What to do with waste?

mckaysavage:HiH - Solid Waste Mgmt

Walk along any street in any city of India and you will easily find littered waste. It's not the municipality which is at fault, it's the attitude of the people.These same people would think twice before littering in public when on a trip abroad but it's never the same case when they are back in their home country.

Author Ajay Pal Singh Chabba -, 12.14.12

Walk along any street in any city of India and you will easily find littered waste. It’s not the municipality which is at fault, it’s the attitude of the people.These same people would think twice before littering in public when on a trip abroad but it’s never the same case when they are back in their home country. Instead of keeping the place clean and tidy, it’s the “don’t care” attitude which is one big reason for careless waste dumping.

There aren’t strict recycling policies in place which can help influence people’s behaviour. Unlike Germany or Japan, which have an almost 100 percent recycling rate for recyclable items, the stuation differs in India. India, being such a big consumer market, needs an effective recycling structure as well as policy.

According to earth911, Germany leads the European nations in recycling, with around 70 percent of the waste the country generates successfully recovered and reused each year. In 1991, Germany adopted its packaging ordinance, which requires all manufacturers to collect and then recycle or reuse their packaging after it is disposed of by consumers. Additionally, people can return certain bottles and other containers to the grocery or liquor store where they were purchased. By doing this, customers get back a small deposit, usually around 15 cents per bottle. This provides citizens with a small monetary incentive to recycle and it also helps companies meet their recycling quotas.

Recycling is a  multi-billion dollar industry and is set to explode as our consumer culture continues to accelerate in a rapid manner. The lack of a concrete policy in place for recycling sees a substantial percentage of people living below the poverty line spend their day-to-day to lives collecting waste and selling it to the recycling industry. The monetary compensation for this type of activity pales in comparison to the workload attached and much of the “black market” recycled waste is being managed by whte collar Mafia types who profit greatly from the lack of stringent recycling practices.  

The first essential step would be to introduce  house-to-house waste collection. Any viable approach to sustainable development needs to go hand-in-hand with waste recycling, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director of Biocon Ltd. India needs to implement a plan at the municipal level which includes waste collection segregation, processing and disposing of waste in a systematic manner.

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