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World Environment Day: Delhi Will Initiate Collection Of Segregated Trash From June 5, But Will It Achieve The Waste Treatment Target?

Will Delhi be able to achieve the target of 100% waste segregation and sustain the efforts to achieve the ultimate goal of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, here’s what experts have to say

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Come June 5, the World Environment Day, the urban civic bodies of Capital Delhi – New Delhi Municipal Corporation, North Municipal Corporation (North MCD), South Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and East Municipal Corporation (EDMC) will give a big push to the Government’s waste management campaign by starting to collect only segregating waste going forward. The government’s mega waste management campaign will be launched in 4,000 cities across the country under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

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The nation’s capital Delhi produces close to 12,300 tonnes per day (TPD) of solid waste

New Delhi Municipal Council’s Agenda

New Delhi Municipal Council area (NDMC) is going big with its waste to wealth initiative planned as a part of June 5 event. From mass pledging to extensive awareness drive to stickers/posters displaying the information regarding segregating waste in green and blue bins in all schools and Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs). NDMC is leaving no stone unturned as it slipped to 7th place in Swachh Survekshan 2017 from rank 4 in 2016.

What Is Being Done

Explaining the different activities being undertaken to make NDMC’s waste to wealth programme a big success, Dr S. Srivastava, Chief Medical Officer, New Delhi Municipal Council said, Training of safai sevaks, rag pickers, waste collectors by NGOs have already been initiated. Each households/schools in the areas have been visited and awareness created followed by signature on the pledge to segregate has also been done. Apart from this NDMC is adopting many innovative ways to inform the masses the importance of waste management like flash mob and nukkad natak (Street Play) has been initiated from June 1, covering all major commercial areas, public places like India Gate, central park, gardens, government office buildings in lunch time, markets and metro stations.

Areas Being Covered

In the first phase, the scheme will be executed in 8 localities under the NDMC – Pandara Park, Sujan Singh Park, Bapa Nagar, Ravinder Nagar, Chankya Puri(DI,DII), Jor Bagh, Kaka Nagar, Satya Sadan Chankyapuri and Bharti Nagar. Once 100% waste segregation is achieved from these locations, NDMC will cover other parts.

Talking about how they plan to execute the waste segregation mission in these localities, Dr Srivastava added, NDMC has placed order for procurement of 50,000 twin bins from the government portal for distribution to all residences and the vendor shall be providing bins in batches of 5,000 from June 1, which shall be distributed in above mentioned colonies on priority basis. We are asking people to segregate the waste on their own even if they don’t have the new bins available with them into dry and wet waste, as from June 5, the waste pickers will not accept unsegregated waste. Talking about the enforcement, a system for on the spot fines for violations shall be implemented from June 5.

Waste Treatment Facilities

NDMC plans to treat the waste in a scientific way so only little amount of the waste will make its way to landfills.

Installation of Bio-methanisation plant of 500 kg capacity shall be completed by next month and the tender for installation of 10TPD Bio-methanisation plant at Okhla has already been passed. Procurement of organic waste convertor is also being considered. We plan to come up with an action plan soon, said Dr Srivastava.

Municipal Corporation Of Delhi’s Action Plan

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The three other municipal areas under Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) ranked 279, 202 and 196 respectively in the Swachh Survekshan 2017. One of the main reasons for this below par performance was poor waste management in these areas. To up their Swachh game and to support country’s massive waste management campaign these three local bodies have decided to tackle waste problems in their respective areas.

Also Read: Swachh Survekshan 2017: Why Did The Nation’s Capital Delhi Fare Poorly In Swachh Rankings?

Plan of Action

For the pilot project, waste segregation agenda will be executed in few localities and based on its success ratio, other areas will be covered by the local bodies. It is expected that at least 6,000 blue and green bins promoting the nation-wide guidelines of a two-bin collection system in six colonies in North zone – Shakti Nagar, Pushpanjali (Rohini), New Rajendar Nagar, Vivekanand Puri, MPL Quarter, Indira Colony – and four in East Delhi, including Dilshad Garden Pockets A and B, East Loni Road, and Jhilmil Colony, will be covered.

Our focus is on waste segregation, we have taught residents how to segregate their waste in a two-bin system and we are expecting them to start with this swachh act from June 5. We have also redesigned our waste collection ‘auto tippers,’ they will have double compartments, with colour coded blue and green in order to keep the segregated waste separately and treat them well, said PK Gupta, North Corporation Commissioner.

An senior official from East Municipal Corporation added, “our aim is to reduce the load from the landfills, if we follow this model of waste segregation then we will be able to treat more than 80% of the waste efficiently.”

Challenges – A System To Treat The Waste Is Not In Place

The irony is that both these local bodies (North and East) don’t have a plan in place for handling the segregated waste efficiently.

On May 16, East Delhi Municipal Corporation tied up with the local NGO Chintan to implement a zero waste management plan in Delhi’s Vasundhara Enclave but so far it has not been implemented.

We have sent the proposal to East Delhi Municipal Corporation, but it has lagged behind because the corporation has not yet reverted, said Chitra Mukherjee, Head of Programmes, Operations at Chintan.

Coming to the third municipal local body – South Corporation, Kamaljeet Sehrawat, South Delhi Mayor, added, “We are going big with the theme of waste segregation, we expect to take segregated waste from around 10 lakh people in South Delhi and distribute almost 1 lakh two-bin system dustbins.”

SDMC also ran a signature campaign to take pledges by the locals and shopkeepers in four zones of South Delhi in order to make maximum people join this waste management agenda.

But not much was disclosed by the officials on how they plan to treat the segregated waste.

Expert Opinion

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Will Delhi be able to achieve the target of 100% waste segregation?

NDTV spoke with Swati Singh Sambyal, Programme Manager, Environmental Governance (Municipal Solid Waste) from Centre for Science and Environment to highlight some of the issues with national capital’s waste management system, according to her, “Delhi produces closes to 12,300 tonnes per day (TPD) of solid waste, of which close to 10,500 TPD is collected. 70% of the Delhi has door to door collection, but the issue is segregation is happening in very few colonies. While, the need is to make it happen at a mass scale. There is lack of awareness and campaigning in the city, moreover, the municipal corporations are emphasising on environmentally unsustainable practices – looking for more land for dumping. With over three overflowing landfills, we still have not learnt our lesson yet.”

“I will take the example of NDMC, in a colony in RK Puram and a few other areas, segregation is happening. I asked the authorities where does your segregated waste goes, they answered, to Okhla Waste To Energy plant. What is the point if you are sending recyclables and wet waste to waste to energy plant. This is a crime, in the name of segregation.”

Speaking about the solutions what Delhi needs to adopt desperately, Ms Swati added, The city needs decentralised solutions, in its parks, in RWAs, flats, every single locality and area. It is only then that we could stop ourselves from drowning in our own garbage. Another is to involve the informal sector, Delhi has some 3-4 lakh informal workers employed in waste management, they all need to be treated with dignity, right now, they are mere scavengers on dumpsites, and corporations need to involve and integrate them and support their livelihoods.

Revision of bye-laws as per Solid Waste Management Rules that shall have fines for littering, penalty for non-segregation and will ensure households segregate waste into wet, dry and domestic hazardous waste. On Environment day, spreading the message of waste segregation will not work until Delhi comes up with a good action plan to treat its waste. The city has not submitted its action plan yet on waste management to Central Pollution Control Board.

The question that comes up is that will Delhi be able to achieve the target of 100% waste segregation and sustain to achieve the ultimate goal of implementing composting, recycling, reusing, rather than dumping in the landfills?

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