Every year, India generates an estimated 62 million tons of waste. Of that amount, between 75 and 80 per cent is collected by municipal authorities. Worse, of the amount collected, only about 22 to 28 per cent is processed and treated. And that is today. By the year 2050, world waste production is expected to touch approximately 27 billion tons per year. One third of that amount will be generated by China and India collectively.
Waste management forms an inseparable part of sustainable development. Increasing levels of improper and unsafe disposal and treatments-say through incineration or in landfills, or via discharge into water bodies-pose dangerous aftermath consequences for the environment. And although methods of waste management continue to develop in India, the country’s economy still loses a significant amount of potential raw material due to the vast amount of waste left untreated in India.
In the interest of solving this issue, the International Finance Corporation, in collaboration with the European Union, has designed techniques for wastewater and solid waste management that can be applied to a wide range of sectors. As a part of the Eco-Cities India Program, the application of such techniques also tackles the challenges of planning and implementation by enabling partnerships with the public and private sector. Through these associations, strategic solutions that bring the required capital, expertise, and technology do develop a comprehensive waste management infrastructure are being deliberated. The support is also in terms of grants, loans, and technical assistance.
The sector has also focused on practical steps towards waste management-for instance, the generation of energy from waste, reclamations of dumpsites to create land value, e-waste management, recycling and reuse of wastewater, and support to water utilities in terms of energy efficient technologies.
To achieve the goal of efficient waste management, the IFC has collaborated with city and state governments in the cities selected for this project, to deliberate policy actions and techniques. To develop a working model for effective e-waste management, the IFC has worked with the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and Orissa State Pollution Control Board (as well as many other stakeholders) through various workshops, events and deliberations.