Integrated Solid Waste Management

Integrated Solid Waste Management:

Municipal Solid Waste

Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), commonly known as trash or garbage is a waste type consisting of everyday items we consume and discard. It includes commercial and residential wastes generated in municipal or notified areas in either solid or semi-solid form excluding industrial hazardous wastes but including treated bio-medical wastes.

Stages of MSW Management

  • Waste Generation
  • Collection and Transportation to the location where collection vehicle is emptied 
  • Waste Handling and Separation at the source,
  • Transfer to larger transport equipment and thereby to a processing or disposal site
  • Treatment & Disposal - Recycling/Composting/Land filling/Energy production

Indian Perspective

Urban India produces more than 42mn tons of solid waste, out of which 72.5% is produced by Tier - I cities. Per capita waste generation in cities varies from 0.2 kg to 0.6 kg per day depending upon the size of population. An assessment has been made that per capita waste generation is increasing by about 1.3% per year. With growth of urban population ranging between 3 to 3.5% per annum, the annual increase in overall quantity of solid waste is assessed at about 5%.

Cities/Towns Quantity (TPD) % of total waste
Waste generated in 6 Mega cities 21,100 18.3
Waste generated in Metro cities

(Population > 10 lacs)
19,643 17.1
Waste generated in other Class-I towns 42,635 37.1
Total 83,378 72.5

Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) spend about INR 500 to INR 1500 per ton on solid waste collection, transportation, treatment and disposal. However, hardly any amount is spent on scientific disposal of waste. The chart below highlights the same.

Source: Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance

Legislative Measures

MSW Management in India is governed by Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 followed by Municipal Solid Waste Rule 2016. The responsibility under the MWS Rules, 2000 and 2016 lies with the ULBs and the concerned Departments of Municipal affairs/urban development and collectors are overall responsible to enforce the provisions of these rules.

Practical Issues with Waste Management in India

  • Physical characteristics
  • Unsorted waste – Mixed waste of bio degradable and non-biodegradable
  • Low calorific value
  • High moisture content
  • Presence of hazardous waste
  • Lack of awareness
  • Unplanned growth and development of cities
  • Land Availability

Challenges for ULBs

  • Funds: to establish and operate integrated MSW management facilities
  • Technical Expertise: to set up and operate MSW management facilities
  • Commercial competence: to engage the private partner transparently. E.g. Inviting ‘’Expression of Interest’’, ‘’Request for Proposal’ and evaluating the proposal technically and financially
  • Finding appropriate Land along with buffer zone for MSW management

Recommended Approaches to Waste Processing & Disposal

  • Processing of Organic Waste
  • Waste to Compost 
  • Aerobic / Anaerobic Composting
  •  Vermi-Composting
  • Waste to Energy
  • Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF)
  • Bio-Methanation
  • Recycling of Waste
  • Sanitary Land filling
  • Treatment of Bio-Medical Waste Separately

To read more about waste management industry in India, Click here: