming up with solutions that have eluded our policymakers for decades. There is one element common to all the novel approaches: garbage is seen not as a problem but as a resource. And this involves a change in the urban Indian mindset. Down to Earth looks at what it takes to think garbage

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