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Aug 29, 2011

Municipal Solid Waste Generation Quantity in Indian Cities

Urban India generates 188,500 tonnes per day (68.8 million tonnes per year) of municipal solid waste (MSW) at a per capita waste generation rate of 500 grams/person/day. The total waste generation figure is achieved by extrapolating the total tonnage of wastes documented for 366 cities (70% of India's urban population) in the table below.

To copy this table to MS Excel, select data, and "Paste Special" in Excel and choose "Text". The whole spreadsheet can also be obtained by leaving a request with your email address in the comments section

In 2001, there were about 104 cities generating MSW above 150 tonnes per day (TPD) and 295 cities generating above 50 TPD. 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). This study covered 59 cities. The study documented per capita waste generation values and calculated the total waste generated depending upon the population of respective cities.
Increasing solid waste generation in India cities and lack of disposal sites (Dumpsite at Pimpri Chinchwad)
Although the collection, transportation and scientific disposal of MSW in about 26 cities were covered in Service Level Benchmarking (SLB)" conducted by the Ministry of Urban Development (MOUD), the quantum of wastes generated in other cities has never been addressed. I observed a necessity to document waste generation in more cities and attempted to address that through this table. This table puts the waste generation in urban India at (above) 136,000 TPD at an average per capita generation of 500 grams/day. It presents the approximate waste generation values and per capita waste generation rates in 366 Indian cities for 2011 to be the largest of such compilations yet.


The databases used to prepare this table were 
1. Report published on CPCB's website in association with NEERI
2. Database published by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy as "National Master Plan for Development of Waste-to-Energy in India" were used in this analysis. 

The following inconsistencies in the above mentioned databases were corrected before laborious data processing.

During the decade 2001-2011, municipal authorities in many cities were reorganized and they started representing new city limits. The city limits and hence the populations assumed by CPCB & NEERI report are revised in the present table. The report by MNRE was inconsistent in reporting the solid waste generation values for cities. For example, 46 cities had two different values at different instances in the same report and two cities had three different values. Selecting the per capita values from among these for the particular cities was the major challenge in this report. For example Bhubaneswar was reported to generate 261 TPD and  566 TPD, the second value being twice the first one. The cities were organized depending upon their population into twelve different classes and the per capita values were averaged excluding anomalies. The value which was the nearest to these averages among those having two or more values reported were chosen as the final values. These values were then compared to CPCB & NEERI values, in case of discrepancy, NEERI values were assumed.
The per capita waste generation values for 2011 were calculated by assuming a 1.33% yearly increase since 2001 and the urban population increase was assumed to be 3.4% per year since 2001.

This table needs to be revised once the Census 2011 data on the population of all these cities and the decadal urban population growth is published.

Expected changes would be a higher generation in Metros and Class 1 cities (due to a higher population increase) and a lower generation in other cities as compared to the values published here. Cities are arranged in descending order of tons of waste generated per day. 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.

The table for waste processing technologies in India needs to be edited according to this data

Tags: India, urban, cities, municipal, solid, waste, MSW, generated, generation, tons, per, day, year, tonnes, TPD, TPY, NEERI, CPCB, 59, 366, 2011, 2005, 


  1. Thanks for this blog, I'll follow

  2. I have been looking for waste generation quantities for the cities and closely following bengaluru . I think the figure here is underestimate of current generation(2011) quantities .Easily generation is around 5000 tonnes to 8000 tonnes. Can you pl provide me clarity on this

  3. Can you also tell me the waste generation in the first excel table right at the top is it for 2011 & hw different is it from the second table generation rate

  4. Hello there,
    The MSW generated in B'lore was calculated using the census 2001 population plus 30% growth rate in population. I also checked it with some on field data.
    I'm sure there'll be a slight underestimation cause the population in B'lore would have grown faster than the overall urban decadal growth. According to my calculation, the population of B'lore is 7.5 million, some sources indicate it to be 8.5 million, which cannot be finalized until the data for B'lore from Census 2011 is released.
    However, solely based on calculations, it might not be as much as 8000 tons/day. Even if the population was 8.5 million, the waste generated value would be 3800 tons/day. What makes you think it is btw 5000 - 8000? Have you come across some kind of source that could help us get an idea?
    My calculations do not include construction and demolition waste (if you were including them too)!

    It'll be wonderful if you could share your email. It would make discussing this easier.

    Thank you very much

  5. Hi!
    Well I have given an estimate looking at the growing population of Bangalore. Nobody is really sure what the true generation rate is. I will be more than glad to learn and exchnage opinion on this. my id is saggi_sumiya@yahoo.com

  6. Excellent work,
    Jayant Singh

  7. Hi Ranjith,
    I would be interested in the full report/thesis/publications which come out of this. I am also working on swm at NISTADS(CSIR), but focussing on what other value-added products we can make from various organic waste streams in Indian cities. My email is ankushiitk@gmail.com.
    Best Wishes

    1. Hello everyone,

      The document and excel sheets can be downloaded from this blog by clicking on the links provided below this blog's opening picture and heading.


  8. Hi ranjith: I would be interested in the full report as well as the complete set of data in excel sheets as well - my email id is preethi@krya.in . Thanks!

    1. Hello Mrs. Preethi,

      Hope you are doing good! You might be interested in having a look at my latest work called "Observations from India's Waste Crisis"


  9. Hi Ranjith :

    Presently we(Ramboll Energy India) are doing the consultancy services for the Waste to energy projects under mass incineration in India.

    We need your valuable guidelines in this.


    Upendra Kumar Sahu
    Manager,Ramboll energy India

  10. Great job Ranjith!!!
    Keep up the good work....

    1. Dear sir,
      We work landfill construction waste management in India, Construction and demolition Municipal solid waste, Industrial Solid Waste, recycling, and disposal services. https://www.dozer.in/msw-landfill/

  11. hi ranjeet .
    its really a good content , i would like the the datas in excel sheet.
    please send me at my personal mail id : badalajay@aol.com

    1. You can now download all of them by clicking on the link below the blog's heading and opening picture.

  12. Hey Ranjith,

    I am looking at the waste to energy sector in India currently. Could you share the data sheets with me, with the sources? I have been trying to look at the CPCB websites and couldn't find what I wanted. Please drop me a mail (joel@cseindia.org), and I do wish to discuss with you further.


    1. Hello Joel, (please check your email for this same message)

      The data sheets can be downloaded from here - https://www.dropbox.com/s/o9esxg3xk4h3kmf/Sustainable%20Solid%20Waste%20Mangament%20in%20India_%20Data%20Dump.xlsx (this is one of the links below the cover picture and blog title)

      Sources are National Master Plan for Waste to Energy in India by the Govt. of India and CPCB - NEERI's publication of data from 59 Indian cities.

      All the best with your research.

    2. This is copied from the conversation between Joel and me. You can see my reply as a separate comment.
      Hi Ranjith,

      Can you direct me to the National Master plan for WtE in India? I have been coming across this in a lot of articles but I can't find the original document for the same. I spoke to the MNRE too, who seem to be a little unfamiliar except for the 3 programs that are under them. Is this the UNDP/GEF project's National Master Plan?

      Also, can you tell me the source for the calorific value and the power potential for Urban MSW that you have mentioned in the document?


    3. This is my reply to Joel

      Looks like the National Master Plan for Development of Waste to Energy in India was removed from its previous link. I could not find it anywhere else on the internet. So, here is the link to the copies I saved on my online drive
      In case the link changes, please email or write another comment for the new link

      The calorific value, etc were all from the CPCB-NEERI study. Cities without a calorific value were arranged into different categories based on their population. An average value obtained for that specific category from existing data was assumed for these cities.

      Hope this helps.


  13. Hello Ranjith,

    This is a fantastic report. You have really put in a lot of work. Thank you so much for sharing. I am going to use some of your numbers to calculate estimated waste that is generated from new building projects to aid in implementing a proper recycling plan for the building. Is that alright with you?

    I have two questions:
    Do you have any idea if they recycle construction debris (other than rebar) in India? As far as I know it is all landfilled.

    Do you know if there is any study that shows the individual % of plastic, metal, glass that is discarded in India as opposed to a total % recyclables?


    1. Hello Dear Safeera,

      Iron and steel or other metals from construction debris is recycled in India. This is because they have higher margins. I am not aware of recycling of other materials, but you should not take that as an answer because I have not looked at construction waste. You should reach out to professionals in that space.

      NEERI - CPCB study of 2005 does show recyclable percentages in terms of paper, cardboard, plastic, etc. If you are living in one of India's big cities, there are papers and reports which give you a fairly detailed composition data.

      And yes, please feel free to use the data. If it is published or written about, cite Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council, Columbia University which has sponsored the study.

      All the best with you work
      Let me know if I can be of more help.
      Ranjith Annepu

  14. hii..ranjith,
    am a final year b.tech student and am working on landfill projects on how how to utilize the LFG for green energy,am actually in search of some relevent data like;
    1). the amount of CH4 and CO2 gases realeased from lanfill(okhla,ghazipur,bhalswa)
    2).amount of waste generated per day in delhi at present and out of that how much is recyclable.
    and how can we forecast the whole result.
    ranjith sir,ill be very thankfull to you if you can help me out with my project..

  15. Dear Ranjith

    we are new to W2E field ... however we are very keen to work in this field. we are planning to put up W2E plant for MSW of 300 MTD in Navi Mumbai area.

    Can u kindly let us know which one is the right & best technology for treatment of MSW which gives best retuns on investment.

    also can u let us what wud be the total cost of the technology / plant / O&M for the technology suggested by you. and breakeven period.

    1. Hello Mr. Sanjay,

      Below is a good post by Mr. Thomas Vogler of Hitachi Zosen India, which will answer your questions

      ... here are the numbers for one of our standardized (Waste-to-Energy Combustion/Incineration) plants in India, which basically could be financially self-sustaining at zero tipping fee at going electricity rates, however it depends on the plant owner's cost of capital and profit expectations.

      - calorific value: 1,650 kcal/kg
      - waste capacity: 600 tpd of unsegregated MSW
      - gross power output: 11.5 MWel
      - internal power consumption: 16%
      - capital cost (EPC, not including land): INR 125 cr (USD 18.5 mil)
      - annual O&M cost: INR 11 cr (USD 1.76 mil)

      Generally speaking, the more homogenous and the higher-calorific the waste gets, the more financially viable any technology will become. So, when one considers the conversion of ready-made fuel to electricity only, an RDF- or Gasification plant might seem to be more financially viable. However, as soon as the costs are added, which are required to prepare the fuel from normal Indian MSW, all these technologies turn out to be unfeasible. Hence, we are convinced that currently in India, no other technology (capable of producing electricity from typical Indian MSW) can be implemented in a profitable manner.

      For the full context of the post and the discussion, please visit this link - http://www.linkedin.com/groupItem?seeMore=&split_page=2&type=member&item=274769021&gid=4907099&trk=groups_item_detail-grp-b-scroll

      Hope this is helpful
      All the best

  16. Dear Sir,

    I Am work in Solid Waste Management Services in Delhi NCR

    Achyut Pathak


  17. So how is this sustainable and how can I implement sustainable waste management in Des Moines Iowa?

  18. Hallo,

    here is Konrad I'm working on a Waste Treatment concept, for my universitiy,
    I would be glad to receive the complete spreadsheet! It would be very useful to my project.


    kind regards from Rajasthan.


  19. i am a student of B.E civil engg. final year. My final year project on a solid waste management. your blog is very much help full for my study.
    thank you for shear your knowlege with us...
    thank you very much.....

  20. hi, this is great information you have clearly well researched for this page. you've put in lots statistics. this has helped me a lot in my project! thanks!

  21. Hi Ranjith, i need your help!
    According to "India`s total MSW generation" i need some sources.
    You quoted "The average per capita waste generation in India is 370 grams/day".
    Is that right :
    0.370 grams/day X (india`s population) = 462.500 tons per day
    (168.8 million tons per year) ???

    If there any source, please forward it to my email: astron295@yahoo.com


  22. Waste management is not just prevention and characterization of the solid waste but also residual disposition of this waste. It is interesting how much waste a human could produce a day! The information in this article is alarming!

    1. Thank you! Hope we can all come together as a global waste community and bring change..

  23. Please send me the exxel sheet.
    rk haldar .

    1. Mr. Haldar,
      Can you please provide me your email?
      Thank you,

  24. hello
    can you plz send me the link or excel sheet from where I cn find the solid waste generation in Indian cities in year 2007 and 2012

  25. Dear Sir,

    I would like to have detailed excel sheet from your report which mentions about waste generation per person from major cities in India.

  26. My email ID is sksonawane@gmail.com

  27. Please share data on stream specific(Organic/Metal/plastic etc...) waste generation per capita in Indian Cities if available.Please mail to virafmehtain@yahoo.co.in

  28. Sir
    I would like to have detailed excel sheet from your report which mentions about waste generation per person from major cities in India.o
    Please mail it to gandhi.mini02@gmail.com

  29. Trichy/ Thiruchirappalli has the highest kg/person/day with 1.2 kg?
    PS: It's in TN not Kerala.

  30. 'Swachhagraha' is a campaign launched by Adani foundation, with Centre for Environment Education being the Knowledge and Implementation partner. The campaign is running in 6 cities of Gujarat namely Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot/Jasdan, Bhuj/Mundra and Anand. The campaign aims at creating a culture of cleanliness through behavior change, which is the best answer to make India litter free. The project has inspired change in 390 schools of Gujarat, with training 567 teachers. We are working with schools and in the span of 4 months, we have over 5000 children becoming leaders of change as '#Swachhagrahi'. Touching upon 500 children and cleaning staff through our first national campaign - '#SafaikeSitare', we believe in acknowledging the efforts of heroes that keep our country clean. Through our ongoing initiative '#GandagiSeAzadi', we strive to make the schools litter free by not creating waste. '#Swachhagraha' in real sense has started the revolution of zero tolerance towards littering, with the help of Navrachna University, Vidyanagar Nature Club and Surat Nature club, who are our local level implementing partners. It has become a driving force towards cleaner India. Join us in this movement by registering as #Swachhagrahi on www.swachhagraha.org. Like and Follow us on https://www.facebook.com/swachhagraha.org/.
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  31. I must say it's a very good article, to know more about Waste Management & Recycling check out this http://gccwmf.com

  32. Sir m a research scholar nd i need the latest data of municipal solid waste generation in indian cities. can you plz help me by sending it on sdeshwal1983@gmail.com

  33. This is a fantastic report. You have really put in a lot of work. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  37. Dear Sir,

    We work landfill construction waste management in India, Construction and demolition Municipal solid waste, Industrial Solid Waste, recycling, and disposal services. https://www.dozer.in/msw-landfill/

  38. Good article, definitely a read that has to be researched and seen by many. The information and statistics are showing some concerning results.

  39. The article is absolutely informative, but this problem with waste management and recycling is happening globally, which is the scary thing. We are the ones who can prevent a lot of detrimental effects.

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  41. This is a fantastic report. You have really put in a lot of work. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  43. Thanks for the information, this is the serious issue that every year our country generate tones of solid waste, but there are many companies like Convexicon which are helping municipal corporations to monitor the waste collection.

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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