CSE lays down the roadmap for making Indian cities garbage-free

New Delhi: “The term ‘legacy waste’ has received close attention in the wake of Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) 2.0 which aims to make Indian cities “garbage-free”. The Mission mandates that cities in India should clear legacy waste sites, reclaim the land, and prevent more waste from reaching dumpsites – with 1,300 million tonnes of legacy waste lying in more than 3,000 dumpsites in the country, it is onerous, but the doable, task,” said Sunita Narain, director general, Centre for Science and Environment, here.

She was speaking at a national symposium organized by CSE on legacy waste management and dumpsite remediation.

Participants at the symposium, who included waste management practitioners, regulators, government functionaries, scientists, experts, and industry representatives, were also addressed by the symposium’s chief guest, Roopa Mishra, joint secretary, Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, among others.

Mishra and Narain released three new publications from CSE on this occasion -- Legacy Waste Management and Dumpsite Remediation, Preparing City Solid Waste Action Plan for Bio-degradable Waste, and Preparing City Solid Waste Action Plan for Non-Biodegradable Waste.

Delivering her address at the symposium, Roopa Mishra stressed the fact that every Central government programme and policy was primed towards a singular aim: “making Indian cities garbage-free”. As part of this objective, the ministry has initiated a number of projects and schemes to encourage city administrations, one of which is a star rating and certification for garbage-free cities.

“Waste is a resource,” says Narain. “We should not ‘waste’ our waste, but reuse and recycle it. Even as cities in India start focusing on remediation of their legacy waste, it would be critical to ensure gainful application and final disposal of the extracted fractions received from the existing garbage mountains.”

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