Waste to Energy in Delhi: Alternatives towards Sustainable Urban Waste Management

Working Paper

With the increasing waste production in urban areas, multiple technological solutions, models of waste governance and alternative practices of solid waste management have started acquiring momentum in Indian cities. Of the numerous solutions to this problem, waste to energy technology is emerging as an essential solution in India. Hence, this paper probes whether the emergence of waste to energy technologies is the ‘preferred solution’ for municipal solid waste management in Delhi, in the context of the wider political economy of environmental management in urban India. Specifically, it is concerned with (1) the processes that are involved in the prioritisation of particular types of urban waste management technological interventions, (2) The types of environmental, health and social justice issues that are formally recognized in these processes, and how and why others are unrecognised, (3) who gains and who loses from current interventions, and how people’s understandings compare with those of local service providers and officials, and (4) Possible alternative waste management scenarios, institutional and regulatory arrangements that are emergent.