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Significant Steps in Waste Management

Context:

In a recent written reply in the Rajya Sabha, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change highlighted the significant steps taken to tackle waste management in the country.

Relevance:

GS II: Environment and Ecology

Highlighted Initiatives in Waste Management:

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Mechanism:
  • EPR is a policy approach that holds producers accountable for the entire lifecycle of their products.
  • Producers are responsible for product collection, recycling, and disposal.
  • Aims to reduce environmental impact by shifting waste management responsibility to producers.
  • In 2022, EPR initiatives were implemented for plastic packaging, E-waste, battery waste, and used oil.
  • Utilization of market mechanisms expected to stimulate growth in the waste management sector.
Waste Processing Capacity:
  • Approximately 76% of the 1.5 lakh metric tons per day (MT/D) of urban waste is processed.
  • Notable increase in waste processing capacity since 2014.
  • Capacity expansion for solid waste, hazardous waste, bio-medical waste, E-waste, plastic waste, and construction and demolition waste.
  • Solid waste processing capacity increased by around 1.05 lakh MT/D under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).
Swachh Bharat Mission for Solid Waste Management:
  • Central assistance provided for solid waste management, including plastic waste management in urban and rural areas.
  • Launch of Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 in 2021 with the goal of creating “Garbage Free Cities.”
  • Focus on door-to-door collection, source segregation, and scientific processing of municipal solid waste.
  • Emphasis on source segregation, reducing single-use plastic, managing construction-and-demolition waste, and bio-remediation of waste dump sites.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen Phase II includes solid waste management activities at the village level.
 Waste Management Rules and Guidelines:
  • Implementation of various waste management rules and guidelines under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
  • Includes Solid Waste Management Rules (2016), Plastic Waste Management Rules (2016), Bio-medical Waste Management Rules (2016), Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules (2016), Hazardous and other wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules (2016), E-waste Management Rules (2022), and Battery Waste Management Rules (2022).
  • Guidelines issued for environmentally sound waste management.
  • Development of guidelines for the levy of environmental damages/environmental compensation charges based on the polluter pays principle for hazardous waste, E-waste, and plastic waste.

 


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