Daily Current Affairs for UPSC

Waste Crisis Growing in Delhi

Syllabus: Environment and Pollution[GS Paper-2]


Delhi, the national capital of India, is grappling with a severe solid waste management (SWM) crisis. The city generates approximately 13,000 tonnes of waste per day, which amounts to about 1,400 truckloads daily or 42 lakh tonnes annually. This figure is expected to rise to 17,000 TPD by 2031 due to the increasing population, projected to reach 2.85 crore.

The Status of Delhi’s SWM System

In keeping with the 2011 Census enumeration, the population of the capital is about 1. 2024 we will not spend much as it will be only 8 crore which is less than 2. 32 crore. What has to be taken into account is consumer per capita creation of it, which is averagely at no more than 0. 6 kg/day per person, the city generates nearly 13,000 tonnes per day and it comes to about 50 tons per truck, which after the conversion to tons per annum, gives the total amount of about 42 lakhs tonnes per annum. About 90% of the waste generated in the city is collected by the three municipal corporations: Delhi Municipal Corporation (DMC), Delhi Cantonment Board, and the New Delhi Municipal Corporation area which works for better sanitation.

Processing Capacity of SWM in Delhi

Delhi houses waste-processing facilities at Okhla, Bhalswa, Nilothi, and Bawana, which further unite with a few others located in SMA Industrial Area, Tehkhand, Narela, and Ghazipur. These processing plants have a cumulative capacity of approximately 9,200 TPD from all the processing systems. This involves, for instance, the new composting plants doing between 900-1,000 TPD and the waste-to-energy projects which are at 8,200 TPD. However, the MCD is disposing of unprocessed waste of 3,800 TPD in the three designated landfills: Gazipur, Bhalswa, and Okhla are the famous landfill sites of the city.

Challenges in Tackling Waste

Issues of waste management have been trending in the MCD for a long time and are continuously becoming a major problem. One evident problem is the non-separation of source waste at the beginning point of disposal. Some homes and business operations are very responsible, but many are not. This in turn makes it possible for unsegregated mixed waste to get to the landfills. In addition, a big area of land, about 30-40 acres is necessitated by them as they have to set processing plants, which seems a challenge in Delhi. Furthermore, Such issue will finally be followed by much of the waste being left as unmanaged.

Efforts Needed for Waste Separation

To manage the mounting waste crisis, Delhi needs to scale up its processing capacity to handle 18,000 TPD by 2031. Some of the recommended steps include:

  • Segregation at Source: Motivate residences and business offices to divide waste into wet and dry categories.
  • Expand Processing Facilities: Increase the capacity limit of about 9,000 Tonnes Per Day treating biodegradable wet waste if the plant is a composting and biogas one. This may be achieved by building at least 18 anaerobic digesters or putting together new composting plants.
  • Waste-to-Energy Projects: Substitute RDF that are originated from non-recyclable dry waste to generate power although this might incur higher costs but it will reduce the environmental harms.
  • Decentralised Processing: Create Micro-Composting Centres (MCC) and Dry Waste Collection Centres (DWCC) district-wise, the same way they are structured in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Bangalore.
  • Regional Partnerships: Partner in building up composting plants and locating customers of organic compost in the neighbouring states.
  • Learning from Best Practices: Replicate already known to be successful concepts from other cities in India and abroad to manage wastes.


Delhi’s waste management crisis demands immediate and sustained efforts to enhance processing capacity, enforce segregation at the source, and incorporate decentralised processing solutions. With proper planning, coordination, and public awareness, Delhi can tackle its waste challenge and mitigate its adverse environmental and health impacts.

Source: The Hindu

UPSC Mains Practice Question

Q. Analyse the factors contributing to the growing waste crisis in Delhi. Discuss the effectiveness of current waste management policies and suggest measures to improve the situation. 

image_pdfDownload as PDF
Alt Text Alt Text

    Image Description

    Related Articles

    Back to top button
    Shopping cart0
    There are no products in the cart!