Sweeping cities clean under Swachh Bharat is only half the solution. Responsible waste management is the other half, suggests a year-long assessment of cities by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) to understand their waste management tactics.

Only four out of the 20 forum cities assessed in 2017-18 have a segregation percentage higher than 90 per cent — Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Panchgani and Vengurla in Maharashtra, and Alappuzha in Kerala. Capital Delhi has a lot to learn from smaller towns on matters of waste.

“East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC), South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC), Patna, Gaya, Imphal and Gurugram have segregation levels below 33 per cent,” stated the report. The Alappuzha municipality has been pushing for source segregation since 2013. Today, all 52 wards of the city are practising segregation of waste at source — at homes, commercial establishments and bulk generators.

Also, in Alappuzha and Thiruvananthapuram, the municipality collect only the dry waste; residents are expected to treat the wet waste at source.

Waste classification

In Vengurla, every household segregates waste into wet, dry and domestic hazardous categories. Dry waste further gets segregated into twenty different categories.

In Indore, the municipal corporation has enrolled four NGOs to promote cleanliness and source segregation. All households, commercial establishments and bulk generators practice source segregation.

Also, plastic in dry waste in Panchagani, Vengurla and Indore gets used in road construction projects.

Thiruvananthapuram, Mysuru, Gangtok and Muzzafarpur had segregation levels of 75 to 90 per cent, while Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bobbili and Vaijapur are close on their heels with 50-75 per cent waste segregation.

In Indore, composters are installed in markets and commercial areas to treat waste.

Under the ‘forum of cities that segregate,’ started by CSE, 26 cities from 14 States have come together to ensure that they adopt 100 per cent source segregation and become the pioneers of waste management in the country.