New urban solid waste management initiative started - CSE launches ‘Forum of Cities that Segregate’

20 municipalities and cities, from 13 states, join the Forum. Commit to achieve 100 per cent source segregation by October 2, 2019

New Delhi, December 12, 2017: In a move that could provide the much-needed impetus to the campaign for waste segregation at source, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has launched a unique ‘Forum of Cities that Segregate’. The Forum was launched here today following a stakeholder’s meeting and a media briefing, which was attended by top municipal officials as well as journalists from across the country.

Twenty municipalities from 13 states have pledged to join this Forum. They include three municipal authorities from Delhi (the New Delhi Municipal Corporation, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation), and urban bodies of Bengaluru, Patna, Gurugram, Imphal, Gangtok, Greater Hyderabad, Bhopal, Indore, Thiruvananthapuram, Mysuru etc.

The management of municipal solid waste in India continues to be a severe problem dogging urban local bodies. Says CSE director general Sunita Narain: “From collection to disposal of waste, cities are struggling to implement an affordable and sustainable model. On the other hand, the amount of waste generated is increasing every day. Urban India alone generates a gigantic 1.5 lakh metric tonnes per day of municipal solid waste; this amount goes up by 5 per cent every year.”

On June 5 this year, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) had kick-started a country-wide campaign to segregate waste at source. But ensuring segregation at source requires infrastructure for segregating, transporting and processing the waste, and tough compliance systems. The ministry had also launched the Swachh Survekshan, the city cleanliness survey, in January 2017 to rank cities on the basis of their segregation, collection, processing and disposal efficiencies.

“The main agenda of this Forum is to give participating cities a platform for exchanging knowledge on solid waste management (SWM),” says Chandra Bhushan, deputy director general, CSE. “We hope that the cities in the Forum would become pioneers in terms of SWM and guide other cities on technical, economic and social aspects of managing their waste.”

The 20 urban local bodies from different parts of the country have pledged to achieve the target of 100 per cent segregation and fulfill the vision of Clean India by 2019. CSE has agreed to assist these municipalities on building their capacity.

In terms of actions initiated by the Forum cities, many – including NDMC and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, Bhopal, Imphal etc -- have started door to door collection of waste. All have begun segregation at source, with cities like Muzaffarpur in Bihar doing it in 50 per cent of its wards (see details of city action in ‘SWM status in the Forum cities’ on our website,

Speaking at the launch, Narain said: "The problem is not about finding the right technology for waste disposal. The problem is how to integrate the technology with a system of household-level segregation so that waste does not end up in landfills, but is processed and reused."

For more information, please contact Vrinda Nagar of The CSE Media Resource Centre -- / 9654106253.