How Can India's Waste Problem See a Systemic Change?

India generates 62 million tonnes of waste every year, of which less than 60% is collected and around 15% processed. With landfills ranking third in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in India, and increasing pressure from the public, the Government of India revised the Solid Waste Management after 16 years.. This paper proposes an institutional framework that will address this grave environmental and public health concern and bring about a systemic change in the sector. 

The population of India crossed the 1.2 billion mark in 2013, and now it stands at 1.33 billion. With a population density of 325 per square kilometres, India’s 2.9 million square kilometre of land area holds close to 18% of the world’s population (Census 2011). Although the administration has tried to keep up with the burgeoning cities, either policies designed to address basic public services have been poorly framed or the time taken to implement policies has taken decades, thus virtually rendering them ineffective. 

The Census Department categorises urban India into six tiers, based on population. According to the 2011 census report, there are three megacities holding a population of 10 million or more, 53 urban agglomerations with a population of one million or above and 468 towns with a population of 100,000 and above (Census 2011)....Read more


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