Let’s Go: Recycle Construction, Demolition Waste

Twenty-three years ago, in 1999, Navi Mumbai was one of the first Indian cities to conceptualize and implement a decentralized debris management solution. The project provided an exemplary model for future debris management.

photo credit: Sumaira Abdulali

However, despite their successful demonstration of recycling 1,500 tonnes of C&D debris, the initiative of NGO Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action (UUVA) and City and Industrial Development Corporation Limited (CIDCO) at CIDCO Yuva Building Center closed in 2012.

All cities, including Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Indore and Ahmedabad, have at least one building waste processing plant, either administered by a local authority or in a public-private partnership, according to a survey. According to the Center for Science and Environment (CSE).

In 2022, Mumbai is among 40 other cities in India that have yet to get their first operational debris recycling plant. Despite their findings 5 ​​years ago that recycling of C&D waste is important.

The recently released IPCC Report 2022 states, “If global CO2 emissions continue at current rates, the remaining carbon budget to keep warming to 1.5°C will be exhausted before 2030. Current (2019) emissions In the rates of” it will take only 8. year for the 67th percentile 1.5°C.”

The demolition process is highly polluting; Toxic dust particles from C&D waste are a major source of air pollution. In recognition of this, C&D rules mandating recycling of construction debris were notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India in 2016.

In 2017, the BMC recommended recycling 95 percent of the city’s C&D waste and proposed a 2.7-hectare recycling center in Mulund to handle 1,140 tonnes per day, resulting in sand, clay and bricks. The construction of the center was to begin in 2018. Unfortunately, the project never took off.

In August 2021, Maharashtra Environment Minister Aaditya Thackeray presided over the launch of the Mumbai Climate Action Plan. MCAP is the first such scheme in India and has acknowledged the seriousness of air pollution.

20% of Mumbai’s buildings are being redeveloped and Mumbai is executing several major infrastructure construction projects. In March 2022, after extensive consultations with stakeholders, the government’s MCAP concluded that construction activities in Mumbai contributed 8% of the total emissions of particulate matter and recognized construction and demolition (C&D) as a major component. ) is waste.

“The next few years are critical” says the IPCC report 2022, which discusses the critical need to limit global warming to within 1.5 °C and prevent the worst of climate change.

Air pollution has been recognized by the United Nations as a major cause of climate change. National Swachh Bharat Mission recognized the need for C&D waste management. Air pollution is also one of the most important health risks that we are currently facing. Under the National Clean Air Program (NCAP), Indian cities are to reduce their particulate pollution by 20-30% by 2024.

Despite the recognition of the contribution of C&D waste to air pollution and air pollution to accelerate climate change, construction and demolition (C&D) without systemic waste disposal is rampant throughout Mumbai and surrounding cities such as Thane, Navi Mumbai and others. Is.

Unsurprisingly, in 2022 Mumbai surpassed the air pollution levels of Delhi, one of the most air-polluted cities in the world. Concrete, bricks and metal waste piles up from construction block water bodies, green areas and public spaces in cities around Mumbai.

The IPCC 2022 says that in 2019 “emissions were higher than before at any point in human history … to prevent a rise in temperature, however, net emissions must be zero.”

Mumbai is a city under reconstruction. Even as a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report predicts that the world is headed for an existential climate crisis, a construction project in Mumbai in particular is named as a showcase example of projects that To make this global disaster worse, buildings in Mumbai are being systematically demolished and rebuilt without any pollution control measures. The world is moving towards irreversible warming.



The views expressed above are those of the author.

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