India has a trash pile that’s so big it needs aircraft warning lights

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Within the year, the trash pile is expected to be as tall as the Taj Mahal.

Above video: The Frant - Australia, we have a plastic problem.

New Delhi's Ghazipur landfill currently stands at 65 metres tall - big enough that India’s Supreme Court has warned that it needs aircraft warning lights.

Nicknamed ‘Mount Everest’ by the locals, it exceeded its capacity back in 2002 when it hit 25 meters.

This is one of three landfills that service 21 million people in the area. All three are over capacity.

New Delhi's Ghazipur landfill
New Delhi's Ghazipur landfill
The Feed

A Delhi municipal official reported to AFP that around 2,000 tonnes of garbage is dumped at Ghazipur every day - equating to 10 meters of growth every year.

Last year, the eyesore turned fatal when a landslide caused by heavy rains swept crowds into a nearby canal, resulting in the deaths of a 30-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man.

The landfill remains open despite multiple efforts from the East Delhi Municipal Corporation to have to shut down.

Australia’s involvement

Australia is scrambling to find a workable solution for what to do with its recycling waste.

Auditor-General Andrew Greaves recently expressed his fear at waste levels in Victoria, where recyclable waste is being sent to landfill due to a lack of options.

"Without clear state-level plans for how to manage recyclables in this new environment, stockpiles will likely continue to grow and pose unnecessary risks, and waste to landfills will continue to rise," he said.

Other states have confirmed that they have also been forced to hoard waste due to the downturn in interest from other countries.

Previously, Australian recyclable waste was sent to five countries for processing: Vietnam, Indonesia, China, India and Malaysia.

That was until December last year, when India - Australia’s fourth largest waste importer - said that they wouldn’t be buying Australia’s recyclables anymore in an attempt to fight plastic pollution in the country.

China announced early last year that they would heavily stem the  amount of recyclable waste coming from Australia.China stopped taking Australia’s recycling because it was consistently contaminated.

Up until the ban, Australia had been sending 619,000 tonnes of recycling waste to China every year - almost 12 times the weight of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

China won't accept plastics or paper where more than 0.5 per cent is contaminated. Between six and 10per cent of Australia’s plastics are reportedly contaminated after they are sorted at recycling facilities.

Both Malaysia and Thailand have indicated they will not take plastics imports from 2021.

In May this year, Malaysia sent 3,000 tonnes of plastic waste back to Australia, the US, the UK and Canada.

"Malaysia will not be a dumping ground to the world, we will fight back,” said Malaysian environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

“Even though we are a small country, we can't be bullied by developed countries."

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