For garbage separation at waste unloading sites, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to involve waste picker organisations.
People working in the informal waste picking sector are expected to benefit from the move, as organisations will be able to sell segregated dry waste directly to recyclers.
The corporation has issued an Expression of Interest (EoI) seeking responses from registered waste picker organisations to work at four refuse transfer stations and Deonar, the city's largest dumping ground.
Officials told the media that at the transfer stations and dumping grounds, the organisations will be in charge of sorting dry or non-biodegradable waste from unloaded municipal solid waste. These organisations will transport the waste to recyclers after it has been separated.
Plastic, paper, metal, glass, and e-waste are examples of dry waste that can be recycled.
The organisations will work at four refuse transfer stations: Mahalaxmi, Gorai, Kurla, Versova Lagoon, and Deonar Dumping Ground, according to the EoI. According to the data, the four transfer stations handle about 1,900 metric tonnes (mt) of waste per day, while Deonar receives 700 metric tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. For each site, the BMC will appoint one organisation.
Municipal solid waste is collected from homes or community garbage bins and transported to refuse transfer stations before being dumped. The city currently produces about 6000 metric tonnes (mt) of municipal solid waste per day.
Hundreds of waste pickers in Mumbai make a living by collecting garbage from landfills and community bin sites and selling segregated dry waste to recyclers.
Following a provision in the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, directing urban local bodies to integrate waste pickers in waste management, the BMC made its decision.
According to rule 15 (C) of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016, urban local bodies must establish a system to recognise organisations of waste pickers or informal waste collectors, as well as promote and establish a system for integrating these authorised waste-pickers and waste collectors into solid waste management, including waste collection from door to door.
The BMC told the media that waste segregation will reduce the volume of waste transferred to disposal sites, which is an important goal for solid waste management.