While pollution control boards have put in much effort into creating efficient systems for the storage and disposal of hazardous waste generated by industries, there is virtually no method whereby hazardous domestic waste is treated. Batteries, cell-phones, old mixers and expired medicines find their way into city landfills, where chemicals percolate into ground-water and rivers.

“Government pollution control boards across the country study and certify the competence of various waste transporters and authorize waste-disposal plants for large industries. But a very large proportion of waste is left out of this loop. This includes hazardous waste generated at the household level,” points out Shyam Asolekar, professor at the Centre for Environmental Science and Engineering, IIT-Bombay. Read more