About permitting the rag
pickers to collect the waste from homes, shops and market places.
Water Supply and Sanitation Department
Government Circular No: Ghakavya 1001/ Pra. Kra 546/ Papu-22
Mantralaya Mumbai 400032
5 January, 2002
See: 1) The
Burman Committee Report-The committee that was appointed to study
the solid waste management in class-1 cities by the Hon. Supreme
Court of India
Shasan Paripatrak No. Ghakavya- 1099/ Pra Kra 314/ Papu-22 Dated:
6, April 1999
Civil Solid Waste Management (Management and Handling) Ministry of
Environment and Forest, Government of
waste management is an important task of the local self-
government bodies. Increasing urbanization poses the question of
the management of the resulting waste, for the civic authorities.
As there is no scientific method of collecting and
disposing the waste, pollution in the city rises, paving the way
for different epidemics. The
waste that is generated in the city, is not stored at one place.
In recent times, it has been observed that the waste generated is
thrown on the roads, footpaths, in drains and gutters by the
citizens. Also, the
roads and footpaths of the city are not cleaned regularly and
hence the waste keeps accumulating.
the petition filed in the Hon Supreme court with respect to solid
waste management, the Supreme Court established the Burman
Committee to study the status of the solid waste management in
Class I cities in
and recommend measures for improvement.
Considering the recommendations made by the Burman
Committee, also as per the order of the Supreme Court, the
Ministry of Environment and
of the Central
Government has prescribed Rules, 2000, for municipal solid waste
(management and handling). As
per that, the civic authorities have to classify the waste
generated in the city, collect it, store it, treat it and dispose
the waste in a specific timeframe.
As per the provision drafted by the Central government,
implementation of the above is mandatory.
present rag pickers do the task of collecting waste in small and
big cities. They earn
their livelihood by collecting waste in the city.
It is assumed that about 10% of the total waste generated
in the city is collected by rag pickers and sold through a
middleman to recycling industries. This helps lessen the burden of
expenses on the civic authorities to collect waste, transport it
and dispose it. This group mainly consists of women, girls and
boys. One of the many recommendations made by the Burman Committee
is to organize these rag pickers enlisting the help of
non-government organizations, for Door-step collection of waste.
If these rag pickers are organized and asked to collect
waste from allotted places it will help in the management of
cleanliness in the city and result in better health for the
people. Also, as they
will get a good price for their collected waste, it will help
raise their living standards.
Based on these recommendations of the Burman Committee, the
government considered giving instructions to civic authorities.
a part of the different methods available to collect and dispose
the waste generated in the city, rag pickers should be organized
with the help of non-government organizations for Door-step
collection of waste generated on a day-to-day basis from homes,
shops and market places and dispose it, and the civic authorities
should implement the following methods and regulations.
- These unorganized
rag pickers collecting waste in different parts of the city
should be organized with the help of the non-government
organizations and register a cooperative. The local
self-government should take an initiative to get these
cooperatives registered. Registered
rag pickers organization should be allotted the work of
collecting waste in the city parts/wards with the help of
work to these cooperatives to collect waste from various places in
the city, the citizens should be informed of this method.
Also discussions should be held with non-government
organizations, eminent citizens, Mahila Mandals and people’s
Those rag pickers
who have not registered in the cooperative, can also be, under
exceptional circumstances, allowed to collect waste on an
individual basis after registering themselves.
authority should give preference to the cooperatives formed by the
rag pickers to collect dry waste.
The shops, market
places and hawking organizations should give the work of waste
collection from their surroundings on an everyday basis to
cooperatives of the rag pickers.
For this, at the place where the waste is generated, two
separate bins should placed. One
should be for food and biodegradable waste and the other for
recyclable /reusable things. The
rag pickers have to collect this waste at a particular time every
day or help should be
extended that enables Door-collection by providing a ‘Ghanta
gadi’ or any other need.
If the city has a
waste processing unit, the waste collected by the rag pickers
should be used for the same or the rag pickers should have the
freedom to sell it in the market.
This will provide income to the rag pickers and help
improve their living standard.
authorities/ NGOs should issue identification cards to the
registered rag pickers. This
will enable the citizens to know the registered rag pickers.
authority/ NGO should allot a specific place, as per the
situation, and give the task to the registered rag pickers or
their organizations to collect waste from 250-300 homes.
The task of
collecting Bio-Medical waste and polluted/ toxic waste should not
be allotted to the rag pickers.
Civic authorities should make provision for collecting
general waste and bio medical waste separately and storing it and
disposing it and monitor it effectively.
authority/NGO should not engage the registered rag picker on a
daily wage or a monthly wage basis for collecting waste from
homes, shops and market places etc.
Also the NGOs should not function as an agent allotting
jobs but work with the aim to improve the social and economic
status of the rag pickers.
As per full cost
recovery, rag pickers or their organizations should be given the
task of Door-step collection on a contractual basis.
The civic authorities and the rag pickers should mutually
decide upon the amount expected on services rendered.
If a civic
authority already has a system of Door-step collection of waste,
it is not mandatory to entrust the work to the rag pickers.
But if it is possible to allot work to the rag pickers and
reduce expenses on their own workers, such efforts should be made.
the order and in the name of the Governor of Maharashtra
Secretary, Government of