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Some Facts
The most comprehensive study on solid waste generation in Indian cities is
"Assessment of the status of municipal solid waste management in metro cities,
state capitals, class I cities, and class II towns in India", published in 2005 by Central
Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the National Environmental Engineering
Research Institute (NEERI).

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Greater Kolkata generates 12,060 tons per day (TPD) and is the highest generator
with a per capita generation of 660 grams/day. Port Blair, the capital city of Andaman
and Nicobar Islands generates 760 grams of waste per person per day, the highest
among Indian cities.
Waste generation rate in Indian cities ranges between 200 - 870 grams/day,
depending upon the regions lifestyle and the size of the city. The per capita waste
generation is increasing by about 1.3% per year in India (7).

WASTE GENERATION (TONNES PER DAY)


Highest Greater Kolkata 11520
Lowest Greater Bangalore 3344

Highest(State) Maharashtra 23647


Lowest(State) Arunanchal Pradesh - 19

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I.

WHAT IS SOLID WASTE

Any garbage or refuse (Municipal Solid Waste).


Sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution
control facility.
Other discarded material.
Solid, liquid, semi-solid, or contained gaseous material from industrial, commercial,
mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities.
Trash or garbage is called Municipal Solid Waste (MSW): Product packaging, grass
clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint,
batteries

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http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/osw/basifact.htm#solidwaste

II.

Some terms we need to know

REFUSE:
Solid or semisolid waste matter produced in the normal course of human activities. Generated
from street sweepings, markets, stable litter, industrial refuse, commercial refuse, etc.

RUBBISH:
Solid wastes originating in houses, commercial establishments, industries, excluding garbage
and ash.

GARBAGE:
Animal & vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, storage, sale, preparation, cooking and
serving of food.

ASH:
Residue from burning of wood, coal, charcoal and other combustible materials used for cooking
and heating purposes in houses, industries etc.

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III.

Sources of solid wastes

1. Street refuse: This consists of empty packets and bottles, empty matches and cigarette
boxes, fruit peels, tree leaves, street sweeping etc.
2. Market refuse: Empty packets, polythene bags, dry vegetables and fruits etc.
3. Stable litter: Paper, tins and bottles etc lying open.
4. Industrial refuse: This consists of solid waste from industries, factories and commercial
business centers.
5. Domestic refuse: This consists of vegetable and animal waste matters, ashes, rubbish
and debris etc.

In most of the countries the per capita daily solid waste produced is between 0.25 to 2.5 Kg
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IV.

QUANTITY AND COMPOSITION OF WASTE

The quantity and composition of waste depends on a number of factors and varies from
place to place and season to season:
1. Ashes increase in winter, while these are less in summer.
2. Quantity of garbage depends on food available, food habits and standard of living.
3. Type of town : Residential, Commercial or Industrial.

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V.
1.

Collection of solid wastes

Galvanized steel dust bin with cover (for households) 0.05 to 0.1 cubic feet per
capita per day.
A bin with capacity of 1.5 cubic feet for a family of 5 members if collection is done
every 3 days.

2.

Public bins.

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3. House-to-house collection

4. Mechanical transport

5. Dustless refuse collector

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VI.

6.1

INSANITARY METHODS
1.
2.

6.2

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Methods of solid waste disposal

Hog feeding
Dumping

SANITARY METHODS
1.

Sanitary landfill/ Controlled tipping

2.

Composting

3.

Incineration

4.

Manure pits

5.

Biogas plant
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6.1

INSANITARY METHODS

Advantages
Refuse dumped in low lying areas.
Bacterial action over time, decreases volume of refuse which is
gradually converted into humus.

Disadvantages
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

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Smell
Unsightly appearance
Free access to flies, rodents, hogs, dogs etc.
Dispersal by wind
Pollution of surface and ground water

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6.2

SANITARY METHODS

1. Sanitary landfill / Controlled tipping


Laying of dry and condensed refuse in a trench or other prepared area with
intervening earth coverings.
Anaerobic digestion of the refuse takes place. The process takes 4-6 months to
complete.

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I.

Trench method
Level ground
Trenches 4-12 m wide, 2-3 m deep
Refuse is compacted and then covered with excavated earth.

II.

Ramp method
Sloping terrain

III. Area method


Land depressions, disused quarries, pits
May need soil from outside sources to cover the compacted
refuse

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2. Composting
There are three methods of Composting:

BANGALORE METHOD

MECHANICAL COMPOSTING

VERMI-COMPOSTING

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I.

BANGALORE METHOD
i.

Method of combined disposal of refuse and night soil or sludge.

ii.

Organic matter breaks down under bacterial action, producing compost used as
manure

iii.

Most widely used in India.

iv.

Widely used by farmers as compost made out of cow dung and other agro waste.

25
cm

Earth

15
cm

5 cm

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15
cm

5 cm

REFUSE
NIGHTSOIL
REFUSE
NIGHTSOIL
REFUSE

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i.

Improvement in soil texture with increase in moisture holding capacity of the soil.

ii.

It is cheap and easy to adopt.

i.

Suitable only for dry waste.

ii.

Land required for open compost plants is relatively large.

iii. Issues of methane emission, odour and flies from badly managed open
compost plants remain.
iv. Proper segregation of waste is required at the source.

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II.

MECHANICAL COMPOSTING

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III. VERMI COMPOSTING


Vermi-compost is the natural organic manure produced from the excreta of
earthworms fed on semi-decomposed organic waste.
It takes 2-3 months for decomposition to complete.
A few vermi composting plants generally of small size have been set up in some cities
and towns in India, the largest plant being in Bangalore of about 100 MT/day capacity.
ADVANTAGES:
i) Requires less mechanization.
ii) Easy to operate.

DISADVANTAGES:
i) Requires proper care to avoid toxic material from entering the soil.
ii)Takes longer time compared to mechanical composting.

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3. Incineration
This method, commonly used in developed countries is most suitable for
high calorific value waste with a large component of paper, plastic, packaging
material, pathological wastes, etc.

Suitable for areas where land is not available for sanitary landfill
Example: Hospitals.
ADVANTAGES:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

Relatively hygienic, odourless and noiseless.


Land requirements are minimal.
Can be located within city limits, reducing
transportation cost.

DISADVANTAGES:
i. Expensive.
ii. No useful by-product.
iii. Air pollution .
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Incinerator in India:
An incinerator capable of generating
3.75 MW power from 300 TPD MSW
was installed at Timarpur, Delhi in
the year 1987. The plant is
unoperational now.
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INCINERATOR PLANT

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4. Manure pits
i.

Used in rural households.

ii.

Covered with earth after each days dumping.

iii.

Two pits.

iv.

Within 5-6 months decomposed refuse which is used as fertilizer

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5. Biogas plant
i. Biogas is produced by the anaerobic breakdown of solid waste /excreta.
ii. Biogas (Methane, CO2, Hydrogen) can be used as a fuel for any heating
purpose, such as cooking.

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Some Useful Websites and links


http://www.moef.nic.in/legis/hsm/mswmhr.html
http://www.unep.or.jp/ietc/ESTdir/Pub/MSW/index.asp
http://www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/InformationSheets/WasteDisposal.htm
http://www.eia.doe.gov/kids/energyfacts/saving/recycling/solidwaste/landfiller.html

http://www.sustainability-ed.org/pages/example2-2.htm

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