Hyderabad, the sixth metro of India, can generate thousands of jobs and considerable electricity and manure if its own solid waste is recovered and recycled.
Milling crowds, mounting wastes, perpetual problem of disposing waste and receding greenery are your problems in Hyderabad? Join the crowd. The world’s cities are in danger of getting buried in their own wastes by 2025.
Mounting municipal waste, a symbol of growing urbanisation and upward mobility of people, is an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes a year today and is billed to become 2.6 billion tonnes in the next 13 years, reports Worldwatch Institute.
Municipal wastes consist of organic material, paper, plastic, glass, metals, and other refuse collected by municipal authorities, largely from homes, offices, institutions, and commercial establishments. The wealthier you are, higher the wastes you produce.
The trend noticed is that the wealthy tend to produce more wastes than the poor. There is therefore a scope for a waste-tax on the wealthy. The 34 industrialised nations, for instance, produce 1.6 million wastes per day followed by the four developing countries, China, India, Brazil and Mexico. The US leads the world in waste generation.
Only a quarter of the world’s garbage is diverted to recycling, composting, or digestion. The gold standard for municipal waste will be to integrate it into a materials management approach known as a “circular economy,” which involves a series of policies to reduce the use of some materials and to reclaim or recycle most of the rest.
Japan has made the circular economy a national priority since the early 1990s through passage of a steady progression of waste reduction laws, and the country has achieved notable successes, observes Worldwatch senior fellow Gary Gardner.
India with its six metros and 360 towns and cities generates 130,000 tonnes of garbage per day or 47.2 million tonnes per year which comes to 500 grams per head per day. Our recycle of wastes is pitiably low at 10 per cent. It has to be raised to 50 per cent if the cities are not to choke on their own refuse, experts warn.
There is tremendous scope for units willing to harness the wastes: solid bio-wastes and non-bio wastes. A waste is actually wealth that waits to be converted to make manure and generate power and thus solve the prevalent unemployment to a large extent.
Hyderabad, for instance, is estimated to generate 5,200 tonnes per day of municipal waste alone. This does not count construction debris, scrap and other wastes.
Veterans say if recovery and recycle facilities are set up this could generate 5,000 regular employment and 20,000 indirect jobs besides the City getting cleaned and generate electricity and manure. The issue brooks no delay.
About the Author (Author Profile)
PK Surendran is senior editor at Postnoon.