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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. MSW 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. It consists of household waste, wastes from hotels and restaurants, construction and demolition debris, sanitation residue, and waste from streets.

MSW Management in India

  • Waste generation and storage
  • Segregation, reuse, and recycling at the household level
  • Primary waste collection and transport to a transfer station or community bin
  • Street sweeping and cleaning of public places
  • Management of the transfer station or community bin
  • Secondary collection and transport to the waste disposal site
  • Energy recovery or waste disposal in landfills


In most of the Indian cities, the MSW collection, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal is carried out by the respective municipal corporations and the state governments enforce regulatory policies.

Statistics on Waste Generation and Waste Characterization Data

Estimating the quantity and characteristics of MSW in India and forecasting future waste generation is fundamental to successful waste management planning. The quantity of MSW generated depends on living standards, the extent and type of commercial activity, eating habits and season. India generates approximately 133760 tonnes of MSW per day, of which approximately 91152 tonnes is collected and approximately 25884 tonnes is treated. MSW generation per capita in India ranges from approximately 0.17 kg per person per day in small towns to approximately 0.62 kg per person per day in cities.

Population Waste Generation Rate
(kg per capita per day)
Cities with a population <0.1 million (eight cities) 0.17–0.54
Cities with a population of 0.1–0.5 million (11 cities) 0.22–0.59
Cities with a population 1–2 million (16 cities) 0.19–0.53
Cities with a population >2 million (13 cities) 0.22–0.62

Waste generation rate depends on factors such as population density, economic status, level of commercial activity, culture and city/region. The map of India provides data on MSW generation in different states, indicating high waste generation in Maharashtra (115 364–19 204 tonnes per day), Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal (11 523–15 363 tonnes per day), Andhra Pradesh, Kerala (7683–11 522 tonnes per day) and Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Karnataka and Mizoram (3842–7662 tonnes per day). Lower waste generation occurs in Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Goa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura, Nagaland and Manipur (less than 3841 tonnes per day).

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

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