Solid Waste Management: Suggestions & Objections on the Proposed Draft DP

We appreciate the MCGM’s efforts to encourage the process of citizen’s participation. The initial suggestions were mostly built around the process of decentralized waste-management systems and it is evident that the draft rules have taken a notice of that at some places. We also welcome the initiative taken by MCGM to construct ward wise more dry waste centres. MCGM has also advertised for expression of interest for construction of Biogas plants for promotion of decentralised waste management ,however it does not reflect in proposed DP. Therefore we would like to highlight following points again for the inclusion in the final DP Plan.

1. Decentralized Public Biogas Plant: The draft rules talks about enforcing the processing of wet waste at the source by housing societies and individual establishments. However the plan also needs to consider the need to process the wet-waste coming out from Markets, Hotels and other public waste generation Zones. For that on ward/zone level some land need to be reserved for development of large sized Biogas Plants. The underground digesters of plants can also be constructed at existing pumping stations and cemeteries and a processing rooms for processing of wet waste can be constructed reserved at source like markets, malls, space below flyovers etc.

2. Freeing Up Space by Bio-Mining: The city should recover space from the dumping grounds by using Bio-remediation process.

3. Development of Recycling Zone: Mumbai generates almost 8000-10000 Tonnes of waste on a daily basis out of which a considerable percentage is recyclable waste. However we don’t have well planned, organized, efficient and environment friendly recycling zones close to Mumbai. Most of the recyclables is sent outside of the state of Maharashtra for recycling which adds to the transportation cost in turn making recycling of few items economically not feasible. As a city we need to reserve land for such large scale processing zones. We think bio mining of the dumping grounds like Deonar can free-up the unused lands and provide such place.

4. Adherence to source segregation and processing of wet waste at source: The draft DCR rules guides us to NATIONAL BUILDING CODE OF INDIA which mentions at source processing of wet waste and the importance of source segregation. Though this rule has been around for some time, we hardly see compliance to it. The MCGM needs to detail the plans further to ensure that it surely happens. The need for incentivizing (property tax reduction being one suggestion) and fining for non-compliances need to be put in place.

5. Use of Chutes: The draft DCR rules guides us to NATIONAL BUILDING CODE OF INDIA which suggests apartments touse chutes for waste-disposal. This suggestion is unacceptable and very impractical and dangerous for the health of people working in the waste sector .However chutes often add up to the problem as segregation becomes hard to monitor, many items break at the bottom,. Most important is that waste thrown through the chutes get stuck and contaminated and can become serious health hazard to all concerned persons can even pose a fire hazard.

6. Waste-pickers: While the concept of dry-waste sorting centre finds its mention in the rules. Local waste-pickers can benefit out of it as it can give access to storage space and thus access to markets higher up the supply chain.