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Waste Management in India – An Overview

R. Dhana Raju

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Raju, R.D., 2021. Waste Management in India – An Overview. United International Journal for Research & Technology (UIJRT), 2(7), pp.175-196.


As the global generation of waste (i) is of the order of > 2 billion tons per year and is expected to reach ~ 3.5 billion tons annually by 2050 and (ii) has a critical bearing on the worldwide problems of pollution control (PC), global warming (GW) and climate change (CC), a government-aided and monitored, and people-participated waste management (WM) is desirable for a hygienic, healthy and sustainable society. Aiming this and targetting for zero-waste, the WM has been undertaken in India   ̶  from the collection of waste at source to its minimal, safe and monitored disposal in a landfill, with intermediate stages of transportation, segregation and recycling for value-added products  ̶ , under the Swatchh Bharat Ayojan (Clean India Mission) programme. All the above stages of WM have been adopted in various ways in both the urban and rural areas. Based on a yearly evaluation of the WM, some cities and states have been designated as “clean”. An account of the presently followed methods of WM and their results in some of these clean places as well as generation of many value-added products by recycling different types of waste material is presented in this article. In the light of the above information and data, and aiming zero-waste in the country’s WM, the following aspects are discussed: role of decentralised and centralised WM; integration of WM with PC, GW and CC; effluent and sewage treatment plants for WM; public awareness-commitment-participation for a monitored, efficient WM; reduce as an important tool for WM, especially to minimise the large-scale generation of food-waste, and its relevance, as per the Indian concept of Aparigraha (take only what one needs);  and WM as a widely distributed, micro- to small-scale industry for generation of both wealth and employment.

Keywords: Waste management, Swatchh Bharat Ayojan, clean cities-states-metros, India.


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