A burning issue at Okhla
The Supreme Court has ordered a go-slow on waste-to-incineration technology that may be potential harmful to public health, but the MNRE is guided more by its focus on tackling urban waste.
Hazards | Delhi
May 2011

Invisible environmentalists
They forage the city, collecting and sorting often hazardous waste when the city sleeps and by day they are gone. We have no long-term policy in place that looks at their welfare or health.
Kalpana Sharma
June 2010

Adding the fourth R
The Acorn Foundation India Trust aims to organise ragpickers and train them in scientific methods of waste handling, segregation and recycling, bringing a measure of respect to their work.
May 2010

Know-how at whose cost?
While the usual debate over responsibility for reducing carbon emissions continues globally, there is also a parallel argument over the need for transfering clean technologies to the developing world.
Climate | Energy
April 2009

The environmental refugees of Brahmapuram
Recently, disaster struck all 53 families of the Chellipadam village in a Kochi suburb, when nearly 25 lorries, all carrying stinking garbage from the city rolled in with heavy police escort and dumped decaying garbage in their midst. The villagers had to flee their homes unable to stand the stench. M Suchitra and P N Venugopal have more.
Urban environment | Kerala
July 2007

Burning biomass is not green - II
Keeping in mind the characteristics of Indian municipal solid waste, a Supreme Court committee had recommended composting and recycling. Still, in our cities and towns, on an average, only 60 per cent of solid wastes are even collected. Gopal Krishna on what is holding better waste management back.
Cities | Guest column
October 2006

Compact biogas plant making waves
Biogas plants are not new, but their size, relative unwieldiness and reliance on large quantities of cattle dung have held back their potential attractiveness for the domestic cooking sector. That may change soon, thanks to the ingenuity of Dr Anand Karve. Vinita Deshmukh reports about Karve's new award-winning compact plant.
Energy | Consumers | Maharashtra
July 2006

Burning biomass is not green - I
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi and the Timarpur Waste Management Company Pvt. Ltd., have proposed a waste incineration plant to treat the city's solid waste and generate 6 MW of electricity. TWMPCL has applied to a United Nations body for tradable carbon credits. Gopal Krishna finds much wrong in the proposal.
Toxic hazards | Delhi
July 2006

From plants to plastics
Plastics have become synonymous with modern life, but are difficult to dispose of and have become a significant source of environmental pollution. Biodegradable plastics are now a possibility, and a shift in India's agricultural biotechnology thrust may help put them to good use, says Vaijayanti Gupta.
Guest columns
June 2006

Turning old into gold
The idea of recycling is not new, but setting up a distribution network to enable scale and reach the poor, is. Goonj, a New Delhi-based NGO, works through partners in 14 states through 100 agencies. Other, smaller efforts are thriving as well. Chitra Balasubramaniam reports.
Urban environment | Society
March 2006

The scrapping of Riky
First, a ship with dubious credentials leaves the shores of Denmark. Then a month later, India allows it to beach at Alang, Gujarat's massive shipbreaking yard, for scrapping. In between, it gets a new name and rules are flouted to let it in. Gopal Krishna chronicles how in 2005, Riky, unlike Clemenceau, sailed through the law.
Environmental hazards | Environmental regulation
March 2006

Some concrete solutions
India generates 100 million tonnes fo fly ash each year, and close to 90% of this ends up in waste mounds. But Georg Dirk believes that 40% of this by-product of thermal power stations can be turned into cement, reducing energy costs, environmental pollution, and waste. Darryl D'Monte reports.
May 2005

Whose garbage is it, anyway?
In a hurry to meet MSW 2000 Rules and to spruce up the cities, municipalities are outsourcing city waste collection to private contractors. As a result, rag-pickers face a loss of their livelihood, unless the informal sector itself can be institutionalised within the hierarchy of solid waste management. Surekha Sule reports.
Urban environments | Maharashtra
January 2005

Back: the long arm of the law
Pushed to wall by a Supreme Court monitoring committee, Kerala's industries as well the state's pollution watchdog are finally seeking ways to reverse a reckless approach to hazardous waste management. There is no time to waste, reports C Surendranath.
Hazards | Kerala
September 2004

Neutralising industrial waste with worms
Vermicomposting to turn household waste into manure is widely used worldwide, but using it to treat toxic waste is relatively recent. Dr.Suneet Dabke is finding that toxic industrial sludge with a high proportion of organic matter may be processable at lower costs than dumping at landfills. Surekha Sule reports.
Hazards | Gujarat
September 2004

Municipalities overruling the SC
The Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) Rules came about as the outcome of a Supreme Court ruling in 2000. However, except a standout municipality in AP, none of the other towns and cities in India are on schedule. Surekha Sule reports.
Local govt
July 2004

Rethinking waste management
India faces a massive waste disposal crisis, amidst growing migration and consumption driven by economic changes. While holistic solutions are available, municipalities have struggled to implement them without proper planning and support from various ministries. Sanjay K Gupta reports.
April 2004

Treating garbage right
There's more to garbage than just stink and filth. Pune-based Nirmala Lathi has devised a method of vermiculture that enables plants to grow healthily not in soil, but instead using properly treated organic waste. The handy fruits and vegetables are a bonus. Rasika Dhavse reports.
March 2004

No wasteful business this!
Where does our raddiwallah offload his burden? What happens to our oiled newspapers, old books, and crumpled mineral water bottles? Varupi Jain traces the life of household and other waste in Delhi and in Germany, and finds both hope and apprehension.
March 2004

E-waste crisis around the corner
A recent report published by Toxics Link reviews the waste management situation that India has to deal with on the fast-widening information-technology highway.
May 2003