It is well understood that segregation at source lies at the heart of good waste management. Segregation improves collection and processing efficiency. Better segregation mechanisms also ensure livelihood and skill upgradation for the communities engaged in waste handling and collection by building local entrepreneurs and ensuring women empowerment. Also, utilization of segregated streams for processing, cuts down on the numerous health risks that are otherwise caused due to handling, dumping or burning of garbage. But ensuring segregation at source requires better infrastructure and strict compliance systems. Municipalities will need to put in place processes ensuring segregated waste is transported and processed properly. They will also have to come out with bye-laws that support segregation.
Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has been working in cities in India and Global South to document, promote and implement source-segregation model of waste management. We have understood that cities need to develop models which are primarily based on maximum waste recycling and reuse and are least dependent on landfills. Also, such models can be instrumental in livelihood and skill upgradation of the local people, especially women. Such model project aims to build capacity of women on waste collection, recycling and to enable them to generate revenues through economic initiatives. This Model Framework for Segregation has been developed based on our work and learnings in Zanzibar to implement a solid waste management model based on segregation at source, which has been instrumental in empowering women from the local community.