Waste Management and Health of the Waste Workers—A Study in Shimla City, Himachal Pradesh

  • Jagdev Chand Sharma
  • Sanghmitra S. AcharyaEmail author


As a public health concern, waste management in contemporary India requires to ask questions about the waste economies of garbage. An attempt has been made to highlight the delicate, contingent and shifting relations between health governors and those governed, between its buyers and its sellers, and between the discarded and the grasped. Within the domain of waste management, while on the one hand, environment seems to be of supreme concern, there are also reflections of the consideration for the people involved in the disposal process too. This therefore makes it desirable to examine the process of waste management and disposes the health of the persons engaged in the activities related to this process as well as outcomes and responses to this engagement. This study endeavours to examine the patterns of waste management and disposal, in the selected study: social, economic and demographic profile of the personnel engaged in waste management and disposal. The study also intends to understand their health issues, through the illness history: health-seeking behaviour (source, reason, the expenses incurred—source of finance for the expenditure incurred, e.g. borrowings, savings, income wages). This is likely to give insight into the outcomes of such engagement. The present study would also examine the health security and hazard protection of the workers (nature and type of security, hazard protection equipments, etc.) to understand the responses.


Waste management Health Waste workers Waste disposal Environment 


  1. Acharya, D. B., & Singh, M. (2000). The book of Hospital Waste Management. New Delhi: Minerva Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bhide, A. D. (1990). Regional overview on solid waste management in South East Asia Region. New Delhi: World Health Organisation.Google Scholar
  3. Bhide, A. D., & Sundaresan, B. B. (1984). Solid waste management in developing countries. New Delhi: Indian National Scientific Documentation Centre.Google Scholar
  4. Buck, E. J. (1925). Simla past and present. Bombay: The Times Press.Google Scholar
  5. Choudhary, B. K. (2003, December 13–19). Waste and waste-pickers. Economic and Political Weekly, 38(50), 5240–5242.Google Scholar
  6. Cook, H. J., et al. (2009). History of social determinants of health-global histories, contemporary debates. India: Orient BlackSwan Private Limited.Google Scholar
  7. Department of Health and Family Welfare. (2008). The road map for health development in Himachal Pradesh (Vision 2008), Shimla, Govt. of Himachal Pradesh. Retrieved February 29, 2009, from
  8. Furedy, C. (1990, December). Social aspects of solid waste recovery in Asian cities. Environmental Sanitation Reviews, 30.Google Scholar
  9. Furedy, C. (1993). Working with the waste pickers. Alternatives, 19(2), 18–23.Google Scholar
  10. Furedy, C. (1997, May–August). Socio-environmental initiatives in solid waste management in southern cities: Developing international comparisons. Journal of Public Health, 27(2), 142–156.Google Scholar
  11. Gill, K. (2006, January 14). Deprived castes and privileged politics-an urban informal market in contemporary India. Economic and Political Weekly, XLI(2), 14.Google Scholar
  12. Harpham, T., & Stephens, C. (1991). Urbanization and health in developing countries. World health statistics quarterly. Rapport trimestriel de statistiques sanitaires mondiales, 44(2), 62–69.Google Scholar
  13. Kavwar, P. (1999). Essays on urban patterns in nineteenth century Himachal Pradesh. Shimla: Indian Institute of Advanced Studies.Google Scholar
  14. Ministry of Health and family welfare. (2008). National Urban Health Mission (Draft) (2008–2012). Meeting the health challenges of Urban Population especially urban poor, Union Health Division, Government of India.Google Scholar
  15. Ministry of Urban Development. (2005). Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). New Delhi: Government of India.
  16. Ministry of Urban Development. (2006, March–April). Jawaharlal Nehru national urban renewal mission: Guidelines for projects under urban infrastructure and governance sub-mission, published in Spatio-Economic Development Record, 13(2).Google Scholar
  17. Murray, R. (1999). Creating wealth from waste. London: Demos.Google Scholar
  18. Mutatkar, R. K. (1995). Public health problem of urbanisation. Social Science and Medicine, 41(7), 977–981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. O’Brien, M. (1999a). Rubbish values: Reflections on the political economy of waste. Science as Culture, 8(3), 269–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. O’Brien, M. (1999b). Rubbish-power: Towards a sociology of the rubbish society. In J. Hearn & S. Roseneil (Eds.). Consuming Cultures: Power and Resistance (pp. 262–277). London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  21. Rao, S. K. M., & Garg, R. K. (1994, July). A study of hospital waste disposal system in service hospital. Journal of Academy of Hospital Administration, 6(2), 27–31.Google Scholar
  22. Shah, G. (1997). Public health and urban development-the plague in Surat. New Delhi: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Sharma, D. C. (2005, May). Waste pickers help keep Asian cities clean. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 3(4), p. 181. Scholar
  24. Singh, A. N. (1996). The child rag pickers. Delhi: Shipra Publications.Google Scholar
  25. Singh, I. B., & Sharma, R. K. (1996, July). Hospital waste disposal system and technology. Journal of Academy of Hospital Administration, 8(2), 44–48.Google Scholar
  26. Sudhir, V., Muraleedharan, V. R., & Srinivasan, G. (1996). Integrated solid waste management in urban India: A critical operational research framework. Socio-Economic Planning Science, 30(3), 163–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Tiwari, R. R. (2008). Occupational health hazards in sewage and sanitary workers. Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (IJOEM), 12(3), 112–115. Scholar
  28. Venkateswaran, S. (1994). Managing waste: Ecological. Economic and Social Dimensions in Economic and Political Weekly, XX(19), 2907–2911.Google Scholar
  29. Yearley, S. (1995). Dirty Connections: Transnational Pollution. In J. Allen & C. Hamnett (Eds.), A shrinking world? (pp. 143–183). Oxford: Open University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Government College SarahanSirmaurIndia
  2. 2.Centre of Social Medicine and Community HealthSchool of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations