Environment & Biodiversity

Managing the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation recently released a report named “EnviStats India 2022” that emphasised the monumental task of disposing of the solid waste produced by the States without endangering the environment.

About the report

  • Source and destination of solid waste: Using Delhi as an illustration, the paper generated the “physical supply and use tables” to identify the origin and final location of all different categories of solid waste in the nation’s capital.
  • Government data sources: Data were gathered for 2020–21 from each of the five urban local bodies and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee.

Case study of Delhi

  • Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) of more than 40 lakh tonnes: Garbage (highly degradable stuff like food), trash (bulky materials like tree branches or outdated appliances), and rubbish are all examples of municipal solid waste (slowly decomposing items such as paper, glass, or metal).
  • The main contributions are households: The survey states that families produced 85% of Delhi’s MSW and businesses and restaurants produced 15%.
  • High C & D waste: In that same year, the city produced over 5.4 lakh tonnes of plastic waste, over 13 lakh tonnes of construction and demolition waste, around 11 thousand tonnes of bio-medical waste, and 610 tonnes of electronic waste.
  • Hazardous waste: 3,239 tonnes of hazardous waste were produced in Delhi. Sludge from factories, waste from industrial manufacturing processes, and batteries are examples of hazardous waste.

Disposal of waste

  • The majority of the municipal solid trash was disposed of in landfills; the other half was recycled and used again.
  • Incineration: While all of the building and demolition debris was recycled, about 35% of bio-medical waste was cremated. The ash produced during the incineration of bio-medical waste is dumped in landfills.
  • E-waste information is lacking: Since Delhi does not have an e-waste treatment or disposal facility, it is unknown how e-waste is disposed of.
  • Plastic into energy: According to the report, bulk consumers and refurbish collectors together collected 28.6 tonnes of the 610 tonnes of electronic waste produced in 2020–21. Notably, only 22% of plastic waste is turned into energy, with the remaining 37% being disposed of in landfills.

Municipal solid waste management rules 2016

  • Segregation at source: The new regulations require trash to be separated at the source in order to turn waste into riches through recovery, reuse, and recycling. Before delivering waste to the collector, waste generators would have to separate it into three streams: biodegradables, dry (plastic, paper, metal, wood, etc.), and domestic hazardous waste (diapers, napkins, insect repellents, cleaning products, etc.).
  • Collection and disposal of sanitary waste: The producers or brand owners of sanitary napkins are responsible for educating the generator about the disposal of such waste and must include a pouch or wrapper for disposal with each napkin or package of diapers they sell.
  • According to the regulations, brand owners who sell or market their products in non-biodegradable packaging materials are required to set up a method to collect back the packaging waste that was generated during manufacture.
  • User fees for collection: The new regulations have given local authorities in India the authority to choose the user fees. Municipal authorities will charge bulk generators user fees for collection, disposal, and processing.
  • Waste processing and treatment: It has been suggested that, to the greatest extent possible, biodegradable waste be processed, treated, and disposed of on the premises through composting or bio-methanation. Remaining waste should be given to the waste collectors or agency as instructed by the local authority.


The study EnviStats India 2022 showcases India’s achievements in solid waste management. However, problems still exist, and it is necessary to greatly reduce the amount of hazardous and electronic waste, landfills, and incineration, which are the sources of pollution.

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