Waste

Swachh Survekshan 2017 encouraging unsustainable approaches for waste management: CSE

Says the survey should give preference to waste segregation and recycle and reuse over centralised approaches like landfill and waste-to-energy plants

 
By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Monday 08 May 2017
MSW Rules, 2016 state that waste needs to be segregated into three categories at the household level – wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste.
MSW Rules, 2016 state that waste needs to be segregated into three categories at the household level – wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste. MSW Rules, 2016 state that waste needs to be segregated into three categories at the household level – wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste.

An analysis done by CSE on the results of the Swachh Survekshan, 2017 shows that the top 3 cities in the survey – Indore, Bhopal and Vishakhapatnam – have adopted environmentally unsustainable practices for waste management. The cities are focussing on collection of unsegregated waste and transporting it to landfills, with a very minimal quantum of waste being processed. All three cities are dumping unsegregated waste. These cities are, therefore, not meeting the statutory requirements of the Municipal Solid Waste Rules (MSW Rules), 2016.

The MSW Rules, 2016 clearly state that waste needs to be segregated into three categories at the household level – wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste. Further the Rules stipulate that waste to energy plants shall not burn mixed waste. The Rules also put disposal at landfills as the least preferred option.

What becomes clear is that the states that have pushed for a centralised approach towards waste management – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh – have been given high rankings in the Survekshan results. Of the top 50 cities, 31 cities are in these three states. All these cities are pushing for cluster based waste management approach using waste to energy plants and landfills for processing and dumping of waste.

In contrast, cities that are working towards household-level segregation and decentralised recycling and reuse of waste have been given very poor ranking. Alappuzha (Kerala), which has a decentralised model for waste management, ranks 380th. Panjim city, which has adopted five point segregation, ranks 90th.

"Both Alappuzha and Panjim have no landfill sites or waste-to-energy incineration plants. Most of their waste is converted into compost or biogas. Inorganic wastes like plastic, glass, metals and papers  are sent for recycling. These cities make money from solid wastes rather than spending crores in collecting and transporting wastes to landfills. Still, Swachh Survekshan 2017 has not given any recognition to these cities,” says Swati Sambyal, Programme Manager, Waste Management team.

Solid Waste Management should move towards behaviour change and local solutions, it is only then that we can achieve the goal of a Clean India

CSE’s analysis shows that Indore, which has been ranked first, is right now struggling to manage its waste. Similarly, Surat which is ranked 4th in the Sarvekshan results, is dumping 1600 Metric Tonnes per Day (MTD) of its unsegregated garbage in a landfill, that too, without processing.

“The methodology of Survekshan needs a serious relook as it is rewarding cities with environmentally unsustainable practices and discouraging cities that are working towards behaviour change and local solutions,” said Chandra Bhushan, Deputy Director General, CSE.    

Next year, the ambit of Survekshan shall increase to 4041 statutory towns and cities of the country. The methodology of assessment needs to put in place more points for segregation and decentralised treatment. "Solid Waste Management should move towards behaviour change and local solutions. Only then we can achieve the goal of a Clean India," says Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE.

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  • There should rather be high penalty/ negative marks for cities that are flouting SWM rules in the Sarvenkshan.

    Posted by: Divya Tiwari | 3 years ago | Reply
  • Certainly the methodology adopted by Swachh Sarvekshan needs a relook. Some of the criteria is listed.
    Empasis should be on
    1. Is 3 way segregation done at source.....wet waste, dry waste, hazardous waste and construction derbis.
    2. Are any efforts made to reduce, reuse and recycle waste collected.
    3. Is composting of wet waste encouraged at source or area wise.
    4. Has effort been made to reduce landfills.
    5. Have efforts to protect water sources done.

    Posted by: Valli S | 3 years ago | Reply
  • We can assist by introducing controlled Burn Bins, smokeless, odourless by Burning of Solid non hazordous, non recyclable Waste to save the environment as well as Land fills.

    Posted by: Subodh Sthalekar | 3 years ago | Reply
  • The survey was conducted by QCI, which specialises in ISO certification. This certification methodology checks if a system is in place and not if it is correct and working. The survey was strongly based on data from ULBs and citizens which can be favorable to the ULB. Generally those critical don't participate in such surveys. It is also a fact that the Govt. right up to the top is in favor of Centralized management as practiced in the developed countries. They are backed up by their own experts and funding agencies including international organizations.While it is true that decentralized management is more effective, we have to recognize that there are implementation issues and scale up problems. Its proponents are rarely in decision making positions. There is an urgent need for a serious debate on efficacy and implementation of SWM solutions.

    Posted by: T. Swaminathan | 3 years ago | Reply