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Dec 3, 2010

In case of India

Developed nations in Europe and elsewhere are way ahead in developing sustainable solutions to manage their wastes. These countries are using available resources in the best possible manner to handle wastes. Another developed country, US is following up. It is now time for India and other nations of the developing world to act responsibly towards global waste management. Of course, methods of implementing the solutions in these parts of the world will be different from those in the developed world. This is because the resource availability is different in high income and lower income nations and so are the composition of wastes. The methods however are not going to be very different as all nations are dealing with similar waste materials as a result of globalization. 

At this point, India has a great need for sustainable solid waste management and is still experimenting with various options for urban wastes. 
Thus, all proven waste management technologies have equal opportunities to contribute to the sustainable growth of the second most populous nation on the planet.
Huge capital and infrastructure requirements involved in managing MSW using Western technology keeps the developing and under developed nations away from this facility. Also, in such nations, solid waste management (SWM) falls below the need for food security, drinking water, jobs, energy and health, which explains the case in India. However, it is understood that SWM cannot be neglected and that it influences most of the above issuses. The major impact of improper SWM is on public health. By being able to manage organic wastes better, they can be used as a source of much required compost on agricultural fields to help with food security. As is the case in all over the world, mixed wastes can be used to generate decentralized energy via Waste to Energy (WTE). Avoiding landfilling of wastes prevents water pollution, air pollution and land degradation and also helps combating climate change. It is known that improper waste management is the third largest emitter of anthropogenic methane emissions. Recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, sanitary landfilling in addition to waste reduction and source separation campaigns can create jobs.

Director of the Earth Engineering Center and the Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council, Dr.Nickolas Themelis suggests
Solutions need to be based on science and the best available technology at a particular location and NOT what seems to be inexpensive now


  1. Hi Ranjith,
    I have to say Amazing blog to start of with.

    I think in India, disposal of garbage is a big problem, like u mentioned there are methods in the western countries to get a energy gain from waste, and was interested to start that in india, however would appreciate any insights to how to go abt it, keeping in mind i dont have a big capital to start with.

  2. it'd be easier to discuss this further via email. pls share yours

  3. hi ranjith
    i have seen this blog recently while iv been finding about incentration and land fills,can u share more data regarding it.i actually am searching for ways of implementation of a renewable energy system in d most economical way.

  4. Hello Yash, ,

    What kind of data are you looking for?

    Waste-to-Energy is a renewable technology as long as you're combusting biomass in it. Therefore, the renewability of a WTE technology will be the percentage of biomass you input into the plant. For example, if you're inputting 60 kg of biomass (organic matter, paper, etc) and 40 kg of plastics, then the renewability of this input is only 60%.

    Coming to its economics, it;s cheaper than solar in most parts of the world, but costlier than other renewable technologies. How cheap and how costly? I do not remember the numbers, but a simple web search should take you there.

    All the best
    Ranjith Annepu



CH4 Methane
Carbon Dioxide
Government of India
INR Indian Rupee
JnNURM Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
LFG Landfill Gas
Mechanical Biological Treatment
MSW Municipal Solid Waste
NEERI National Environmental Engineering Research Institute
Refuse Derived Fuel
SLF Sanitary Landfill
SWM Solid Waste Management
USD United States Dollar
WPs Waste Pickers
WTE Waste-to-Energy
WTERT Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council