Two thirds of the municipal solid waste generated in the state is disposed in an unscientific manner, found a report on the status of municipal solid waste management in Maharashtra. The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) assessed the solid waste management practices of urban local bodies, which includes A, B and C class municipal councils as well, up to April 1.
The report has found that out of the state’s 18,918 metric tonnes per day (MT/day) generation of municipal solid waste, only 6,286 MT/day is treated, setting the overall percentage of treatment of solid waste at 33 per cent. According to the report, none of the approximately 9,500 MT/day waste generated by Mumbai is treated, and it is simply dumped “in an unscientific manner” at the Mulund and Deonar dumping grounds. It is estimated that every resident in the metropolis now generates about 630 grams of waste daily, a figure that is expected to touch 1 kg in the coming years.
Similarly, none of the waste generated from Thane, Kalyan-Dombivli and Ulhasnagar civic bodies is treated. Moreover, waste from these areas is dumped at unapproved sites, at Coastal Regulation Zone sites in some corporations. Besides bad odour and occupation of land, especially in space-starved cities like Mumbai, untreated waste has several health hazards, according to D T Deole, senior law officer of MPCB.
The methane generated causes fire incidents at the dumping grounds, and there are times the ragpickers get burned or suffer cuts from acidic chemicals and sharp objects mixed with the wet waste dumped at these sites.
Despite this, only seven local bodies in the state have submitted an action plan for setting up a solid waste treatment and processing plant to the MPCB until April. Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander and Ulhasnagar corporations have yet to submit any action plan. This, despite a revised deadline of 2015 being set up by the Bombay high court in 2013, said Deole.