India's Trash Problem
In Mumbai, India, city leaders have a huge problem on their hands. It's not one that sprung up overnight however -- it's one that's been piling up over a period of decades.
Mallika Kapur explains.
--REPORTER PKG-AS FOLLOWS--
ALWAYS BUSY , ALWAYS BUSTLING…
MUMBAI IS A CITY ON THE MOVE.
HOME TO FACTORIES… INDUSTRY… 21 MILLION PEOPLE… AND A LOT OF RUBBISH.
IT GENERATES 10-THOUSAND METRIC TONNES OF WASTE A DAY.
PROBLEM IS - THERE'S NO REAL WAY TO GET RID OF IT.
MUCH OF IT ENDS UP HERE… AT THE DEONAR DUMPING GROUND ON THE EDGE OF THE CITY.
(Mallika Kapur, Mumbai) "There is so much garbage over here, it smells really bad and to be honest it's quite hard to breathe. And if you look at this hill behind me, this isn't actually a hill. It's 90 years of accumulated garbage."
FROM GROUND LEVEL … IT'S AS HIGH AS A TEN STORY BUILDING.
(Rishi Aggrawal, Environmental Activist) "This must have been all lush green mangroves..."
(Mallika Kapur, Mumbai) "This area was once green?"
(Rishi Aggrawal, Environmental Activist) "absolutely, absolutely."
NOW, ACTIVISTS SAY IT'S A NATIONAL EMBARRASMENT.
AND A HAZARDOUS.
PART OF THE DUMP RECENTLY CAUGHT FIRE -
A FIRE SO BIG, WITH SO MUCH SMOKE, IT WAS VISIBLE FROM SPACE.
(Shahbeer, Slum Dweller) "You see the sun today, this man asks me. He lives across the dumping ground. That day you couldn't see it. It was all black."
(Mallika Kapur, Mumbai) "Why does this area catch fire so often?"
(Rishi Aggrawal, Environmental Activist) "This is mixed waste, you see a lot of plastic. Once it has baked in the sun it has completely dried, then it becomes ripe for fire to start."
HE SAYS DEONAR SHOULD HAVE BEEN SHUT YEARS AGO.
WE ASKED THE HEAD OF THE LOCAL CITY COUNCIL WHAT HER PLANS FOR THE DUMPING GROUND ARE... SHE SAID THEY HAVE RAMPED UP A CITY-WIDE CLEANLINESS CAMPIGN AND STARTED DIVERTING SOME OF THE WASTE TO ANOTHER AREA.
AS INDIA CONTINUES TO PROJECT ITSELF AS A GROWING SUPER POWER..
DUMPS LIKE THESE ARE EYE SORES THAT, CRITICS SAY, CONTRADICT ITS AMBITIOUS MESSAGE.
MALLIKA KAPUR. CNN, MUMBAI.
Audio File: NPR Books interview, Following Garbage's Long Journey Around The Earth
Encyclopedia Article: World Book Student, Mumbai
May Need Password
Website Article: How Stuff Works, Science, How Landfills Work