We Indians have got so used to seeing garbage spilling over from municipal dustbins at street corners and often even strewn around in open public spaces, that we accept this phenomenon as inevitable. We look the other way with what seems like futile hope that some day, someone will find a solution to our problem and rid us of this major health hazard of urban living in India.

The integrated solid waste management project in Kanpur offers hope. Located on the western bank of the Ganga, Kanpur is an important industrial city of Uttar Pradesh, the largest state in India. With a population of 36 lakh (3.6 million) and a total area of 260 sq kilometres,