Garbage and Litter in India: A Reality Check
India’s garbage generation stands at 0.2 to 0.6 kilograms of garbage per head per day. Also, it is a well known fact that land in India is scarce. The garbage collector who comes to your house every morning to empty your dustbins inside his truck, takes all the garbage from your neighborhood and dumps it on an abandoned piece of land. Garbage collectors from all parts of the city meet there to do the same. Such a land is called a landfill. People in India also litter excessively. The sweeper again sends all this garbage to the local dump, from where it finally goes to a landfill. Waste disposal in India simply involves rounding up the waste from different parts of the city, and dumping everything in a landfill. Once a landfill is completely occupied, a new landfill is discovered in a different part of the city. The Energy Research Institute estimates that 1400 sq. km. of land would be required by 2047 for municipal waste!
The situation is no better in Delhi and NCR. Delhi now has 25 million residents, making it the second most populous city in the world. Every day, its inhabitants generate about 10,000 tonnes of rubbish. The municipal solid waste is projected to rise to 17,000–25,000 tonnes/day by the year 2021 and only 9% of the collected MSW (municipal solid waste) is treated through composting, the only treatment option, and rest is disposed in uncontrolled open landfills at the outskirts of the city. A physical analysis of solid waste reveals that it consists of about 32% compostable matter. The recyclable components include paper 6.6%, plastics 1.5% and metals 2.5%. (CPCB)
Facts About Littering*
- Litter does cause severe accidents. All that it takes is for some trash in the road and it’s a car accident waiting to happen.
- Household waste, industrial waste, construction waste and other like packaging waste are most common types of sources of litter.
- Places with high littering are also often riddled with crime, less values on homes and property, and are more likely to be the site of fires.
- Litter on the ground degrades natural areas and kills plants and animals. Litter spoils water quality. The hazardous waste seeps into soil and can cause ground water pollution.
- Cigarette buds make up over half of our littered objects, and they take a grand total of ten years to decompose because of a cellulose acetate, contrary to the popular perception that cigarette butts decompose very quickly in only a matter of days.
http://theviewspaper.net/waste-disposal-in-india/ accessed on 7th August 2015
http://www.scidev.net/global/cities/multimedia/delhi-waste-site-photo-essay.html accessed on 7th August 2015