New Delhi produces municipal solid waste of around 8500 TPD. Out of the three municipal bodies responsible for management of waste, MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) has jurisdiction over 90% of Delhi’s area and 97% of Delhi’s population. The total expenditure on solid waste by MCD is Rs.750 crore per annum. Yet, service levels in municipal solid waste management fall short of the desired levels. The three existing landfill sites have far exceeded their capacities; however, due to shortage of land and lack of proper planning, these continue to be used. The MSW Rules notified in 2000, prescribed various practices and benchmarks for the municipal bodies under the categories of collection, segregation, treatment and transport. However, more than a decade has passed and the implementation of these rules continues to be poor. In this context, ‘Decentralised solid waste management’ as an alternative solution, shows promise. It represents the shift from the paradigm of ‘only government or local municipalities should handle our waste’. The underlying principle is to reduce the quantity of waste at source by involving community to adopt practices like segregation of waste, composting, bio-methanation etc. Decentralised systems not only reduce the cost incurred for the collection, transportation and disposal of waste by the municipal authority, but also, enhance environmental awareness of the beneficiaries and provide employment to the members of informal waste sector. The concept of Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) closely follows, which is based on the fact that the waste stream is made up of distinct components that can be managed and disposed of separately. The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility of decentralised solid waste management in Delhi, by looking at various studies (which shows that 50% of our waste is organic) and community waste management projects of NGOs.
Keywords: community; decentralised; MCD; ISWM; solid waste