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Solid Waste Management In India

Twenty three Indian cities will each generate more than 1000 metric tons of municipal solid waste per day in the next five years. Cumulatively they will generate 93,000 tons of municipal solid waste every day.

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Definition / Scope

  • Solid Waste Management (SWM) is the structured process of managing solid waste from its source of generation through the process of collection to its disposal.
  • Management of solid waste consists of the following steps: a. Segregation b. Storage of waste at source c. Primary collection d. Street sweeping e. Secondary storage, transportation f.  Treatment & recycling g. Disposal of wastes
  • Waste is created every day because of human activities. These wastes or byproduct poses risks to environment and public health. Hence the way in which such waste is handled, stored, collected and disposed is a major issue.
  • Solid waste management includes all the activities that seek to minimize health, environmental and aesthetic impacts of solid waste.

Market Overview

  • In India SWM is done by the local municipal authorities. However, it is one of the most poorly rendered services provided by the municipal authorities. This can be accounted due to inefficient,outdated and unscientific technology or system used by municipal bodies in India. Municipal laws governing Urban Local Bodies (ULB) do not have adequate provisions to deal effectively with the ever growing problem of SWM. With rapid urbanization the situation is becoming more critical.
  • The Supreme Court of India formed an Expert Committee in 1999 to provide recommendation for improving waste management practices. Subsequently, the Ministry of Environment & Forest introduced “MSW (Management and handling) rules in 2000”[1] incorporating key recommendation of Supreme Court appointed ‘Expert Committee’.
  • The MSW 2000 rules contain several remarkable features example door to door collection, segregation of wastes at source and scientific disposal of wastes, among others. Another important landmark in MSW space was setting up of ‘Service Benchmarks’ in Urban Services by MoUD in 2008.
  • Lack of data, awareness and trained human resources are the biggest challenges to Waste to Energy initiative in India.

Key Metrics

Metrics Value Explanation
Base Year 2017 Researched through internet


Top Market Opportunities

The Waste to Energy concept in India is on a rise with initiatives from the Government of India

  • With many Chinese and South Asian Companies setting up operational plants the country has investments flooding in WTE technologies.
  • Gasification, Pyrolysis and Plasma Arc technologies have not been adopted in the Indian Scenario. These technologies can revolutionize WTE in India. The traditional method of thermal combustion to produce energy might not be up for the challenge.[2]
  • ESWET (European Suppliers of Waste to Energy Technologies) has set up a plant in Delhi. With their standardized plant design, they have provided these technologies at one-third the price of such technologies in Europe and U.S.
  • An indicative allocation of INR 17,899 crores at current prices have been allotted to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF)[3] and PPP as a way forward has been favored for waste management.

Market Drivers

  • Private Sector Participation: Private participation in infrastructure management has always been cost saving and always provided improvement in efficiency and effectiveness in service delivery. This is mainly owing to financial & management autonomy and accountability in private sector operations as private sector brings new investment and better technologies.
  • In India, by and large municipal authorities and ULBs are providing SWM services departmentally. Resistance from labour union and interpretation of labour law has discouraged city administration from contracting out services to private operators.

Market Size and Forecast

Share of States and Union Territories in Urban MSW Generation in India[4]

Sl. No

State/Union Territory

Waste Produced (in %)

1.

Maharashtra

17.1

2.

West Bengal

12.0

3.

Uttar Pradesh

10.0

4.

Tamil Nadu

9.0

5.

Delhi

8.9

6.

Andhra Pradesh

8.8

7.

Karnataka

6.0

8.

Gujarat

5.4

9.

Rajasthan

3.8

10.

Madhya Pradesh

3.5

11.

Other

15.6

Composition of Municipal Solid Waste[4]

Region

MSW (tons per day)

Compostable (%)

Recyclables (%)

Inert (%)

Metros

51402

50.89

16.28

32.83

Other Cities

2723

51.91

19.23

28.86

East India

380

50.41

21.44

28.15

North India

6835

52.38

16.78

30.85

South India

2343

53.41

17.02

29.57

West India

380

50.41

21.44

28.15

Overall Urban India

130000

51.3

17.48

31.21

Best SWM practices in India[5]

S. No

LOCATION

TITLE OF THE PRACTICE

PRIMARY EMPHASIS

SECONDARY EMPHASIS

KEY STAKEHOLDER

TIME-PERIOD

1.

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

Segregated collection from bulk waste generators

Planning by the ULB to achieve segregated waste collection

Contracting mechanisms and learning

Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation

Ongoing

2.

Delhi

Use of IT for improved monitoring of waste collection systems

Improved Monitoring

Planning for setting up the system and internal monitoring systems of the ULB

East Delhi Municipal Corporation

Not known

3.

Nagpur, Maharashtra

Segregated door to door waste collection

Planning and setting systems for waste collection

IEC/ enforcement

Nagpur Municipal Corporation, CDC

2005 onwards

4.

Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

Bin-less Waste Collection

Micro planning to make zero waste city

IEC

Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation

Not known

5.

Kolkata Metropolitan Area, WB

Planning, implementation and operation of pooled landfill sites for a cluster of ULBs

Pooled landfills, planning and operations

Nil

Kolkata Municipal Corporation

2011

6.

Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Composting of city waste

Composting

Contracting, operations of the site

Jodhpur Municipal Corporation

2006


Market Outlook

  • While planning for a long term solution in WTE with technology integration, focus on addressing the immediate problem i.e. managing the wastes should be maintained.[6]
  • From a country perspective- Recycling, composting and waste to energy are all essential elements of the waste disposal solution and all three are complementary to each other; none of them exclusively can solve India’s waste crisis. Any technology should be considered as a means to address public priorities only, but not as the end goal in itself.
  • The policy makers and municipal officials should utilize this opportunity to exploit the potential of this sector, which has been created by improper waste management examples across the nation, to make adjustments to the existing guidelines spelled out by the MSW Rules 2000, and design a concrete national policy based on public needs integrating all the tiers of Governance and backed by science & technology.
  • The Indian Judiciary has proved to be the most effective platform for the public to influence government action. A bulk of local and central government’s activities towards improving municipal solid waste management are the result of direct public action, funneled through High Courts of the respective states and the Supreme Court of the country.

Competitive Landscape

  • The SWM industry in India is young and growing. There is an influx of new players in this scenario from other sectors. There is no dominance from any of these private players and hence the marketability to attract foreign players exists.
  • The investments till date are generally from the Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and central government initiatives were lacking till the inception of the 12th Five year plan. Now with the cooperation of the central government in the budgetary requirements (funding) it can attract experts from around the world.
  • If the use of right technology and optimal processes is applied and all components of waste are used to derive value, waste to energy could be an extremely profitable business for the nation. When government incentives are factored in the equation, the attractiveness of the business increases further.

Competitive Factors

  • Waste to Energy sector in India is almost untapped. There is enormous potential in integration of the SWM sector with WTE.
  • The Government of India should design a strong regulatory framework for emissions monitoring and policy to integrate the informal recycling sector. Also, model projects can be considered from other Asian or South American Nations which has revolutionized their SWM practices.
  • Financial incentives by the Government such as Viability Gap Funding (VGF), Tax Holidays etc can be introduced to attract foreign private investments.
  • Common cost sharing facilities funded by the state government could be created on large parcels of land for groups of cities within its regime, which could be professionally managed for shared benefits
  • The use of local & social media and NGOs should be made effectively to educate the local people about the importance of waste segregation at source, biogas and composting. This will implicate the environment angle and its sustainability towards the people.

References

  1. Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF)
  2. Second Brainstorming Session on Short, Medium and Long Term Solutions to India's Waste Management at 1st International Brainstorming workshop on ‘Waste to Energy in India’ , August 2012
  3. 12th Five Year Plan, Planning Commission, Government of India
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sustainable Solid Waste Management in India, Waste-to-Energy Research & Technology Council (WTERT), Columbia University
  5. Compendium of Good Practices: Urban Solid Waste Management in Indian Cities by National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
  6. Waste Management Outlook for India by Ranjith Annepu on June 9, 2015: Bio Energy Consult

Appendix

BOO: Build Own Operate

BOOT: Build Own Operate Transfer

DBO: Design Build Operate

MoUD: Ministry of Urban Development

MSW: Municipal Solid Waste

NGO: Non-Governmental Organization

SWM: Solid Waste Management

ULBs: Urban Local Bodies

VGF: Viability Gap Funding

WTE: Waste to Energy


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