Landfills galore, our cities choke on their own garbage

Seetha Gopalakrishnan
Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - 08:28
December floods expose Chennai's poorly designed waste management processes
The floods of December 2015 exposed flaws in Chennai's overall town planning and civic infrastructure management, bringing the city's archaic waste management system again to the forefront. Authorities were able to collect and recycle just 25% of the trash generated during the floods, and still seem to be caught in a daze when it comes to managing the city's solid waste. Despite increased awareness and interest among the public, there seems to be very little systemic change in the manner in which the city's waste is handled.
 
Centre asks banks to increase credit disbursal for sanitation projects
With water and sanitation included as new fields in priority sector lending, the Union government has asked banks and micro-finance institutions to increase their credit disbursal for sanitation projects. Close to 50 per cent of people living in rural areas currently defecate in the open due to the absence of toilets and adequate sanitation facilities. Small and medium institutions in the private sector have ample opportunities to work in the solid and liquid waste management component of the Swachh Bharat Mission, thereby improving the overall village environment and infrastructure. 
 
Kozhikode looks for decentralised ways to manage its solid waste
The city of Kozhikode is looking to move away from centralized processes of dealing with solid waste and incorporate more decentralized options. Segregation and treatment of degradable waste using bio culture, aerobic digestion of waste and vermicomposting are among the many ideas mooted by local NGOs and real estate associations. The compost produced as a result of organic waste digestion could be used in gardening instead of ending up in landfills. 
 
Open defecation is the norm for around nine million people in Mumbai slums
With close to nine million people residing in Mumbai slums, the city’s sanitation and hygiene issues seem to be growing by the day. A BMC study reveals that most toilets in slums lack essentials such as running water, proper doors and electricity supply. An intensive study conducted by the city-based Observer Research Foundation on slum toilets has revealed that defecating out in the open is more a necessity here than a choice.
 
Landfills galore, our cities now choke on their own garbage
The fact that Indian cities are faced with acute garbage crises is now beyond question. Despites rules which make segregation of garbage compulsory, many cities are not serious about implementing them. With major cities like Delhi and Mumbai raising a stink, the country’s overall approach towards solid waste management is highly questionable.
 
This is a roundup of important sanitation related news published between February 7 and 13, 2016

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