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*

*Source: accessed on 7th August 2015 accessed on 7th August 2015