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Apr 29, 2012

Impact on Quality of Life

The Global Development Research Center, GDRC defines Quality of Life (QOL) as the product of the interplay among social, health, economic and environmental conditions which affect human and social development. QOL reflects the gap between the hopes and expectations of a person or population and their present experience.
In a country like India, which aspires to be a global economic giant, public health and quality of life are degrading everyday with the increasing gap between services required and those provided. India is also considered a sacred nation by the majority of its inhabitants but the streets and open lands in Indian cities are filled with untreated and rotting garbage.
Improper SWM is an Everyday Nuisance to Urban Indians
Current citizens of India are living at a time of unprecedented economic growth and changing lifestyles. Unsanitary conditions on the streets and air pollution in the cities will widen the gap between their expectations due to the rapidly changing perception of their “being” and “where they belong” and the prevailing conditions, resulting in plummeting quality of life.
Improper SWM is an everyday nuisance to urban Indians.

Apr 19, 2012

Need for Global Attention to Solid Waste Management

This is my post on the Global WTERT Council (GWC) Blog.

Some countries have achieved considerable success in solid waste management. But the rest of the world is grappling to deal with its wastes. In these places, improper management of solid waste continues to impact public health of entire communities and cities; pollute local water, air and land resources; contribute to climate change and ocean plastic pollution; hinder climate change adaptation; and accelerate depletion of forests and mines.

Compared to solid waste management, we can consider that the world has achieved significant success in providing other basic necessities like food, drinking water, energy and economic opportunities. Managing solid wastes properly can help improve the above services further. Composting organic waste can help nurture crops and result in a better agricultural yield. Reducing landfilling and building sanitary landfills will reduce ground and surface water pollution which can help provide cleaner drinking water. Energy recovery from non-recyclable wastes can satiate significant portion of a city's energy requirement. Inclusive waste management where informal waste recylcers are involved can provide an enormous economic opportunity to the marginalized urban poor. Additionally, a good solid waste management plan with cost recovery mechanisms can free tax payers money for other issues.

Solid waste management until now has only been a social responsibility of the corporate world or one of the services to be provided by the municipality and a non-priority for national governments. However, in Mumbai, the improperly managed wastes generate 22,000 tons of toxic pollutants like particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrous and sulfur oxides in addition to 10,000 grams of carcinogenic dioxins and furans every year. These numbers are only for the city of Mumbai. This is the case in cities all across the developing world. There are numerous examples where groundwater is polluted by heavy metals and organic contaminants due to solid waste landfills. Solid waste management expenditure of above $ 1 billion per year competes with education, poverty, security and other sustainable initiatives in New York City. Fossil fuels for above 500,000 truck trips covering hundreds of miles are required to transport NYC's waste to landfills outside the city and state. Similarly, New Delhi spends more than half of its entire municipal budget on solid waste management, while it is desperate for investments and maintenance of roads, buildings, and other infrastructure.

Solid waste management is not just a corporate social responsibility or a non-priority service anymore. Improper waste management is a public health and environmental crisis, economic loss, operational inefficiency and political and public awareness failure. Integrated solid waste management can be a nation building exercise for healthier and wealthier communities. Therefore, it needs global attention to arrive at solutions which span across such a wide range of issues.

Apr 17, 2012

Focus on Andhra Pradesh (AP) & AP Pollution Control Board uses Data from this Research

This research has found that Andhra Pradesh state (urban) generates about 11,500 tons per day (TPD) solid waste, which is about 9% of all solid waste generated in India. I'm glad to see this data put to use by The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) on their website. On an average, every person in Andhra Pradesh generates 570 grams per day of waste, compared to Tamil Nadu (630 g/day) and Jammu & Kashmir (600 g/day). Andhra Pradesh is among the southern Indian states which together generate 560 g/day per person, the highest waste generation rate compared to East, North and West India.
Conveyor belt to transport Refuse Derived Fuel into the Waste-to-Energy boiler at the Plant (in Elikatta village) near Hyderabad
 Greater Hyderabad, which is the largest metropolitan area in Andhra Pradesh generates about 5,000 TPD of waste (1.83 million tons per year), followed by Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada, which generate 1,200 TPD (440,000 tons per year) and 700 TPD (250,000 tons per year) respectively.
Andhra Pradesh has been a leader in applying waste management technology


CH4 Methane
Carbon Dioxide
Government of India
INR Indian Rupee
JnNURM Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
LFG Landfill Gas
Mechanical Biological Treatment
MSW Municipal Solid Waste
NEERI National Environmental Engineering Research Institute
Refuse Derived Fuel
SLF Sanitary Landfill
SWM Solid Waste Management
USD United States Dollar
WPs Waste Pickers
WTE Waste-to-Energy
WTERT Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council