Present Status of Waste Management in India and Recommendations

Present Status of Waste Management in India and Recommendations

by Aravind E S, IIT Madras

Storage of waste at source is lacking

Solid Waste Management In India
Solid Waste Management In India
  •  Domestic waste  thrown  on streets
  •  Trade waste on roads / streets
  •  Construction  waste  are left  unattended
  •  Biomedical wastes are  disposed into  municipal waste stream
  • Industrial waste often disposed of in open areas

In waste management, Segregation of recyclable waste not done properly at source. Initial waste collection not done at place of generation. Design & location of municipal waste storage  depots inappropriate, resulting in littering of garbage . Street sweeping is not done everyday. Waste  transportation is done in open vehicles. Waste  processing  partially  practiced  in 35 ulbs only. The final disposal  is done through crude dumping.  Waste pickers collect  recyclables  from municipal bins and dumpsites and litter the waste  causing insanitary conditions.

  • India’s Population  =  1027 Million  (as per 2001 Census)
  • Urban Population  =  285 Million
  • Urban Areas  =  5161 (Cities / Towns)

Magnitude Of Problem

Solid Waste Management
Solid Waste Management


Per capita waste generation increasing by   1.3% per annum. With urban population is increasing between   3– 3.5% / annum. Annual increase in waste generation is around 5% annually. India produces 42.0 million tons of   municipal solid waste annually at present. Per capita generation of waste varies from   200 gm to 600 gm per capita / day. Average of waste generation rate is 0.4 kg per capita per day in 0.1 million plus towns. Collection efficiency is between 50% to   90% of solid waste generated. Urban Local Bodies spend Rs.500/-   to Rs.1500/- per ton on solid waste   management of which,   60-70% of the amount is on   collection alone   20% – 30% on transportation.  No fund is spent on treatment and disposal of waste. Crude dumping of this waste is practiced in most of the cities.

Quantity Of Waste Generation

Total quantity of solid waste Generated in urban   areas  per day (tpd) Of the country –  1.15 lakh tonne. Waste generated in 6 mega cities –  21,100 tpd, 18.35%. Waste generated in metro cities  (1 million plus towns)- 19,643 tpd , 17.08%. Waste generated in  other,Class-i towns(0.1 million  plus towns)   42,635.28 tpd  37.07%. If waste produced in all the class-i cities is tackled, total percentage of waste scientifically managed would be 72.5% of total waste.

Characteristics of Municipal Solid Waste

  • Compostable / Bio-degradable =  30% – 55%matter  (can be converted into manure)
  • Inert material      =  40% – 45% (to   go to landfill)
  • Recyclable materials      =  5% – 10%   (Recycling)

These percentages differ from city to city depending upon food habits


Reasons of Improper Management Of Waste

  • Improper planning for waste management while planning the townships
  • Impractical institutional set up for waste management and planning and designing in urban local bodies
  • Lack of technical and trained manpower
  • Incomplete community involvement
  • Less expertise and exposure to the city waste management using modern techniques and best practices
  • Partial awareness creation mechanism
  • Outdated Management Information Systems
  • Less funds with ULBs
  • Indifferent attitudes of ULBs in user charges and sustainability

Ideal Approaches To Waste Management

1.  Possible Waste Management Options :

  •   (a)  Waste Minimisation

    construction waste recycling
    construction waste recycling
  •   (b)  Material Recycling
  •   (c)  Waste Processing (Resource Recovery)
  •   (d)  Waste Transformation
  •   (e)  Sanitary Landfilling – Limited land availability is a constraint in Metro cities.

2.  Processing / Treatment should be  :

  •   (i)  Technically sound
  •   (ii)  Financially viable
  •   (iii)  Eco-friendly / Environmental friendly
  •   (iv)  Robust operate & maintain by local community
  •   (v)  Long term sustainability

Approaches To Waste Processing & Disposal

I  Wealth From Waste (Processing Of Organic Waste)

  (A)  Waste To Compost

  (I)  Aerobic / Anaerobic Composting

  (II)  Vermi-composting

  (B)  Waste To Energy

  (I)  Refuse Derived Fuel (Rdf) / Pelletization

  (Ii)  Bio-methanation

II  Recycling Of Waste

III  Sanitary Landfilling

IV  Treating Bio-medical Waste Separately.

Various Technology Options Recommended For Waste Processing

Towns Generating Garbage

  • Upto 50 Metric Tons / Day(mt/Day) =  Vermi-composting
  • Between 50 Mt & 500 Mt / Day   =   Vermi-composting +  Mechanical Composting
  • More Than 500 Mt / Day  =    Mechanical Composting +  Refuse Derived Fuel(rdf)  From Rejects Keeping In View The Type Of The City  (Industrial Or  Non- Industrial) Or Bio-methanation

Initiatives By Government Of India

  1.  Bio-medical Waste Handling Rules, 1998 –  Notified
  2.  Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules,   2000 – Notified.
  3.  Reforms Agenda  (Fiscal, Institutional, Legal)
  4.  Technical Manual on Municipal Solid Waste   Management
  5.  Technology Advisory Group on Municipal   Solid   Waste Management
  6.  Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Integrated   Plant   Nutrient Management from city   compost.
  7. Tax Free Bonds by ULBs permitted by   Government  of India
  8. Income Tax relief to Waste Management agencies
  9. Public-Private Partnership in SWM
  10. Capacity Building
  11. Urban Reforms Incentive Fund
  12. Guidelines for PSP and setting up of Regulatory   Authority
  13. Introduction of Commercial Accounting System in  ULBs & other Sector Reforms
  14. Model Municipal Bye-Laws framed / circulated for   benefit of ULBs for adoption
  15. Financial Assistance by Government of India –   12th Finance Commission Grants

Main issues

–  Absence of segregation of waste at source

–  lack of technical   expertise   and       appropriate   institutional arrangement

–  Unwillingness of ulbs to introduce proper  collection,    segregation, transportation   and   treatment / disposal systems

–  Indifferent attitude of citizens towards   waste   management due to lack of awareness

–  Lack of community participation towards   waste   management and hygienic conditions

–  Lack of funds with ulbs


–  Outsourcing of all activities under Solid Waste   Management Services recommended by 12th   Finance Commission for using grants

–  ULBs to concentrate on segregation of waste at   source

–  Waste processing like composting, bio-  methanation should be done through public-private   partnerships / private sector

–  Final disposal viz. sanitary landfilling to be done   under public private partnerships / private sector

–  Bio-medical waste to be managed by Central Bio-  Medical Waste Management Facilities.



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