Methods of waste management in India.

“Waste is not wasted until it is wasted”Our cities and we have failed to fully recognize this fact of life.  The large amount of waste generated at each level can be easily reused, recycled and reduced. Let’s talk about the most practical methods of waste management in India.

How waste management functions in India?.

Basically, large domestic waste comes in two forms.

1. Liquid.

2. Solid.

Domestic liquid effluent flows into the sewage treatment plant via the sewage network and is discharged into rivers / seas after disposal of harmful substances depending on the quality of the water or reused for certain purposes.

How waste management functions in India
How waste management functions in India?.

Domestic solid wastes are widely classified into two subtypes;

1. wet garbage.

2. dry garbage.

Wet garbage;

Wet waste is biodegradable, so can be used for green energy production.

Dry garbage;

Dry garbage is incinerated or dumped in various lands outside the city.

Industrial effluents are treated at waste treatment plants and brought to the standards set by the Pollution Control Board and then discharged into rivers / seas.

As for industrial solid waste, this process is equivalent to domestic solid waste, which, in its absence of radioactive nature, is dumped in lead cans in lead and stopped coal mines.

Electrical wastes, gaseous wastes, light solid particles and so on. For this there are de-dusting systems, scrubbers, electrostatic precipitators, burners etc.

Dream of SWATCHH BHARAT Mission;

It is very important to separate the waste at the source. Should be enforced using fines.

Then there is problem for its transportation and safe place for disposal.It is not possible to find one.

A practical solution is to develop a decentralized waste management culture. Wet waste can be turned into a very effective compost or create useful cooking gas in every corner.

“You pay for your waste ” model of waste management.

Through the SWATCHH BHARAT Mission, the government is trying to do their part.

“you pay for your waste” model, which means that the government / municipal corporation starts charging the people (your community / colony) for the waste generated on an individual basis. 

Methods of waste management in India.
You pay for your waste.

So it will generate less waste.  Initially people will object to saying that they are already paying taxes, however this tax is not really enough for waste management as a whole.Enforcement is an issue here.

Currently the government charges Swachh Bharat Cess (0.5%) for this. But this model does not make people do less garbage production.

But this will definitely help in setting up waste management plants (which are usually not possible without government support).

Another model is for companies (especially FMCG – HUL, P&G, ITC, etc.) which are the source of such plastics/packaging/foods etc.

They should be allowed to charge a premium from customers for allocating funds to such plans.  This will eventually lead to a solution to the problem from waste management in India.

This model is followed in Germany and some other European countries, where FMCG companies are directly responsible for the waste generated by the population by purchasing their products.

The above model can be done, but it requires political and corporate support. This is likely to come in the future as the waste problem in India reaches its peak.

This may involve rag pickers to take the wet waste to the management / treatment unit. Technical knowledge is very simple and plentiful.

It can create tremendous jobs, generate revenue for civic organizations and save on transportation costs and above all will help SWATCHH BHARAT dream.

State of waste management in India.

By 2050, almost half of India’s population will live in cities. By 2050, India needs to bring nearly 88 square kilometres of land under its landfill to cope with its growing waste problem, ASSOCHAM-PwC said.

The proliferation of anaerobic open debris leads to methane emissions, which absorb the sun’s heat, warming the atmosphere and contributing to global warming.

Other effects of dumping waste in the open include the stench from rotting waste in airless piles and the smoke from the fires that usually erupt in them.

Garbage mountains are now closing in on cities as cities expand. City residents have been moving from pillar to post, from the courts to the National Green Tribunal, in hopes of some corrective action.

In most cities people currently dump waste directly on land, which is definitely not a long-term solution.

The problem with the Indian MSW is that people are unaware of the “source separation” that is not happening on a large scale anywhere in the country.

Although some communities do that, eventually the separated waste goes into the same truck that holds the other mixed waste.

Source segregation is therefore not a current solution to the MSW problem, it is a long-term solution that requires a change in the attitude of government and citizens.

In 2000, the Government of India promulgated the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, making it mandatory for all urban local bodies in the country to engage in the collection, segregation, secondary storage in sealed tanks and transportation in sealed vehicles.

Practical methods of waste management in India.

Types of wastes in India.

In India, three main types of waste are produced.

1. MSW – Municipal solid waste.

2. E-waste – Electronic waste (Hazardous waste)

E-waste management in india
E-waste management in India

3. Industrial waste (hazardous waste including hospital waste, waste from industries such as paper, distillery, textiles, pharma)

Of the above 3, MSW is the largest generated waste worldwide.

Waste management in India is divided into 3 parts.

1. Door-to-door collection coverage is excellent, and separation at the home level is rare. so transportation of waste to the processing site.

2. Waste processing.

3. Disposal in landfills after processing waste (SLF – sanitary landfills.)

Before coming to the waste processing site, recyclables (such as plastic bottles, metals, etc.) are already picked up by scavengers/rag pickers and sold on the irregular recycling market.

MSW can be divided into different forms.

1. Organic & inorganic waste.


2. Combustible & non-combustible waste.

Processing of organic & inorganic wastes:

Organic wastes:

1. Can be used to make compost that can be sold to farmers

2. Also can be used to produce methane gas using biomethanation and ultimately to generate electricity using methane gas

Inorganic wastes:

Inorganic wastes contain recyclable plastics, metals and glass that can be sold in markets.

Disposal of stones, debris, etc. should be dumped on land (this is 10-15% of the total waste in India)

Problem with the organic and inorganic waste segregation:

Only 40% of Indian MSWs are organic and the rest are inorganic. Inorganic should also be further subdivided into plastics, glass and metals that can be sold in the market. 

Usually, most of the useful materials are already picked up at the waste collection stage.  Therefore the feasibility of waste production and the quality of project cost should be analyzed.

If the amount of waste is low (like 5-10 tons per day) compost is the best solution.

Both compost/biomethane solve the problem of organic, but not the inorganic.It is a costly affair to further segregate inorganic waste

Processing of combustible & non-combustible wastes:

About 80-85% of MSW are combustible wastes. They can be used to generate electricity in different ways:

1. Mass incineration.

2. Pyrolysis.

Mass incineration:

Mass incineration technology (controlled combustion) generates electricity – you can either use the MSW directly to produce electricity or you can split and then use it as balance fuel to generate electricity.


Pyrolysis/gasification/Plasma technology – Generates electricity

Problem with combustible and non-combustible waste segregation:

Without proper pollution control equipment mass incineration technology is bad for the environment.

Pyrolysis/gasification technology is an expensive affair, so it should be checked for reliability.

Combustible wastes are called a type of fuel , the rejected derived fuel may be “partial” as an alternative to coal.

The idea for starting a waste management business plant in India.

The idea for starting a waste management in india
The idea for starting a waste management business plant in India.

Hazardous waste recycling businesses plant:

Hazardous waste is generally better managed in India than municipal solid waste because hazardous waste generating companies are forced to treat their waste and if they do not, they will be fined heavily.

Therefore, businesses have incentives to send to proper treatment and disposal facilities.

This means there is a market and you can make money by being in this business. This also means that there are already existing players.

Municipal waste recycling business plant:

Here are two completely different business models:

1. recycling.

2. waste management.


For recycling, you do not have to deal with the government, but you have to work with informal recycling supply chains. It has pros and cons just like any other business.

Waste Management:

To work in waste management, you have to work with the government to get contracts forwards, municipalities, etc Or you can bring in new models that do not require such deals.

Again, there are already many players in this space, but new social enterprise models are in high demand here.

E-waste recycling business plant:

Thanks to lack of awareness, there are no proper collection paths for e-waste in India. All e-waste recycling in India is through the informal sector and has adverse health impacts on workers, the public and the environment.

New models and entrepreneurs are needed to make a dent in this space.

Waste management in india depends upon the beggers and rag pickers who collect various materials from the garbage and also upon the dogs, cows and pigs who eat various things from the dump of garbage. Rest of the waste get scattered on the roads and ultimately disappears. This is called natural waste management in India.

– I read this online, although painful when reading this, this is the situation today. All around us are witnesses to this.So change must start with us.