Providing Solution for Garbage-free Future

Municipal Solid Waste Management

MSW, commonly known as trash or garbage is a waste type consisting of everyday items which is creating an abysmal state of Municipal Solid Waste Management towards sustainable metropolitan development, comprises segregation, storage, collection, relocation, carry-age, processing, and disposal of solid waste.According to Central Pollution Control Board report, in 2016, India produced some 50 million tons of waste each year (per capita 500 grams/day), of which roughly 23 per cent is processed-taken to landfills or disposed off using other methodologies.

Technologies for Solid Wastepracticed in India and Challenges involved

1. It is aerobic decomposition of biodegradable organic matter only. Inorganic waste is not processed.

2. Requirement of large areas and long time (15-20 days) to obtain the output.

3. Raw material transfer is voluminous and expensive.

4. Difficult off-take and that too at very low cost.

1. It is a method for mixed MSW, which can be very effective in preparing an enriched fuel feed for thermal processes like incineration or industrial furnaces.

2. Low Calorific Value is biggest challlenge.

3. Low acceptability in industrial markets leading to low viability.

4. High moisture content leads to low efficiency in output.

5. High Operational and Maintenance cost.

1. Incineration plants are not advisable to be installed in city limits because of environment hazards.

2. Whilst modern incinerators comply with the existing emission legislation there is some public concern that the emitted levels may still have an adverse effect on health.

3. Much higher costs and longer pay-back periods, due to the high capital investments.

4. Produce a solid waste residue and leachate which requires management.

5. Without stringent pollution norms and strict implementation, it can pose as a threat to environment and human life.

1. Not applicable for large scale

2. High amount of civil work

3. Slow process – lots of by products still needs to be settled

MSW is a specific subject which needs a local integrated solution that is compatible to the area, society, thought process, government policies, bureaucratic outlook, environment, by product off-take market, infrastructure and transportation, supply chain management and long term usability. Considering all these factors together, one has to design an integrated solution to these problems.

Typically,waste processing has failed in our country because of lack of technological companies having participated in the subject and commercial tendering process with low weight age to quality parameters.

In a country that generates more than 50 million tons of waste per day, not once, did the government gave platform to genuine solution providers to come forward and showcase their strengths.There is no movement towards a policy to encourage genuine participants with integrated solution.

To act to all these nightmares further the tendering system and selection on the basis of L1 ensures selection of low quality processing agencies that to after years of struggle, documentation and repeatedly failing of tendering process followed by litigation to deter the whole process.

Other Challenges

• Inadequate waste collectionfacilities- very high % of moisturein unsegregated collected waste from various sources such as households etc. is being dumped at a landfill site on daily basis.

• Allocated land for most of the landfill sites is over utilized. More land shall be required if waste processing not introduced to process both fresh and legacy waste.

• Traditional methods and technologies of processing waste are no good and redundant.

What needs to be done

• Decision making committees to recognize and understand the importance of solution integration.

• L1 process of tendering to be substituted with L2 methods.

• Pilots to be encouraged and incentive/support to be given to better technologies.

• Grants to be given for development and scalability of technologies under Make in India campaign

• Companies that can Indianize and commercialize International technologies/products should be encouraged and brought into play to ensure effective cost management of best technologies from across the globe.

New Technologies and Solutions available --

  • There are solutions available that can process the total unsegregated waste into fuel pellets that can be further used to generate power.

    • The input of waste before power generation process can be standardized to ensure effective and efficient output of power thus generated

    • Such technologies can also lead to solutions and successful processing of total waste without being dependent on power generation.

    • Incineration of European standards can be used at many places in our country and should be allowedwhere possible with proper checks on pollution control systems.

    • Low cost plasma gasification is also available now and chance should be given to technology companies to demonstrate the same.

    • Bricks can be made of legacy waste and solution to huge mountains of decades old garbage can be worked out.

    • Organic waste can be converted to green fuel that is a direct substitute of coal.

    To know more on opportunities in waste management in India and across the world along with various solutions available you can write to Maninder Singh at