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Issue 6
, 2007
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Landfills not a solution to Delhi's urban waste crisis: DPCC

By: Parvinder Singh, Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2007

With all the three existing landfills in the National Capital Territory of Delhi running out of capacity and the State Government announcing new sites for fresh landfills, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), a nodal environmental body for the Capital, today said landfills were not a solution for the current Municipal Solid Waste crisis in the city.

Speaking at a day-long workshop on Waste Management in Urban Residential Areas here, S S Ghongkraokta, Member Secretary DPCC, said that landfills can not be seen as the solution for management of urban waste and a realisation must set in that the trash being dumped in them is also affecting the environment.

He stressed on the need for focusing on reduction and effective segregation at the household and residential levels. "There was a time when we only thought of cleaning our homes and colonies and throwing away waste at a distance," he added.

The gathering, which also had representatives from over 25 Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), spent the day highlighting a number of autonomous initiative that are under implementation with community initiative.

The Member Secretary appreciated these efforts and added that citizens have a vital role to play in the process and added that merely blaming the government and concerned agencies would not help.

Satish Sinha, Associate Director, Toxics Link, the Delhi-based non-governmental organisation that hosted the event, said: “Our engagement with residents in Bawana, Gautam Puri and Defence Colony have clearly demonstrated that as much as 80 to 85 percent of the total waste that was earlier going to landfill can be reduced and reclaimed through composting or recycling.”

Earlier, in the keynote address, Ravi Agarwal, Director Toxics Link, said the National Capital is expanding and with a large number of people coming in everyday, Delhi's population is expected to grow to 2.5 crore. The challenge of Municipal Waste Solid Waste will continue to grow. The basic principles of Reduce, Reuse and Re-cycle will remain key to addressing this issue. Technology centric solutions and additional landfills will only add to existing environmental hazards rather than providing sustainable solutions.”

Senior officials from the Delhi Government, including members from Bhagidari Cell, Environment Department also addressed the workshop.