New Delhi (CNN)Ravidas in New Delhi is a slum like no other.
Its alleys are spotless, its drains regularly washed down with water and its houses painted in bright crayon colors and decorated with plants.
There are no fetid open sewers brimming with human waste. Piles of trash do not line every alley. The residents of this proud community run a tight, environmentally conscious ship.
“Everyone is working together to keep it clean because this is where they live,” said Kishwar Jahan, 60, the self-appointed leader of this 350-person slum in the east of the Indian capital.
“If you walk further down from our house it is dirty because people are not responsible enough,” she said.
India consumed an estimated 15.5 million tons of plastic in 2016-17, according to PlastIndia Foundation, an organization of major associations and institutions connected with plastic. That number is predicted to increase to 20 million tons by 2019-20.
While one of Jahan’s four sons gives a goat a soapy bath nearby, a man walks past carrying a basket of plastic and other household waste. The plastic will be removed from the community, but residents have few good options for where it ends up.
There is no processing of waste in most Indian cities, according to the Central Pollution Board, and in some cases, trash is simply burned in open dump yards on the main highway.
Most likely, what is collected in Ravidas will end up on one of the huge landfills around New Delhi, where non-biodegradable materials mix with recyclable plastics — a mounting symbol of India’s trash turmoil.
In the east of New Delhi, the Ghazipur trash dump is reportedly just months away from rising higher than the Taj Mahal, an immense, 73-meter-tall (240 feet) white, marble mausoleum.
In India, about 70% of the plastic the country consumes is simply discarded. Large amounts end up in the water by way of the River Ganges, which comes second only to China’s Yangtze in the amount of plastic it contributed to the world’s oceans, according to a 2017 study.
But the Ghazipur dump is not a one off — it is just New Delhi’s biggest example.
In the north of the city, the Bhalswa landfill greets drivers entering New Delhi from the north.