Malba Mapping - Identifying Common Malba Dumping Hotspots

In an attempt to understand the nature of illegal malba dumping in Delhi, and to figure out what it would take to tackle it, the Malba Project team started creating a ‘Malba Map’ of Delhi. We called upon the trusty residents of Delhi to become our eyes and ears and share with us images of illegally dumped C&D waste around them. From the images we received, here are 5 common malba dumping hotspots that we identified in residential neighbourhoods.

Rohit Bagai
Min Read

1. Trees and Electricity Poles

Trees and Electricity Poles are often seen as places to throw garbage, assuming that it will be swept away the next day. Unfortunately, MCD sweepers do not pick up this waste and the area around the tree becomes a hotspot, encouraging even more people to dump their Malba.

Figure 2: Illegal malba dumped in Mayapuri ⒸMalba Project

2. Non-Visible and Inaccessible Spaces

What do we mean by “Non-Visible” and Inaccessible? These are the nooks and crannies that are out of the sight lines of people. Think of the space between a parked car and a boundary wall, or the space behind a fence, and so on. These spaces are one of the biggest attractors for illegal dumping of Malba and other types of waste. People often wait for night time to dispose of malba at such places, begging the question - that ‘Why isn’t there a designated and convenient place to throw such waste in the first place?’

Figure 3: A mix of household waste and malba behind a boundary wall in Kishangarh (ⒸMalba Project)

3. Service Lanes

Service lanes, meant for improving the lighting and ventilation in residential colonies, have become misappropriated for construction work, parking, and also for illegal dumping of malba. We noted that whenever there is any construction work, these service lanes become the space to store construction materials like sand, stones, tiles, and are also used for work such as stone or tile cutting that the cramped construction space doesn’t allow for. After the work is complete, the leftover malba is often just left there.

Figure 4: Leftover stone cuttings in a service lane in South Delhi (ⒸMalba Project)

4. Pavement and Dividers

Public infrastructure, especially sidewalks are common places to dump malba. Pavements often have a lot of services running through them, and any kind of repair work leads to the uprooting of the entire sidewalk. The pavements in our cities not only fail to provide safe walking space for pedestrians, but add to this the malba from municipality’s civil work projects, and you have pedestrians, cyclists, cars, trucks, and even street dogs, all traversing the same tiny road.

Figure 5: Malba dumped on a footpath in Hauz Khas (ⒸMalba Project)

5. Pretend filling of ‘Potholes’

When there isn't enough space left in the truck, remaining malba is often just "scattered" around on the road, "pretending" like there is a pothole that needs filling. The result? Dusty, dirty streets for all neighbours. The malba spread in the name of pretentious pothole filling is again a big disruption in mobility and a factor in causing air pollution.

Figure 6: Illegal malba dumped as pretentious filling of a pothole in Green Park (ⒸMalba Project)

While we agree that there is a lot to be desired of the current waste systems in our cities, us residents also need to own up about our part in its failure. These illegal dumping hotspots are a result of our collective failure by either engaging directly in such activities or by in-directly ignoring such practice and failing to hold the people authorities accountable for it.

At Malba Project, we certainly believe in attaining a much better system and wish to work with people and the government in doing so. We encourage you to be attentive to such wrong practice and share images if you come across any place with illegally dumped malba in your neighbourhood. Only by being attentive and informed, can we hold the authorities accountable and work towards a better system.

Lastly, we want to give a shout out to all the people who shared the images previously with us and joined us in this mapping!

Check out where we are currently with the MalbaMap and help us in expanding it more.

For reaching out to us and sharing the images you can mail them at or call us at +91 89201 87465.

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