Solid waste management in a city can be divided into collection, transportation and processing. The SWM rules 2016 and Swachh Survekshan toolkits provides road map as well as verification methodologies. Resource recovery and converting the waste to raw material for composting, reuse or recycling is paramount principle. A processing facility needs raw material to be successful and this can optimally happen only if the waste is source segregated and transported to the processing facility, this is a primary need and foundational.
The methodologies of collection and transportation are many and each city adopts which they consider the best. Some of the experimental models include having separate compartments that collect wet, dry and sanitary wastes everyday. In the second, wet and sanitary waste is collected daily but dry waste is picked up twice a week.
The third involves wet and sanitary waste being picked up by one team and dry waste by a nother. The teams can be SHGs, municipalities or contractors. If these teams perform as per the toolkit of Swachh Survekshan 2019, they will do a good job of fulfilling their service level agreements.
Some of the salient features of this would be to strictly follow the Microplan, with allocation of men and materials who have defined job description and scope, GPRS-enabled machines/vehicles. It also includes the strict allotment of a destination or processing facility, which will be monitored on a daily basis, penalties for sub-par services as well as termination and blacklisting if non-performance continue are some of them.
The tender eligibility criteria has to be more inclusive of the all the stakeholders not only the contractors. A consultation of the buy-in of the tender notification with all stakeholders, including pourakarmika unions, pourakarmika sanghas, independent waste-picker associations, recyclers, processing facility operators etc could be a way forward. This exercise may be difficult the first time but promises to be well-advised once it settles....