Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India with an estimated city population of 12.4 million. Along with the neighboring regions of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, it is the second most populous metropolitan area in India, with a population of 21.3 million over an area of 4,400 km2. Mumbai lies on the Konkan coast on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbor. It is also the wealthiest city in India. Mumbai is home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Elephanta Caves, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, and the city’s distinctive ensemble of Victorian and Art Deco buildings.

River view of Mumbai, India, Drowning in Waste - WOIMA Corporation

The seven islands that constitute Mumbai were originally home to communities of Koli people, who originated in Gujarat in prehistoric times. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese Empire and subsequently to the East India Company of Great Britain. During the mid-18th century, Bombay was reshaped by reclamation of the area between the seven islands from the sea. Along with construction of major roads and railways, the reclamation project, completed in 1845, transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Bombay in the 19th century was characterized by economic and educational development. During the early 20th century it became a strong base for the Indian independence movement. Upon India’s independence in 1947 the city was incorporated into Bombay State. Mumbai is the financial, commercial and entertainment capital of India. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

Dumping yard, Mumbai, India, Drowning in waste - WOIMA CorporationIn the past 17 years, Mumbai has become the largest waste generator amongst 46 other major cities in India. During this time, the daily waste generated across Mumbai has increased by 105 percent.

In 1999, the daily waste generation was 5,355 tons per day (tpd) and in 2016 it escalated to 11,000 tpd. Mumbai currently has two dumpsites – Kanjurmarg and Deonar; a third one in Mulund was recently closed. The city is expanding the Kanjurmarg dumping yard by another 50 ha to be able to double the capacity from the current 3,000 tpd.

Mumbai relies heavily on the informal sector for its waste management. Most of the recyclable material is picked out of the waste streams, or at the landfill and put to good use. This complies well with the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Rules of 2000 and ensures that a majority of the waste is collected and processed. Yet, plenty of waste is still deposited in the ditches, streams, and drains, which eventually transport the garbage into the Arabian Sea.

High tide spewed waste back in the beach of Mumbai, India, Drowning in Waste - WOIMA Corporation

As proof that karma does exist, the high tide spewed more than 9,000 tons of waste back onto the costal streets and beaches of Mumbai 16 July 2018. A clear statement from nature that waste generated on land must be managed on land. The sight of the popular Juhu beach in the western suburbs of the city, tells the story of Mumbai’s long battle with plastic waste and its struggle with a garbage disposal system that always seems to be under capacity, given the gargantuan requirements of the metropolis. With the increasing waste generation and rising sea levels, sight like this will become more and more frequent in the future.

WOIMA has the perfect solution to help Mumbai, and every other major city in India, to reduce the waste-induced challenges. We have developed a decentralized waste management and power generation solution named “WOIMA Ecosystem” that helps countries and cities to cope with the increasing waste challenges that they are facing.

WOIMA Ecosystem recycles the waste into raw materials and energy in the most efficient manner reducing the waste quantity by over 95%. The small-to-medium size WOIMA Ecosystems are distributed close to where the waste is generated, thus offering significant waste logistics and power distribution savings in addition to solving the waste problem.

Read more: Woima decentralized W2E power generation – case study Nairobi Kenya

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Contact WOIMA, if you see yourself as collaboration partner in saving the planet. Ask more about turning waste into wellbeing with WOIMA Circular Economy Solutions.

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