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Chapter: Civil - Municipal Solid Waste Management - Disposal

Proper Disposal System of Solid Waste

(i) Municipal capacities (ii) Political commitment (iii) Finance and cost recovery (iv) Technical guidelines(v) Institutional role and responsibility (vi) Location



(i) Municipal capacities: With the increasing volume of waste generation, collection of wastes gets more attention than disposal. Furthermore, in India, only a  few  municipalities  seem to  have  the  required  experience  or capacity for controlled disposal.  Some  municipalities may  have  identified  disposal  sites  but still only few may  actively manage  them.  In some places,  contracting  out  waste  disposal  is  seen as  a solution. But,  municipalities  are not equipped  to  deal  with the  problems associated with it,  such as  issues  of  privatisation and monitoring of the contract.


(ii) Political commitment:  SWM  is  more  than  a  technical  issue,  as  any successful programme needs effective political and governmental support. This is rarely a priority of government authorities, unless there is a strong and active public interest as well as international interventions.


(iii) Finance and  cost  recovery:  Development  of  a  sanitary  landfill  site represents a major investment and it generally receives less priority over other resource  demands.  And,  even when  establishment  costs are secured  for  a disposal site, recurrent costs to maintain it always pose problems.

(iv) Technical  guidelines:  Standards  established  for  waste  disposal in one country need not necessarily be appropriate for another, due to reasons such as climatic conditions, resources availability, institutional infrastructure,   socio- cultural values, etc. In the absence of adequate data and/or the means  of collecting/acquiring  it,  officials often  struggle to  plan  a safe  and economically viable disposal option.


(v) Institutional  role  and  responsibility:  A disposal  site  may be  located outside  the  boundary  of  a  town  and  may  serve  more  than one town. This necessitates the  co- ordination   of  all  authorities   concerned,   and  the roles and responsibilities  of different departments need to be clearly defined and accepted by all concerned. 


(vi) Location: The accessibility of a disposal site, especially its distance from town, is an important  factor  in  site  selection,  especially  when  staff  and  public  do  not  have  a  strong incentive to use it, when compared to indiscriminate dumping. Site  selection is  perhaps  the most difficult stage in the development of suitable disposal option.

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