Two months ago, we discussed the challenges posed by Construction & Demolition Waste in India.

The Government of India has now notified rules for management of construction and demolition waste (Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016). These rules come into force with immediate effect. These potentially game changing rules have the following key features.

• The onus on collection, segregation, storage and disposal of construction and demolition waste has been put on the generator.

• Storage of construction and demolition waste has to be done within the premises of the generator or it can be deposited at authorized collection center as designated by the local authority (Like the Municipal Corporation). It cannot be dumped in public areas or waste lands or mixed with other solid wastes.

• Waste generators need to pay charges for collection, segregation, storage and disposal of construction and demolition waste as fixed by the local authority.

• Large waste generators (defined as those who generate more than 20 tons or more in one day or 300 tons per project) have some additional responsibilities including: –

  1. Segregation of waste on site (concrete, soil, steel, wood, plastics etc.)
  2. Submission of waste management plan to designated local authority for approval before start of demolition of construction.

Based on these new rules, each State Government is required to prepare a policy document for management of construction and demolition waste. The relevant State Government department is also required to identify sites for setting up waste processing facilities. The responsibility of setting up waste processing facilities is with the designated local authority through own resources or by appointing private operators. The designated local authority would also has responsibilities in all other aspects of waste management; collection, segregation, storage, disposal and usage of manufactured recycled products. Implementation is envisaged under monitoring by respective State Pollution Control Boards. The timeframe fixed for implementation of these rules vary based on the size of the population of the city; as in below table.

S. No.Complience CriteriaCity Population
> 10 lacs5 – 10 lacs< 5 lacs
1Formulation of policy by State Government12 months12 months12 months
2Identification of sites for collection & processing facility18 months18 months18 months
3Commissioning and implementation of the facility18 months24 months36 months
4Monitoring by State Pollution Control BoardsOnce in 4 monthsOnce in 6 monthsOnce in 6 months

After implementation of these rules, construction activity would move into a new era in terms of environment friendliness. The charges for waste management is likely to increase costs; however it is a small price to pay for a sustainable future. These rules also open up business opportunities for companies who have expertise in construction and demolition waste collection, processing and usage. We expect fast development in this space in the next 5 years. Watch this space!

Full text of the notification is available here.