An Audit of Municipal Solid Waste Management in a Mega-City (East Delhi): Challenges and Opportunities.
Municipal Solid waste management in developing countries is a gigantic task and its improper management can lead to severe environmental concerns and immense economic loss. However, many urban local bodies are not fully aware of the existing gaps in infrastructure and MSW management services that should be provided to make the system run efficiently and ensuring compliance to the national rules for waste management.The scale of the problem is huge as the reported annual MSW generation in India is about 58.87 Million tonnes (2016-2018) with an estimated annual increase of about 5%.We all know that inadequate collection of municipal solid waste results in local and global environmental problems, including air pollution (local health and global climate change) and water pollution (local water bodies and marine litter). The Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016 issued by the Government of India requires source segregation and collection; and identifies specific roles and responsibilities for stakeholders, including waste generators, collectors, and local government. The main objectives of the study were to conduct a gap analysis of the existing municipal waste management system in East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) area and to assist in ensuring proper implementation of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.This paper presents the relevant national rules and the current collection practices in East Delhi based on the results of a recent
survey of waste management practices. The survey revealed that much of the waste was not segregated, and found that lack of awareness, infrastructure, monitoring, incentives and penalties were the primary reasons for inadequate collection practices in the city. Door-to-door campaigns, television advertisements, and penalties for noncompliance were identified as some of the key measures to improve segregation and collection.The methodology used for the study was a mix of primary and secondary research tools like, transect walks, personal interviews with stakeholders, focus group discussions and literature review; in sample wards of the city to ensure a 90% confidence level. Such a study shall beuseful for other developing countries to help identify priority areas of action and achieve sustainable MSW management.