Tamil Nadu Government rolls out the Solid Waste Management Policy and Strategy; key takeaways for Waste Generators
As you will be well aware, the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India notified Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 (Rules) on 8th April 2016. Rule 11 of these Rules made it mandatory for all Urban Local Bodies in the country and directed the Municipal Authorities to take several measures such as identification of suitable sites for setting up solid waste processing
facilities, enforcing waste generators to practice segregation of bio degradable, recyclable, combustible, sanitary waste domestic hazardous and inert solid wastes at source and ensure door to door collection of segregated waste and its transportation in covered vehicles to processing or disposal facilities within the time -line specified in the Rules (specified in Rule 22).
While this update is more for understanding the State Policy on this subject, there are some interesting aspects which relate to waste generators of solid waste within the State.
Realizing the importance of having a Policy in place to carry out the objectives of the Rules, the Tamil Nadu government has rolled out the Solid Waste Management Policy and Strategy for the State by implementing the provisions laid under Rule 11 of the Rules.
The role of solid waste management in public health & environmental protection cannot be over-emphasized. Improper solid waste management not only creates health hazards to the community, but also has, far reaching socio-economic, political and ecological consequences. Absence of a clear State policy on the subject and a well – defined strategy to implement Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 are primarily responsible for successful implementation. Serious, holistic efforts therefore need to be made to improve systems of solid waste management in the State.
- The Policy appeals for effective public participation and proposes to educate the masses through Information Education Communication Programmes to ensure such community participation and compliance with law.
- Reiterating the ‘Polluter Pays Principle’, the Policy states that whoever is responsible for damaging the environment shall bear the costs associated with it.
- The following responsibilities of Waste Generators have been specified in the Policy-
- Management of waste at the source and to refrain from littering.
- Segregate bio-degradable, recyclable and inert waste at source.
- Reduce waste by reusing and recycling to the extent possible and handover the residual waste to the waste collector at prescribed place and time.
- Payment of service fee/user charges and taxes as may be prescribed from time to time.
- Make honest efforts to follow the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover).