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Opportunities in Solid Waste

Management in India

Pooja Shetty
(poojashetty.work@gmail.com)
(M.Sc. Urban Policy & Governance, B.Tech Mechanical Engineering)
Executive Summary

1I India generates about 52 MMT of Waste annually out of which 40 MMT of waste remains unprocessed. Only 25% of the waste gets
processed. There’s still a big piece of pie which is up for grabs.

2I Under the regulatory framework of waste management in India, the onus of implementation lies with urban local bodies

3I Segregation/ sorting is largely dependent on the informal sector. There is an opportunity to formalize them and also train new persons.

4I With the efficiency of 30%-60%, the collection and recovery of waste in India has tremendous scope for improvement

5I The waste transportation problem is a typical resource constraint & logistics efficiency problem. There is need for new efficient logistics
solutions to improve collection and transportation of waste.

6I The waste processing has a huge opportunity to invite investment and to create employment from the private sector as the
technologies have been proven and processing gap still exists.

7I Currently, 75% of the waste ends up at disposal sites, either landfills or open dumps creating huge environmental and health impacts.

8I Several investment, employment and self-employment opportunities exist for segregation, sorting, collection, transport and processing
of waste. Currently, there are 3 vocational training courses offered by the Skill Council for Green Jobs for sorting, collection and cleaning.
India generates about 52 MMT of Waste annually out of which 40 MMT of waste remains unprocessed.
Only 25% of the waste gets processed. There’s still a big piece of pie which is up for grabs.

Heatmap of Unprocessed Solid Waste


The Big Waste Opportunity is going to get bigger!

1. Growing economy, soaring urban population, rising living standards and


increasing consumption levels are the key trends in India.
2. The economy is growing at 7% and the population is ever increasing. It is
expected that India will surpass China to become the most populous
country in the world in 2024.
3. The annual waste generation is expected to grow to 165 million MT by
2030
4. The adjacent heatmap shows unprocessed solid waste by absolute
quantum of waste. Red being the highest and Green the lowest.
Following 10 states contribute to the ~80% of the unprocessed waste in
India.
Tamil Nadu West Bengal
Maharashtra Andhra Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh Rajasthan
Gujarat Madhya Pradesh
Karnataka NCT of Delhi
Source: Feb-2018 Data from Swachch Bharat Mission’s Website
Map created on cartodb
Under the regulatory framework of waste management in India, the onus of implementation of solid
waste management lies on the urban local bodies

Legislative body
Creates legislation, policies and acts

Ministry of Environment and Forests Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry of Drinking water and sanitation
Oversees implementation of legislation Responsible for several schemes in urban areas, Responsible for several schemes in rural areas,
including Swachh Bharat Mission including Swachh Bharat Mission

Central Pollution Control Board State government departments


Oversees activities of SPCB Implements federal legislation and makes states level policies/ acts
Provides technical assistance and training
Disseminates information and research
City Corporations District and Panchayati Raj
Creates plans for waste management, provides Creates plans for waste management, provides
State Pollution Control Board services for collection, transport, treatment and services for collection, transport, treatment and
Makes comprehensive plan for prevention, disposal. disposal.
control or abatement of air pollution and
water pollution
Private- Formal sector
Inspects control equipments, processes
Does most of collection and transportation of the waste and may operate disposal, transfer and recycling
Permission giving authority for installation of
facilities
landfill, incinerator or other plants

Private- Informal sector


Collection of recyclable waste, transfer to the recycling facility and recycling of waste
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is integrating Swachh Bharat Mission and National Urban
Livelihoods Mission to identify employment and business opportunities in sanitation sector.

Activity in value
Current employment Opportunity areas Actions taken Challenges
chain

The sector is
traditionally dominated
by persons belonging
The Skill Council for
to lower castes in India.
Formalising the informal Green Jobs has already
Bringing in diversity is a
sector by vocational training identified the gap and has
Largely informal and involves challenge. Attracting
and certifications. developed a curriculum
Segregation and vulnerable communities like low people to the sector is
Recognizing them by for vocational training as
sorting castes, women and children. a challenge as job
providing social security/ waste picker and
seekers may prefer
employment cards Recyclable Waste
alternate jobs.
Collector & Segregator
Vocational training
does not guarantee job
placements.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs is integrating Swachh Bharat Mission and National Urban
Livelihoods Mission to identify employment and business opportunities in sanitation sector.

Activity in value
Current employment Opportunity areas Actions taken Challenges
chain

Attracting new people.


Job seekers would
prefer alternative jobs
The Skill Council for
With new equipment coming like driving commercial
Formal- municipal staff and Green Jobs has
into the market for street vehicles, working as
contractual labor developed a curriculum
Collection and sweeping and mechanized cleaners in malls as
Informal- waste pickers involved in for vocational training as
Transportation collection, the existing staff
street side and door-to-door more lucrative.
needs upgrading of skills and Safai Karmachari
collection Vocational training
new people need to be hired.
does not guarantee job
placements.

Private sector in the form of huge


Opportunities available for
businesses running WTE plants,
developing small scale Providing seed capital/
E-waste recycling and plastic No actions taken by the
Processing businesses in processing of business loans to
recycling plants. Small scale government for training
biodegradable waste, entrepreneurs in waste
businesses and cooperatives and development
refurbishing e-waste and businesses.
running composting, biogas and
processing plastic waste
plastic shredding plants
Value Chain Analysis

1 | Source Segregation
Collection &
Source Segregation Transportation Processing Disposal
Recovery
The first part of the ‘Solid Waste Value Chain’ i.e. Segregation/ sorting is largely dependent on the
informal sector. There is an opportunity to formalize them and also train new persons.

The Source Segregation in India has multiple challenges which also creates an opportunity Waste Composition

1. As per the solid waste management rules 2016, people should segregate the household solid waste in Dry,
Wet and Hazardous Waste. However, the country is far from meeting this condition.
2. The common measures which taken to improve awareness are the education campaigns which are not
enough to address the scale of this problem.
3. Because of the inefficient collection systems, we do not have data available on the percentage of waste
that is segregated by households.
4. Goa, one of the smaller states in the country, has started charging fines to the households that do not Source: Planning Commission in India (2011)
segregate their waste. However, this is possible because of the door-to-door collection process they have
in place. Informal Sector Activities
5. After the imperfect segregation at the household level, the waste is further sorted by informal sector at the
large collection bins or the sorting centers. - Door step (household) waste
collectors
6. The informal sector is generally interested in sorting and collecting the ‘Recyclable’ and ‘e-waste’
- Itinerant waste buyers moving
because they can sell it and make money on this. However, there is no data available on the percentage of
around the street
waste that gets sorted by the informal waste management sector.
- Street waste picking
7. 2010 study by WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) estimated that
- En route/ truck waste collectors
there are 1.5 million waste pickers (mostly women) in the informal sector in India.
(municipal collection crew or
8. Thus, the first part of the ‘Solid Waste Value Chain’ i.e. Segregation has multiple inefficiencies to solve for. informals)
This means there is an opportunity for different innovative business models. - Waste picking from dumpsites
Value Chain Analysis

2 | Collection & Recovery


Collection &
Source Segregation Transportation Processing Disposal
Recovery

With the efficiency if 30%-60%, the collection and recovery of waste in India has tremendous scope for
improvement

1. The municipal authority of the city is responsible for collection of waste and currently the
collection efficiency is between 30-60%.
2. The lower collection rates is a result of lack of human and financial resources at the
municipal level.
3. In cities which have a huge slum population, it often difficult for municipal collection service
to reach such areas given their density and complexities. There is huge possibility that
waste from such areas either enters water bodies or open dumpsites.
4. Municipal authorities sometimes outsource the activity to contractors, who are paid on
basis of the tonnage of waste collected. In such a scenario, the contractors do not give
access to the informal sector to sort the waste as this would lead to lowering the tonnage.
5. A large amount of waste recovery through the informal sector happens post the collection
of waste at community bins, sorting centres, during waste transportation and even at
landfills. This recovered waste finally reaches the recycling industry through small and large
recyclable collectors/ shops.

A recent study of six Indian cities found that waste pickers recovered approximately 20%
of waste, with 80 000 people involved in recycling approximately three million tonnes. It is
estimated that this saved the ULB approximately INR 73.5 billion per annum or and
avoided the emission of 721 kg CO2 per annum
Source:Improving the informal recycling sector through
segregation of waste in the household – The case of Dhaka
Bangladesh
Value Chain Analysis

3 | Transportation
Collection &
Source Segregation Transportation Processing Disposal
Recovery

The waste transportation problem is a typical logistics efficiency problem. There is need for new
efficient logistics solutions to improve collection and transportation of waste.

The Waste Transportation Opportunity in India


Urban Waste Collection Truck
1. Local bodies spend around Rs. 500–1000 (£5.5 - £11) per tonne on SWM with
70% of this amount spent on collection and 20% spent on transport.
2. The key modes of transportation of the waste include - bullock carts, hand
rickshaws, compactors, trucks, tractor, trailers, and dumpers.
3. The collection and transportation process goes hand in hand. The movement of
waste happens point to point in the following cases
a. Household to Neighborhood Sorting Center
b. Neighborhood Sorting Center to Ward level Waste Depots
c. Ward level Waste Depots to its intended purpose (recycling or landfill)
4. *In smaller towns trucks having 5–9 ton capacity are used without adequate cover
system. Stationary compactors, mobile compactors/closed tempos, and
tarpaulin-covered vehicles are used in the transportation.
5. Transportation part of the value chain also has a lot of informal sector. However,
new and innovative logistics models are needed to collect and transport the solid
waste.
6. An efficient transport system will bring up the collection efficiency. In general, the
employment opportunity here lies in the usual driving and waste collector jobs.
Source: UMC Asia Website
7. There is need for new efficient logistics models to ensure that we are collecting
and transporting all the waste to its destination.

*Source: Status and challenges of municipal solid waste management in India: A review -link
Value Chain Analysis

4 | Processing
Collection and
Source Segregation Transportation Processing Disposal
Recovery

The waste processing has a huge opportunity to invite investment and to create employment from
the private sector as the technologies have been proven and processing gap still exists.

Type of Waste Processing Tech


The Waste Processing Opportunity in India
Composting
1. The waste to energy pollution free plants is one key investment
Incineration and employment creation opportunity. India has a potential to
Organic Waste generate approximately 3 GW (current capacity = 88.4 MW) of
Biogas Plants electricity from waste by 2050*.
2. The 18% of the generated waste in India is recyclable. The
Refuse Derived Fuel
second big area of investment and employment creation
opportunity lies in recycling plants.
Plastic & Glass Recycle 3. The e-waste recycling is another huge opportunity as there are
proven business models which make it lucrative for private
Recyclable Waste E-waste Recycle investors.
4. Other opportunities are in the local, community level composting
Metal Recycle (current conversion= 1.5 MMT) and biogas.
5. Incineration and similar technologies that essentially burn waste
are argued to be unsuitable for India as the amount of wet waste
Inert Waste Landfill Disposal is higher and the calorific value of this waste is lower.

*Source: Report on Waste to Energy Potential in India by Enincon Consulting


Value Chain Analysis

5 | Disposal
Collection and
Source Segregation Transportation Processing Disposal
Recovery

Currently, 75% of the waste ends up at disposal sites, either landfills or open dumps creating huge
environmental and health impacts.

The Issue of Solid Waste Disposal Cumulative land required for disposal of MSW

1. In India, almost every city, town, or village adopted unscientific disposal of


MSW
2. The 75% unprocessed waste is dumped in open dumps and/ or landfills.
3. Landfills being located on the peripheries of urban agglomerations are often
opposed by the rural areas. In recent times, there have been several protests
by villagers against dumping of waste.
4. If garbage is dumped at the current rate without any treatment, 1,240 hectares
of land will be required in the form of landfill area per year.
5. Apart from losing on valuable waste to the landfill, there are several
environmental hazards of unscientific landfills like groundwater contamination,
Source: Challenges and opportunities
methane production, constant fires at the landfill and eye sore in the city associated with waste management in India

landscape.
Thank you!

For Any Question Regarding this presentation, please write @ poojashetty.work@gmail.com