G. Poyyamoli

G. Poyyamoli |Clyto Access

Associate Professor, Pondicherry University, India

Organizing Committee Member

Expertise: Sustainable Water/Waste Management, Social Ecology

Biography: G. Poyyamoli (PhD in Ecology) is an Associate Professor in the interdisciplinary Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University from 1987 onwards; Coordinator, MSc (sustainable development) Pondicherry University (from 1987 -2011); a Member Secretary for the Pondicherry University Renewable Energy and Sustainability Cell from 2013 onwards ; member of several professional organizations- member commission on ecosystem management, IUCN, Switzerland. His areas of specialization are social ecology, climate change and sustainability-sustainable water/waste management, green campus, green city, agro-ecology, industrial ecology, sustainable tourism/ecotourism and integrated coastal zone management. He has published 46 journal articles, three books and 26 book chapters


Title: Sustainable Municipal Solid Waste Management Systems based on Integrated Resource Recovery Centers & pro-poor Eco-enterprises in Asia – Lessons learnt & the way forward


Asia consists of many rapidly expanding economies and supports more than half the world’s population. Thus, the consequent increasing municipal solid waste generation and its diversity, higher handling/management costs incurred, unavailability of landfill space, lack of attention given to reuse/recycle and waste to resource opportunities, inadequate MSW services (only about 75% can be collected), and lack of importance given to the social dimensions are identified as major problems. Currently in Asian settlements, mixed MSW is indiscriminately dumped into open spaces, on access roads and in waterways where mosquitoes- disease vectors breed. In addition to the open burning of MSW – a common practice adopted to reduce the space requirements at the dumpsite that emit carcinogenic air pollutants , uncontrolled dumping leads to the anaerobic decomposition of organic materials resulting in the release of methane, a powerful green house gas (GHG), negatively impacting the climate.

 The leachate from the  garbage heaps percolates into soil and waterways, contaminating water, soil, and food, besides release of toxic metabolites, etc..culminating in serious environmental and health implications, particularly for the most vulnerable, such as children and the elderly . Such processes cause foul odours, unaesthetic ambiance and eye sore that can often have negative impacts on the tourism and other related sectors.

Only about 5 – 20 per cent of the total waste generated in developing countries of Asia needs to be sent to the landfill, whereas the remaining waste can be effectively recycled back into the economy. The high percentage of organic waste (70-80%), if recovered by deploying appropriate systems before they enter the mixed waste stream, can be converted into compost, biogas and other sources of energy/recoverable materials. Thus, it is unsuitable for incineration due to its high moisture content and low calorific value. The resource recovery and recycling industry of MSW in Asia is largely in the unorganized sector through rag pickers, local scrap-dealers and private initiatives which are unconnected with the central waste management system.



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