With segregation of waste largely absent in the city and landfills choking beyond their capacity, participants of a public consultation on the draft Municipal Solid Waste Rules (MSW), 2013, arrived at a broad consensus on Thursday that municipal bodies have been unsuccessful in implementing old MSW rules, with no marked change in the new draft rules.
Citizen groups, landfill operators, NGOs, activists and civic officials met on Thursday to prepare their objections and recommendations to the draft rules.
It has been 13 years since the first set of MSW rules came into effect to streamline collection, transportation and processing of solid waste.
With an eye on the ever-increasing waste generation across burgeoning urban centres, the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) released the latest draft rules in August.
“Over 13 years, we have failed to put segregation into practice. Instead of focussing on reducing waste generation, the draft rules put too much stress on landfills,” said Rajkumar Sharma, president, advanced locality management and networking action committee, an apex body of 40 ALM’s.
The rules say that “landfills shall only be permitted for nonbiodegradable, non-recyclable and inert waste”, but they do not specify if the segregation is mandatory at the household level.
Representatives of companies such as Hanjer Biotech and United Phosphorous Limited, which are managing the Pune and Deonar landfills respectively, said the corporation should seek clearances for waste-management projects from the Centre.
“The onus of getting clearances from the state environment appraisal committee should be on the municipal bodies. Authorities tend to harass landfill operators while issuing clearances andwaste management projects are delayed. Despite a proper agreement being inked in 200708, waste processing has not taken off at Deonar,” said Rishi Agarwal, environment activist.