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Waste Management- Problem or Opportunity

Urban India generates around 188,500 tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) every day.  The generation rate is expected to increase as the Indian economy will prosper. Only 30 to 60% of the MSW generated is collected and almost 90% of the waste collected is simply dumped. Improved collection services in PPP mode, implementation of decentralized waste processing units and rehabilitation of the dump sites is therefore a priority. Waste is often a result of over consumption, poor resource use efficiency, perverse subsidies and low level of awareness. “Reduce at Source” should there be the first action towards in the sustainable management of wastes and resources. Waste when generated is a misplaced resource. There is a great value in practicing waste reuse, recycle and recovery (3Rs). The 3Rs help in substituting virgin resources, reduce GHG emissions and create green jobs. 3Rs lead to Green Economy.

Need to Launch Continuing Education Programs for Professionals and Students

The subject of waste management is not offered in most Continuing Education Programs (CEPs) or post-graduate courses in India. Responsibilities on waste management are however increasing. Several new waste streams have emerged posing challenges such as E-waste, health care waste, Construction and Demolition Waste, Agriculture and Forestry Waste, Plastic waste, Industrial hazardous waste, packaging waste, household hazardous waste etc. Practicing “Waste Reduction” with 3Rs (i.e. 4Rs) has become the strategy and waste management is now linked to management of resources in the form of circular economy. It is important therefore to build capacities of staff at Urban Local Bodies, Environmental NGOs, Consultants, Policy makers and Regulators, and Researchers and Academia through specially designed CEPs. In order to achieve this objective, developing of training toolkits and engaging with training institutions becomes essential and a priority.