Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management In A Capital City Territory And The Role Of Waste To Energy: A Study Of Delhi
Free (open access)
1141 - 1152
In Delhi, in recent years, central, state and local level authorities have moved firmly towards the goal of scientific and sustainable management of solid waste generated from homes, offices and commercial establishments. A major initiative has been the decision to construct three waste-to-energy (WTE) projects. The government has pushed forward, despite the protests of environmental researchers and citizen groups who say these involve flawed, outdated and costly technologies which will add to pollution and erode livelihoods of the some of the poorest people in the city, without impacting much on its sanitation. Given the low calorific heterogeneous nature of the waste, they maintain, there is no alternative to waste reduction, composting, recycling and landfilling of residues. This paper will suggest that if the solid waste management hierarchy which expresses the spirit of the consensus that was arrived at in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 is the criterion, then, after two decades of economic reforms, WTE with its basis in advanced technology is an appropriate waste management strategy choice for Delhi. With the commissioning of the Okhla plant in January 2012, controversies relating to WTE regularly make the news. It is important that authorities address these concerns through appropriate measures such as transparent emission monitoring mechanisms and legal protection and benefits for waste workers in the informal sector. Dearth of land to accommodate mounting levels of mixed waste is creating an oppressive situation for urban planners in the developing world. Delhi’s endeavour to resolve this problem by installing WTE facilities with the avowed object of enhancing public health, environment quality and economic efficiency and, as of now, staying with this decision, can be instructive for them. Keywords: waste to energy, sustainable solid waste management, composting, recycling, waste workers, landfill, methane, biomethanation.
Keywords: waste to energy, sustainable solid waste management, composting, recycling, waste workers, landfill, methane, biomethanation.