Where does waste originate and go?

Source: The post is based on the article “Where does waste originate and go?” published in The Hindu on 30th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Environment

Relevance: amount of waste generated and disposed in India

News: The report titled ‘EnviStats India 2022’ has been published by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. The report provides the data for Delhi for the year 2020-21.

What are the highlights of the report for Delhi?

Waste Generated: According to the report, over 40 lakh tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) was generated in 2020-21. Out of which about 85% of MSW in Delhi was generated by households and 15% by shops and restaurants. (Chart 1)

Delhi generated over 13 lakh tonnes of construction and demolition waste, over 5.4 lakh tonnes of plastic waste, about 11 thousand tonnes of bio-medical waste, and 610 tonnes of e-waste along with 3,239 tonnes of hazardous waste.

Waste Disposed: Half the municipal solid waste went to landfills and the other half was recycled and reused. About 35% of bio-medical waste was burnt while all construction and demolition waste were recycled (Table 2).

About 22% of plastic waste is converted into energy while 37% is taken to landfills. However, it is not known how e-waste was disposed of as there is no treatment and disposal facility available in Delhi for e-waste.

What are the conditions of other states?

The current report highlights data for Delhi only, therefore, previous year data has been taken for other states.

Waste Generated: 68% of the MSW generated is processed across India in the year 2019-20. Himachal Pradesh leads the list with 98% of MSW followed by Chhattisgarh at 93%. (Table 3)

An average of 2.5 tonnes of plastic was generated per 1,000 population in India in 2018-19 and 8.09 metric tonnes of the hazardous waste generated in the country per 1,000 population in 2018.

Waste Treated: 87% of biomedical waste was treated across India. Seventeen States and five Union Territories have already achieved 100% bio-medical waste treatment whereas only 29% of biomedical waste was treated in Bihar and Chhattisgarh in 2018.

Across India, only 45% of the hazardous waste generated was recycled/utilised. Most States lag in this indicator. Out of 30 states less than 50% was recycled/utilised in 13 states and less than 75% was recycled/utilised in 22 states in the year 2018-19.



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