Initiative Of Door-To-Door Waste Collection Signifies The Need Of Scientific Landfills In India Before Its Too Late


New Delhi: The door-to-door waste collection service which is in force in parts of Gurugram is likely to be extended to all wards by March 31, said the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) officials.

The service, which was started in December, is currently in force in 11 wards. But soon will likely to be extended to all the 34 wards by March 31.

To meet the desired goal of the initiative, residents are required to segregate dry and wet waste in different bags, so that the waste would subsequently be collected from their doorstep by sanitation workers.

Depending on their plot sizes, the residents will be charged anywhere between Rs. 50 and Rs. 100 for the door-to-door waste collection service.

“Our door-to-door waste collection service, which is already in force in some areas, has reduced the volume of solid waste in the city. Since being introduced, it has proved to be effective in ensuring systemic and scientific collection and disposal of waste. Soon, this service will be extended to all our wards,” SS Rohilla, public relation officer, MCG, has said.

About The Service:

The service was introduced on December 13, 2017, in wards 5 and 6, covering UdyogVihar phases 1-5, sectors 17, 18, 19, 20, Sirhaul village, sectors 12 A and 14, Prem Nagar and Sanjay Colony, among others.

As mentioned above, so far, this service has been introduced fully in 11 wards and is on trial in another 16.

Barring wards 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34 and 35, mainly compromising DLF phases 1-5, this service is in force, either fully or partly, in all (i.e., 35) wards.

On this, officials of Ecogreen, the concessionaire for the service, said that they are currently using a fleet of 239 garbage vehicles such as dumpers, earth movers, e-rickshaws and mini trucks for collecting waste.

MCG officials said that the introduction of door-to-door collection of waste and the setting up of solid waste compost plants in partnership with residents’ welfare associations (RWAs) and localities has gone a long way in streamlining the waste collection and disposal system in the city.

The generation of compost from these plants increased to 15 tonnes in 2017, officials further said.

With the city’s only solid waste treatment plant in Bandhwari inoperative since 2013, this initiative by the MCG assumes significance as unfortunately it will go a long way in ensuring scientific disposal of waste.

With nearly 72 per cent of India’s garbage remaining untreated, scientific landfills are an option for urban India to ensure proper waste disposal.

Let’s Know Everything About Scientific Disposal Of Solid Waste:

Scientific disposal of solid waste without causing harm to environment and ecology by segregating wet and dry solid waste; and the waste that can be recycled and others that cannot be recycled as prescribed is yet to take a shape.

Urban dwellers in India are accustomed to being woken up by the garbage collector’s whistle and depositing the day’s garbage in a waste collection vehicle. Many remain unaware of what happens to the garbage post its disposal in a municipal vehicle.

For years, urban civic bodies in India have adhered to disposing waste in landfills, huge acres of land demarcated specifically for garbage disposal.

The concept of landfills in urban India was initially developed as large areas of land situated far away from residential areas and the garbage disposed continuously recycled so that the landfill doesn’t exhaust itself.

But urban population expansion over the years has translated to landfills becoming dump yards, with little regard for their capacity or lifespan.

Landfills in India pose numerous threats due to their unscientific design and indiscriminate disposal of waste. One of the major threats landfills pose is the emission of methane gas due to accumulation of waste. Methane is the leading cause of fires at landfills, resulting in garbage burning which causes severe air pollution.

Landfills also pose tremendous health hazards due to them being a storehouse of virus and bacteria, causing cardiovascular and lung diseases.

Therefore, it is finally time for India to nurture more and more scientific landfills to deal with the growing problem of waste and shrinking landfill spaces.

Scientific Landfill and Its Functioning:


Unlike just a demarcated space for disposing waste, a scientific landfill is constructed as a sustainable space for waste disposal and treatment of municipal solid waste. The technology deployed in constructing a scientific landfill is simple and a scientific landfill ensures complete control over gas developed in the landfill and leachate (water that has infiltrated through a solid and leached out) as well as limited access of vectors such as rodents and flies to the waste.

A scientific landfill is termed so because of its scientific design during construction.

Where on one hand, one of the biggest problems of ordinary landfills is the seeping of solid waste into underlying soil and water, contaminating both but on the other hand, Scientific landfills eliminate the risk of waste seeping underground as the base layer is constructed of 90 metres of clay, thus arresting any seepage or leakage within the landfill.

On top of the base layer, a drainage layer made of soil, measuring 15 metres in length and a vegetative layer of 45 centimetres to minimise soil erosion. The presence of these layers ensures that leachate is collected before it seeps underground.

Scientific landfills also act as degassing systems by reducing the production of methane.

Since the layers soak most of the impurities in the waste disposed, methane generates slowly compared to the generation speed in ordinary landfills.

Also, Vertical wells installed in scientific landfills help extract methane regularly, and the gas can then be used for electricity and heat generation purposes.

Scientific Landfills in India and Why India will go a long way in ensuring scientific disposal of waste:

Taking a cue from countries like Sweden, Norway and Estonia, India too has begun work towards developing scientific landfills. Biggest example is none other than the capital city.  ‘Delhi’ as one of India’s biggest municipal solid waste generators in the country has been reeling with the problem of landfills for years. 

The newly inaugurated landfill at Narela-Bawana is India’s first scientific landfill. At 150 acres, the Narela-Bawana landfill is situated on an area more than double of Ghazipur at 70 acres. The scientific landfill has the capacity to treat 2,000 tonnes of waste every day, generating 24 megawatts of electricity.

Given the Central Pollution Control Board’s estimate of Delhi projected to generate 15,000 tonnes of garbage daily by 2021, the new plant is welcome to change the waste management scenario in capital.

But sadly, Narela-Bawana remains from the few scientific landfill in India because the challenges in constructing scientific landfills across India are many, the chief among them being availability of land, technical know-how and availability of funds for construction.

 The Narela-Bawana landfill was constructed at a cost of Rs. 46 crores, courtesy a public-private partnership model. Unfortunately, not many private companies have been eager to invest in the development of scientific landfills. 

Also, technical know-how of developing scientific landfills remains another area where India needs to work extensively.

45 million of India’s 62 million tonnes of annual garbage remain untreated, a dangerous statistic that would lead India to severe garbage crisis by 2030. Major landfills in the urban metropolises, from Delhi’s Ghazipur to Mumbai’s Deonar are exhausted and overburdened by the daily disposal of waste.

The unscientific design of these landfills has also resulted in severe environmental and health hazards for the urban population of India’s major cities.

According to a CPCB report of 2015; since 2011, 7 megacities of India accounted for nearly 48 per cent of total methane emissions in the country, courtesy the large landfills in these cities.

Therefore, for sure despite the various challenges in their planning and construction, scientific landfills are one of the better waste disposal options for India’s urban spaces.





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