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With rapid population growth and urbanization there has been quantum increase in generation of solid waste and its quality. The composition of solid waste depends on number of factors such as lifestyle of people, their relative standards of living, general consumer patterns and the level of technological advancement.

The lack of effective solid waste management creates serious health, safety and environmental issues & concerns. The un-managed waste serves as a breeding ground for many diseases, contributes to global climate change through methane generation and promotes urban problems/ issues.

The solid waste consists of Municipal Solid Waste, Construction and Demolition Waste, Plastic Waste, Bio-Medical Waste, Hazardous Waste & E-Waste. Thus, the solid waste management in any city or state will cover the following:

(i)       Municipal Solid Waste covered under Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016

(ii)     Construction and Demolition Waste covered under Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules 2016

(iii)    Plastic Waste Management covered under Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016

(iv)    Bio-Medical Waste covered Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules, 2016

(v)     Hazardous Waste covered under Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management) Rules, 2016

(vi)    E-Waste covered under E-Waste (Management) Rules, 2016

Major features of Solid Waste and its Management in Punjab:

(i)   The current status of Solid Waste Management in the Punjab indicates that the 167 Urban Local Bodies within the state are generating 4100 TPD of solid waste. The cluster approach concept has been developed to outsource collection, transportation, processing and disposal services to private partners.

(ii)  The Department of Local Government, Punjab through its implementation agency (PMIDC) has initiated low cost and easy to operate – maintainable decentralized or on-site scientific waste management approach focusing on 100% source segregation as per SWM Rules, 2016 and ‘Star Rating of Garbage Free Cities’ protocol.

(iii) The segregation of waste at source has started in 143 ULBs covering 1486 (48%) wards and door-to-door collection of waste has initiated in 162 ULBs covering 2804 (90%) wards. With this approach, decentralized composting has started at varying scale in the ULBs across the State and processing of wet waste through honey comb aerobic composting is being done in 143 ULBs including Municipal Corporation.

(iv) Institutions, schools, religious organization have also been covered for management of their own park/ garden/ horticulture waste (green waste) and city parks have also been covered under the decentralized approach. The preference shall be given to decentralized processing to minimize transportation cost and environmental impacts.

(v)  The Department of Local Government has notified Punjab State Solid Waste Management Policy 2018 as per the mandate of Solid Waste Management Rules 2016. The Policy has also been adopted by Department of Rural Development & Panchayats for the Panchayats of Census towns in compliance to Rule 13 of SWM Rules, 2016. The Policy envisages that the State shall work for attaining and sustaining the scientific solid waste management by adopting the systematic decentralized approach focusing on 6Rs principal i.e. refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, redesign and research. The key action points in the Punjab State Solid Waste Management Policy are:

·           Segregation of waste at source

·           Door to door collection, Single/ multi point aggregation

·           Scientific processing, Bulk waste generators

·           Promotion of home composting and kitchen gardening

·           On-site management of park/ garden/ horticulture waste

·           Marketing of compost and recyclables,

·           Integration of rag pickers and community based organization

·           Service charges and spot fine

·           Prohibition on burning of waste

·           Prohibition of single use plastic/ thermocol items

·           Education strategy for sustained behaviour change

·           Public participation

·           Strengthening the capacity of ULBs

·           Safety measures and Institutional arrangements