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Several waste management rules notified under Environment (Protection) Act

Under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change notified the following waste management standards for ecologically sound waste management:

(i) Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016;

(ii) Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016;

(iii) Bio-medical Waste Management Rules, 2016;

(iv) Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016;

(v) Hazardous and other wastes (Management and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016

(vi) E-waste Management Rules, 2022; and

(vii) Battery Waste Management Rules, 2022. Approximately 76% of total trash generated in metropolitan areas, i.e. approximately 1.5 lakh MT/D, gets treated. This information was provided by Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

In the year 2022, under relevant waste management rules, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) based on market mechanism has also been operationalized for environmentally sound management of plastic packaging waste, E-waste, waste tyre, battery waste and used oil.

EPR for plastic packaging waste, E-waste, waste tyre, battery waste and used oil will promote the development of waste management sector.

Also, the capacity for processing of solid waste, hazardous waste, bio-medical waste, E-waste, plastic waste, construction and demolition waste in the country has increased since 2014. The solid waste processing capacity has increased by around 1,05,876 TPD in last eight years under Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban).

Separately, Guidelines have also been issued on environmentally sound management of solid waste, plastic waste, hazardous and other wastes, biomedical waste, E-waste and C&D waste. Directions have also been issued under Environment Protection Act, 1986, for implementation of the waste management rules. Also, Guidelines have been developed for levy of environmental damages /environmental compensation charges based upon polluter pays principle, for hazardous waste, E-waste, and plastic waste.

Additional central assistance is provided under Swachh Bharat Mission for solid waste management including plastic waste management in urban and rural areas, as per scheme guidelines. The Central Government has launched Swachh Bharat Mission Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0) in October 2021 with overall vision of creating “Garbage Free Cities”, to be executed over five years, which would involve achieving the target that all Urban Local Bodies will become at least 3-star certified (as per Star Rating Protocol for Garbage Free Cities) covering door to door collection, source segregation, and scientific processing of municipal solid waste.

A total financial allocation of Rs. 1,41,678 crores over a period of 5 years from 2021-2026 has been made under Urban Swachh Bharat Mission 2.0, with a focus on source segregation of garbage, reduction in single-use plastic, reduction in air pollution by effectively managing waste from construction-and-demolition activities and bio-remediation of all legacy waste dump sites.

Under Swachh Bharat Mission – Grameen Phase II, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation has issued operational guidelines to the States and Union Territories which include solid waste management activities at the village level.

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