Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John van Buren


This paper explores the complex issue of poor solid waste management in the nation of India. The infamous Ghazipur landfill in New Delhi serves as a focal point of this paper as it provides drastic examples of the consequences of solid waste management systems that do not operate effectively. Drawing on information from various scholarly sources, Chapter 1 discusses the issue of solid waste mismanagement in India and its surrounding quantitative and qualitative data. Chapter 2 highlights the socioeconomic, cultural, and religious aspects of consumption, growth, and waste, specifically in relation to prevailing sociological attitudes on material wealth and luxury. Chapter 3 analyzes the issue in the contexts of public health and environmental justice focusing on how casteism, discrimination and wealth inequality exacerbate disproportionate exposures to mismanaged solid waste throughout India. Chapter 4 highlights the laws, regulations and political systems that govern and influence solid waste management systems in India. Drawing on discussions and lessons learned in previous chapters, the concluding Chapter 5 lists policy recommendations centered on waste management regulation reform coupled with action against inequalities in education, labor and other social, political, and economic institutions that further instances of environmental injustice faced by disenfranchised and minority groups. Chapter 5 also draws from successful examples of efficient waste management systems in India.