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[greenyes] Municipal Corporation of Delhi to opt for a long-term "Zero Waste..." Strategy
New strategy to tackle garbage disposal
JUNE 22.

With land for dumping solid waste fast becoming scarce, the Municipal
Corporation of Delhi has decided to opt for a long-term "Zero Waste
Management'' strategy to tackle the problem of solid waste in the

Garbage segregation -- be it at the source, or at dhalao or at some other
place -- would be the focal point of this strategy, the Municipal
Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta, said. "The Zero Waste Management strategy is
very important for the future generations as otherwise garbage would be
seen dumped at public places,'' he said.

Delhi, at present, generates 6,000 to 7,000 metric tonnes of garbage per
day, which is projected to increase between 17,000 to 20,000 metric by
the? year 2020. Under the existing policy all the solid waste is taken to
the sanitary land fill (SLF) sites. There are, as of now, three SLF sites at
Jahangirpuri Bhalswa, Okhla and Ghazipur, all of which are full and on
the verge of being closed down.

Though, the MCD is desperately searching for an alternative SLF site both
inside and around the Capital, but wherever it is identifying the land,
the civic body is facing strong resistance from the local population on
account of adverse environmental of a garbage dump being in their vicinity.
Neighbouring States have flatly refused the MCD of providing any land for
SLF even when the municipality has offered to let their cities also used
this facility free of cost.

Asserting that the ultimate solution for garbage management has to be
found out by the residents inside the Capital, he said: "We can not hope
that other people will accept our garbage. So, moving towards zero waste
management seems to be the only way to solve the problem in the long

Mr. Mehta argued that solid waste segregation was the simple and only
viable strategy in this regard. Stating that the Capital had a very good
tradition of kabadis, he claimed that the garbage going to the SLF sites
could be reduced by as many as 40 per cent if recyclable waste was
separated from household, factory, market place, garden, hotel and

"This would automatically increase the life of SLF sites and also give a
great boost to the recycling industry. It is possible to separate paper,
cardboard, plastic, bottles, glass, batteries, leather and cloth and sell
it to the factories for reuse,'' he said.

Further, if bio-degradable waste is stored separately there is a greater
scope of converting this into compost and many NGOs are already working in
this arena. "This compost can be used to grow vegetable, kitchen gardens
and parks. By segregating garbage waste at the household level, people would
be contributing to the cleaning and greening of the Capital in an unique

This would be an effort which will be appreciated world wide,'' he said.

Elaborating out his strategy for "Zero Waste Management'', Mr. Mehta said
household would have to adopt the twin bins system -- blue for recyclable
waste and the green one for bio-degradable material. While it has already
been made compulsory for residents of the Capital from January 1, 2004,
the civic body is likely to launch a major mass awareness campaign in this
regard involving NGOs and resident welfare associations (RWAs).

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