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Waste to Wealth Technologies

Topics covered:

  1. Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment


Waste to Wealth Technologies


What to study?

For prelims: about PM-STIAC- composition, roles and objectives.

For mains: waste to wealth- need, significance and challenges.


Context: To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA) to the Government of India and Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) signed a Memorandum of Understanding for setting up a Centre of Excellence for Waste to Wealth Technologies for implementation of sustainable, scientific and technological solutions for waste management, through validation and deployment of available technologies for transformation of waste to wealth.


Key facts:

  • The waste to wealth mission project has been approved under the recently constituted Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
  • The partnership will provide an effective platform for stakeholders to bring together integrated approaches for effective recycle, reuse and resource recovery of waste.
  • The immediate objective is to implement technologies that are available with various national and international academias, industries, research laboratories and other agencies by way of setting up pilot projects on-site effectively and successfully, and demonstrating the proof of concept of the technology under Indian condition.
  • This will be carried out by creating a strong collaborating network between IIT Delhi, and other national and international stakeholders through the aegis of the office of the PSA.
  • The long-term goal is to create circular economic models for waste management, by leveraging big data analytics and frontier technologies to streamline waste in India.
  • The overall outcomes would involve treating waste and generating different forms of energy, thereby making India a waste free nation, with zero greenhouse gas emission and no health hazard.
  • Under the initiative, a waste to wealth programme management centre will also be set up at IIT Delhi.
  • The office of the PSA acts as a ‘think-tank’ and ‘action-tank’ for science, technology and innovation activities. The office plays a catalytic and synergistic role to strongly connect government ministry, academia and industry, to evolve relevant policies, make recommendations for the relevant scientific departments and ministries, and implement scientific interventions in various sectors of national priority.


Why convert waste to wealth?

Over 75% of the waste we generate is recyclable but we, in India, recycle just 30%. It is time for the nation to wake up and start taking waste management seriously because if this issue is ignored any further then by 2030 we will need a landfill as big as Bengaluru to dump all the waste.

According to the Central Pollution Control Board, less than 15% of the municipal solid waste generated is processed or treated.

There are various issues plaguing efficient waste management in India, ranging from lack of proper guidelines, planning on the part of authorities, poor waste collection, and treatment system to poor awareness among citizens about waste segregation.


About Prime Minister’s Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council:

Chairperson: Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India

  • The PM-STIAC is an overarching Council that facilitates the PSA’s Office to assess the status in specific science and technology domains, comprehend challenges in hand, formulate specific interventions, develop a futuristic roadmap and advise the Prime Minister accordingly.
  • PSA’s Office also oversees the implementation of such interventions by concerned S&T Departments and Agencies and other government Ministries.