A burning issue at Okhla
The Supreme Court has ordered a go-slow on waste-to-incineration technology that may be potential harmful to public health, but the
MNRE is guided more by its focus on tackling urban waste.
They forage the city, collecting and sorting often hazardous waste when the city sleeps and by day they are gone. We have no
long-term policy in place that looks at their welfare or health.
RECYCLING IN DHARAVI
Adding the fourth R
The Acorn Foundation India Trust aims to organise ragpickers and train them in scientific methods of waste handling, segregation and recycling, bringing a
measure of respect to their work.
GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
Know-how at whose cost?
While the usual debate over responsibility for reducing carbon emissions continues globally, there is also a parallel argument over the need for
transfering clean technologies to the developing world.
The environmental refugees of Brahmapuram
Recently, disaster struck all 53 families of the Chellipadam village in a Kochi suburb, when nearly 25 lorries,
all carrying stinking garbage from the city rolled in with heavy police escort and dumped decaying garbage
in their midst. The villagers had to flee their homes unable to stand the stench.
M Suchitra and P N Venugopal
INCINERATING WASTE TO ENERGY
Burning biomass is not green - II
Keeping in mind the characteristics of Indian municipal solid waste,
a Supreme Court committee had recommended composting and recycling.
Still, in our cities and towns, on an average, only 60 per cent of
solid wastes are even collected.
on what is holding better waste management back.
DOMESTIC WASTE TO ENERGY
Compact biogas plant making waves
Biogas plants are not new, but their size, relative unwieldiness
and reliance on large quantities of cattle dung have held back
their potential attractiveness for the domestic cooking sector.
That may change soon, thanks to the ingenuity of Dr Anand Karve.
reports about Karve's new award-winning compact plant.
INCINERATING WASTE TO ENERGY
Burning biomass is not green - I
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Timarpur Waste Management Company
Pvt. Ltd., have proposed a waste incineration plant to treat the city's
solid waste and generate 6 MW of electricity. TWMPCL has applied to a
United Nations body for tradable carbon credits.
finds much wrong in the proposal.
SCIENCE: BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS
From plants to plastics
Plastics have become synonymous with modern life, but
are difficult to dispose of and have become a significant
source of environmental pollution. Biodegradable plastics
are now a possibility, and a shift in India's agricultural
biotechnology thrust may help put them to good use, says
DISTRIBUTION THAT SCALES
Turning old into gold
The idea of recycling is not new, but setting up a distribution network to enable scale and
reach the poor, is. Goonj, a New Delhi-based NGO, works through partners in 14 states through
100 agencies. Other, smaller efforts are thriving as well.
The scrapping of Riky
First, a ship with dubious credentials leaves the shores of Denmark.
Then a month later, India allows it to beach at Alang, Gujarat's
massive shipbreaking yard, for scrapping. In between, it gets a
new name and rules are flouted to let it in.
chronicles how in 2005, Riky, unlike Clemenceau, sailed through the law.
Some concrete solutions
India generates 100 million tonnes fo fly ash each year, and close to 90% of this ends up in waste mounds.
But Georg Dirk believes that 40% of this by-product of thermal power stations can be turned into cement,
reducing energy costs, environmental pollution, and waste.
JOBS FOR WASTE-PICKERS
Whose garbage is it, anyway?
In a hurry to meet MSW 2000 Rules and to spruce up the cities,
municipalities are outsourcing city waste collection to private contractors. As a
result, rag-pickers face a loss of their livelihood, unless the informal sector
itself can be institutionalised within the hierarchy of solid waste management.
Back: the long arm of the law
Pushed to wall by a Supreme Court monitoring committee, Kerala's industries as well
the state's pollution watchdog are finally seeking ways to reverse a reckless approach
to hazardous waste management. There is no time to waste, reports
Neutralising industrial waste with worms
Vermicomposting to turn household waste into manure is widely used worldwide, but using it
to treat toxic waste is relatively recent. Dr.Suneet Dabke is finding that toxic industrial
sludge with a high proportion of organic matter may be processable at lower costs than dumping
Municipalities overruling the SC
The Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) Rules came about as the outcome of a Supreme Court
ruling in 2000. However, except a standout municipality in AP, none of the other towns and cities
in India are on schedule.
Rethinking waste management
India faces a massive waste disposal crisis, amidst growing
migration and consumption driven by economic changes. While holistic
solutions are available,
municipalities have struggled to implement them without proper
planning and support from various ministries.
Sanjay K Gupta
Treating garbage right
There's more to garbage than just stink and filth. Pune-based Nirmala Lathi has
devised a method of vermiculture that enables plants to grow healthily not in soil, but instead
using properly treated organic waste. The handy fruits and vegetables are a
No wasteful business this!
Where does our raddiwallah offload his burden? What happens to our oiled
newspapers, old books, and crumpled mineral water bottles?
traces the life of household and other waste in Delhi and in Germany,
and finds both hope and apprehension.
E-waste crisis around the corner
A recent report published by Toxics Link reviews the waste management situation that India has to
deal with on the fast-widening information-technology highway.