ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Public, Private and Voluntary Agencies in Solid Waste Management

This paper explores equity, accountability and environmental concerns in solid waste management in Chennai city. Through the study of the urban local body, a private agency and a civil society organisation engaged in this activity, the paper highlights issues related to effectiveness and equity, role of the urban poor in this service, and the relevance of an effective policy framework. In the context of increasing private sector participation in public service provision, and global awareness related to the impact of urban footprints on the planet, the study brings out some interesting lessons on the nature of public-private partnerships in SWM, and the role of the state in guaranteeing social and ecological equity and accountability. It also points to the urgent need for a change in the way the state itself approaches solid waste management, stressing policy mandates that will enforce equitable and ecologically sustainable waste management practices across the country. The study is based on qualitative research methodology, and involved in-depth interactions and discussions with residents, agency officials and conservancy workers, detailed examinations of secondary literature on SWM systems, and intensive field observation of SWM processes in the three agencies in Chennai.

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