Waste Management Challenges & Solutions In India

A collection of the most relevant news and developments around waste management and the challenges it presents in India. Curated by our experts.
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Waste Management Challenges & Solutions In India

Waste management is a growing concern across the world and more so in India where the sheer volume of garbage is increasing day by day as consumption and disposable incomes shoot up. Apart from government initiatives, there are, thankfully, a number of enterprising folk who are working on dealing with the challenges by coming up with innovative solutions. ‘

Here, we list a number of challenges as well as interesting solutions being worked on in this space in India, so as to give you a bird’s eye view of the matter.

Make sure to bookmark this page and return as we update the collection regularly.

1. India imposes complete ban on solid plastic waste imports

India’s plastic imports had increased from 12,000 tonnes in 2016-17 FY to 48,000 in the 2017-18 FY.

While India has recycles a higher percentage of its plastic waste than most countries, 44% of its plastic waste is still not recycled. 

Though solid plastic waste imports were banned in 2015, the Centre allowed agencies in special economic zones (SEZ) to import them in 2016.

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2. Vaijapur in Maharashtra becomes garbage free with citizen's determination in three years

Vaijapur in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra is mostly known for it's religious temples and samadhis. 

Now it has one distinction which is self-made, with help of civic administration and citizen alike, of which it can be proud of. 

Vaijapur town has become garbage free in three years. 

The path was long and arduous from training the civic staff on the importance of sanitation and it's process,mapping the garbage disposal vehicles route effectively and endearing citizens to segregate waste at their location.

The result is least to say, impressive with hundred percent segregation and door to door waste collection tin the town.

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3. The 12.3 billion (disposable) problem of menstrual sanitary napkins in India !

It is estimated that India has 121 million women who use menstrual sanitary napkins, which amounts to 12.3 billion sanitary  (challenge) napkins to effectively dispose every year.

Currently, only Bangalore and Pune have implemented ways to identify and segregate menstrual waste during garbage collection.

Problem compounds with he fact that most of the commercially available sanitary napkins use plastics which is non biodegradable due to which disposable options like composting do not work.

Waste-to-energy incineration is one solution which could be employed but they are too few to matter at present.

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4. It could happen in Bihar. Muzaffarpur shows the way in municipal waste management

Muzaffarpur has become one of the cleanest cities in Bihar with all 49 wards segregating waste at source. 

The segregation percentage has reached over 80%. 

The city has currently three processing centres which also includes Bihar’s first learning centre on composting. 

All this transformation has happened within a period of two odd years.

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5. Challenges in en-cashing the opportunity in old unusable handsets

With 161 million smartphones sold in India in 2018, adding up to the mile high in the sky are the old discarded handsets, majority of them cannot be reused.

Convincing people to part with their old handsets is the biggest problem, people are not willing to forego them without any financial incentive.

Collecting handsets from people affords another economical challenge, since the country still dos not have any e-waste collection mechanism, either in public or private space.

Some companies are making a sound business models out of it, by having kiosks and retail touch points to buy old handsets, including non-working one and providing data erasing and on-the-spot-cash incentive.

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