WTERT-India is co-founded by the National Environmental Engineering Research
Institute (NEERI) and the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University.
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Where PPPP means Private Public People’s Partnership

Solid waste management is a people management issue rather than a technical one. Many of the cities suffering from excessive littering and stinking roadsides also suffer from lack of cohesiveness and poor governance. In this scenario, officials or bureaucrats may feel that the panacea for handling a city full of garbage is to hand over the operations to a private entrepreneur and wash one’s hands off it. However, in this unholy alliance between the private and the public sectors, the people especially the poor and the marginalized, are isolated and lose access to components in waste, which for them, is a resource to earn their livelihood. Lack of sensitivity among the influential sections of the society such as the upper middle and the richer classes and the subsequent loss of empathy towards the poorer classes leads to inequity and violence.

Waste management as envisaged in the Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2000 emphasizes the need for an integrated approach with segregation, collection from door stepin a source separated manner and appropriate treatment to enable and enhance maximum recycling with adequate emphasis on involving the poor, waste collectors, sorting and recycling communities. However, the option of appointing a concessionaire to manage the solid waste in the city has defeated the goal of the MSWM Rules and has pitched the lives of the poor migrants dependent on waste for their survival, with giant incineration plants consuming the recyclables and belching dust and dioxins.

The concessionaire is more concerned with the tipping fee he/she collects from the Municipal Corporations than ensuring segregation at source and worsens the situation by alienating the poor workers employed by him/ her from the waste pickers who have to fight tooth and nail to gain access to recyclables from city bins. With greater sensitivity and innovation, a PPPP model i.e. Private Public People’s Partnership can be implemented wherein the people of different classes living in the cities can be involved to make the system feasible, commercially viable and people friendly. This paper cites several case studies within the country to emphasize the importance of the inclusive model of sustainable solid waste management while achieving the goals of the MSWM Rules 2000.

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1. Report of the Task Force on Waste to Energy (Volume I) (In the context of Integrated MSW Management) Click Here
2. Report of the Task Force on Waste to Energy (Volume II) Click Here

3. Energy from Waste – Clean, efficient, renewable: Transitions in combustion efficiency and NOx controlClick Here