Maharashtra topmost solid waste generator in India in 2018
For third year in a row, Maharashtra has topped the list of municipal solid waste generators in the country in 2018, according to data from the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) submitted to the union environment ministry.
India generates 5.29 crore MT of waste every year, of which 46% is being treated, states the data submitted in the Lok Sabha last Friday. Maharashtra generates 82.38 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of waste an annum or 22,570 MT waste a day, of which 44% is being treated. The second largest waste generator is Uttar Pradesh at 61.3 lakh metric tonnes, followed by Tamil Nadu at 56 lakh MT.
Maharashtra generated 81.08 lakh MT in 2017 and 80.11 lakh MT in 2016, according to the Central Pollution Control Board, highest across the country for both years.
According to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Coporation (BMC), Mumbai produces 7,500 MT waste per day or 27.37 lakh MT in a year, a third of the total waste generated in Maharashtra.
“Mumbai has managed to reduce its waste generation from 9,500 MT to 7,500 MT within two years and also shut down one dumping ground. However, waste treatment at source needs to be escalated to models existing in cities such as Pune and Nashik,” said Sontakke.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said the latest data was collated and sent to the Centre by them. “The data indicates an improvement in waste treatment in Maharashtra to 44% in 2018, from 27% in 2013,” said YB Sontakke, joint director, MPCB. “There is a gradual improvement. Major municipal corporations such as Mumbai, Pune, Nashik, Nagpur etc. have successfully implemented waste treatment models such as bio digesters, biomethanataion and other forms of organic waste recycling to reduce the burden on landfills.”
Sontakke said of the 27 municipal corporations, 14 corporations – Jalna, Jalgaon, Parbhani, Latur, Dhule, Akola, Chandrapur, Panvel, Amravati, Dhule, Kolhapur, Malegaon, Sangli, and Ahmednagar – were merely dumping waste without any treatment. “We are told that shortage of funds is the reason why there is no treatment, but the real reason is lack of political will to allocate money for waste management,” said Sontakke.
Experts said corporations, municipal councils and village panchayats were not being made aware of guidelines under the solid waste management rules 2016 and it was dangerous as waste generation is likely to increase in coming years. “On one hand, data collection in Maharashtra is better than other states. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to convince people to treat waste at source as it is taken for granted that the state is responsible for it,” said Avick Sil, regional director, Environmental Policy Research Institute (EPRI).
“Citizens need to realise that even if 10% of the Maharashtra’s daily waste can be converted into compost that is 2,257 MT of green valuable waste, it can be made part of an economical model benefitting different segments of society.”
“In India, there is 3.5% increase in population and a 5% rise in waste generation,” said Swati Singh Sambyal, programme manager, environmental governance (municipal solid waste), Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi.