In 2011, urban India generated 62 million tonnes of solid waste per year (Census); this is slated to increase five-fold to 260 million tonnes per year by 2047 (TERI). Under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), 80% of the urban population (allowing for a 2% increase year on year) has to be covered for Solid Waste Management (SWM). It is therefore imperative that environmentally-sound, socially, and techno-economically viable SWM practices are adopted to ensure sustainability in the long run. MoEF has drafted SWM Rules in 2000. The 2015 draft amendments propose that every effort must be made to achieve the desired objective of zero waste (ZW); landfills are to be permitted only for non-usable, non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, non-combustible and non-reactive waste.
ZW strategy is based on the hierarchy of 3Rs, namely- reduce, reuse and recycle. This marks a shift from cradle-to-grave approach, which focuses on landfills and incineration, to a cost-effective cradle-to-cradle (or circular economics) approach in managing waste, where the waste from one product serves as an the input for another, thereby negating the need for landfills and incineration.
Initially coined by Palmer back in 1973, the term gained currency in the 1990s with countries like Australia, New Zealand, and USA adopting its tennets. India’s adoption of this has largely been at the local level driven by local governments such as Pune and Mysore, at the state-government level by states such as Gujarat, or by NGOs like Chintan, EXNORA, and Thanal. This Seminar will focus on the desirability and applicability of the ZW strategy in India, and the challenges faced in rolling this out, learning from national and international experiences.
Presentation 1 Motivating citizens and administration for zero-waste cities: The case of Pune, India by Mr Kunal Kumar Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation.
Kunal Kumar is a 1999 batch IAS officer from the Maharashtra cadre, currently serving as Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation. Mr. Kumar has received four awards for effective e-governance, and in 2012 bagged the Aadhar Governance and Excellence Award from the Centre for implementing the Aadhar programme in Aurangabad. He is an electrical engineer by training and has earlier served in the Nagpur and Kohlapur municipal corporations. Pune is one of the cities that has rolled out its Zero-Waste strategy on a ward by ward basis, and in February 2015 announced that this will be rolled out to a further 10 wards. Through this model, Pune has saved more than Rs. 15 crore per annum in waste handling costs, has generated about 1 megawatt energy from 100 tones of organic waste using biogas, and has achieved 100% scientific disposal since 2010 with no open dumping.
Presentation 2 Pathways to Zero Waste in the Indian Context by Dr Ashish Chaturvedi, Research Fellow, Green Transformations Cluster, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
Dr Chaturvedi has over 14 years of professional experience and specialises in climate change mitigation, waste management, sustainable consumption and production, and environmental policy. His current focus is on issues related to the circular economy and the drivers for Green Transformations. Before joining IDS, Dr. Chaturvedi led the Policy for Environment and Climate component of the bilateral Indo-German Environment Programme. As a Senior Advisor with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, he advised the Indian Ministries and Departments at various levels of Government and implemented projects in the area of waste/resource management, climate change and economic instruments. He was a part of a multi-stakeholder group responsible for drafting the E-Waste Law in India and has been a member of multiple committees at the state and national government level. Dr. Chaturvedi has published extensively in books, journals and general interest magazines. He has also presented at various national and international conferences. A PhD in Economics from the University of California at Irvine, Dr. Chaturvedi’s PhD thesis explored the role of influence activities on the electoral process, policymaking in environments characterised by asymmetric information and quality of public good provision by non-government organisations.
15:00 - 15:05: Introduction & Welcome
Sindhushree Khullar, CEO, NITI Aayog
15:05-15:15: Zero-waste in India: Some Policy Questions
Mr Shubhagato Dasgupta, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research
15:15 - 15:35: Presentation: Motivating citizens and administration for zero-waste cities: The case of Pune, India
Kunal Kumar, Commissioner, Pune Municipal Corporation
15:35 - 15:55: Presentation: Pathways to Zero Waste in the Indian Context
Dr Ashish Chaturvedi, Research Fellow, Green Transformations Cluster, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex
15:55 - 16:30: Open discussion
Moderated by Sindhushree Khullar,CEO NITI Aayog
The NITI Aayog-CPR Open Seminar Series: aims to create a platform for deliberation on models for urban sanitation, including service delivery, through a series of thematic seminars with academic and research institutions, development partners, public and private organisations, NGOs and the three tiers of government. The seminar series will strengthen the understanding of the challenges and opportunities in sanitation by promoting evidence-based knowledge in the sector. The space seeks to initiate discussion by sharing experiences; lessons learned from successes and failures; alternative models of sanitation technologies and service delivery models; and studies of best practices. This platform will be a crucial tool to leverage the expertise of various stakeholders on urban sanitation, including service delivery, and create a feedback loop into government, aiding the Swachh Bharat Mission in being a dynamic and responsive programme on sanitation. The presentations and subsequent discussions will be summarized as thematic discussion briefs for wide dissemination.
CPR is implementing a policy research project that is focused on urban sanitation in Indian cities entitled Scaling City Institutions – For India: Sanitation (SCI-FI: Sanitation). The project has four thematic components focusing on national flagship programmes, action research in two medium-sized cities, sector-specific issues in the delivery of urban sanitation, and a pilot demonstration of city-wide sanitation service delivery in two small towns of Odisha state. For more information on the project please visit: http://cprindia.org/sci-fi.