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Wednesday, 24 October 2012 18:11

Regional Approach- Municipal Solid Waste Management

Written by  Dr Amiya Kumar Sahu
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Editor’ Note:This paper has been targeted for a broad audience. The level of scientific detail provided is therefore not as high as would be normally be required in technical paper subject to peer review by environment industry professionals.

Municipal Solid waste (MSW) management is a major concern for highly urbanized society due to growing population, unplanned development and lack of land. It has been witnessed that individual small or big cities are unable to manage their waste processing and disposal. It is also observed that some of their issues cannot be dealt by small municipalities in absence of trained manpower and adequate financial sources. Regional MSW management programs have received considerable attention due to its high likelihood of success. This paper addresses the relevant issues of regional municipal solid waste management, especially local acts and regionalization as the viable option for MSW management.

Disposal Practices in India

sahu01Management of Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) continues to remain one of the most neglected areas of urban development in India. The 23 metro cities in India generates about 30,000 tones of such wastes per day while about 50,000 tones are generated daily from the Class I cities. Piles of garbage and wastes of all kinds littered everywhere have become common sight in our urban life.

Indian Municipalities have overall responsibility for Municipal Solid waste Management. However most of them are unable provide proper system to tackle the current situation. Magnitude and density of urban population in India is increasing rapidly and consequently the Municipal agencies spend about 5-25% of their budget on MSWM. Despite of such heavy expenditure, the present level of service in many urban areas is so low that there is a threat to the public health in particular and the environmental quality in general.

Most of the MSW generated in Indian cities and towns is being disposed of in unsanitary landfills or open dumps. Only seven cities and towns in India have established sanitary landfill till end of 2006:

  1. 1.Surat
  2. 2.Pune
  3. 3.Ahmadabad urban development authority
  4. 4.Puttur
  5. 5.Karwar
  6. 6.Navi Mumbai
  7. 7.Bangalore

The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rule 2000

This rule was notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India [vide No.S.O.908 (B) dated the 25th September 2000]. The objective of these Rules was to make every municipal authority responsible for the implementation of the various provisions of the Rules within its territorial area and also to develop an effective infrastructure for collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of Municipal Solid Wastes

  • According to this rules following are the mandatory requirement for Disposal of waste.
  • The waste should be disposed of in engineered landfills and never in open or unsanitary dumps.
  • Sanitary landfills for municipal solid waste are essential for the disposal of waste and unused residue from processing plant or other facilities when they cannot be further processed or recycled.
  • This rule directs that landfill site should meet the specification given in the schedule of the rule like site selection, facility at site and specification for land filling etc.
  • The landfill site should be large enough for the disposal of waste for 20 to 35 years.

Setting up and operating a sanitary landfill is a complex and expensive exercise .Creating small facilities is most often not practical or viable. Typically, for a sanitary landfill to be economically viable needs to have a minimum capacity of 250 to 300 tons per day Furthermore, municipalities cannot afford the expenses of technical experts to of technical inputs, development of facilities and finally maintenance for long term. The cost-effective and viable solution lies in adopting a regional approach that enables two or more municipalities to derive the benefit of economy of scale by coming together not only to get benefit of size as well as.

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