Ghazipur disaster: Stop our cities from becoming choked with garbage | editorials | Hindustan Times
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Ghazipur disaster: Stop our cities from becoming choked with garbage

Apart from the fact that they are dangerous and dumping garbage like this causes the leaching of dangerous chemicals into the soil, it would be unfair to citizens of that neighbourhood to export the city’s garbage to their locality. What is needed is dedication and discipline from both the civic agencies and the citizens to effectively implement segregation of waste at source to reduce the amount of garbage that reaches landfills.

editorials Updated: Sep 05, 2017 13:37 IST
This 70 acre garbage dump is situated in the middle of a densely populated part of the city and has been a disaster waiting to happen for a few years now. That the allowed height It is estimated that anywhere about 3000 metric tonnes of garbage are dumped at the Ghazipur site every single day; in spite of the fact that this landfill was supposed to have shut down in 2002, when it was filled to capacity.
This 70 acre garbage dump is situated in the middle of a densely populated part of the city and has been a disaster waiting to happen for a few years now. That the allowed height It is estimated that anywhere about 3000 metric tonnes of garbage are dumped at the Ghazipur site every single day; in spite of the fact that this landfill was supposed to have shut down in 2002, when it was filled to capacity.(Mohd Zakir / Hindustan Times)

One of the big problems of massive urban agglomerations and cosmopolitan cities such as Delhi and Mumbai is that of waste management. Solid waste generated in a city the size of Delhi needs to be immediately reduced, reused, and recycled if we want to save our cities from becoming choked with garbage. The collapse in the Ghazipur landfill that led to the death of two people is a warning to all civic agencies. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has even issued show cause notices to the Delhi government, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) and others over the collapse.

This 70-acre garbage dump is situated in the middle of a densely-populated part of the city and has been a disaster waiting to happen for a few years now. It is estimated that about 3000 metric tonnes of garbage are dumped at the Ghazipur site every single day; in spite of the fact that this landfill was supposed to have shut down in 2002, when it was filled to capacity. The piles of unsegregated garbage lead to the formation of highly flammable methane gas; that has caught fire in pockets, several times, putting at risk the lives of many of the ragpickers who work there every day. Delhi has learnt no lessons from Mumbai, where in March 2016 a massive fire had broken out in the Deonar landfill that took nearly 10 days to bring under control.

While half-hearted attempts have been made to segregate waste at source and to create waste to energy plants within these landfills, there has been no real change in the way that Delhi deals with the problem of waste management – be it e-waste, biodegradable waste or plastic. As a report in the Hindustan Times has highlighted, 50% of the generated garbage is fit for composting and 30% is recyclable; which means that only 20% should reach the landfill. Building new landfills is not the solution. Apart from the fact that they are dangerous and dumping garbage like this causes the leaching of hazardous chemicals into the soil, it would be unfair to citizens of that neighbourhood to export the city’s garbage to their locality. What is needed is dedication and discipline from both the civic agencies and the citizens to effectively implement segregation of waste at source to reduce the amount of garbage that reaches landfills.