During childhood trips to India to visit relatives, Dinesh Sonak recalls taking in the sights of “a beautiful, colorful country with roots in spirituality.” Today, mountains of garbage obscure that once-inspiring view. “People think nothing of throwing their trash out of train windows” or dropping litter in the streets of Mumbai or Delhi, says Sonak, who grew up in the Netherlands. (He is half-Indian and half-Dutch.) Waste management systems, he notes, have not kept pace with the needs...

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