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Jun 26, 2012

Definition of a Solid Waste Management System

A solid waste management (SWM) system includes the generation of waste, storage, collection, transportation, processing and final disposal. This study focused on disposal options for municipal solid waste (MSW) in India. Read the Definition of Municipal Solid Waste.

Agricultural and manufactured products of no more value are discarded as wastes. Once items are discarded as waste, they need to be collected. Waste collection in most parts of the world is centralized and all kinds of waste generated by a household or institution are collected together as mixed wastes.

Collection and transportation of municipal solid waste (MSW) as part of Hyderabad, India's solid waste management (SWM) system
Solid waste management (SWM) is a basic public necessity and this service is provided by respective urban local bodies (ULBs) in India. SWM starts with the collection of solid wastes and ends with their disposal and/or beneficial use. Proper SWM requires separate collection of different wastes, called source separated waste collection. Source separated collection is common in high income regions of the world like Europe, North America and Japan where the infrastructure to transport separate waste streams exists. Most centralized municipal systems in low income countries like India collect solid wastes in a mixed form because source separate collection systems are non-existent. Source separated collection of waste is limited by infrastructure, personnel and public awareness. A significant amount of paper is collected in a source separated form, but informally. In this report, unmixed waste will be specially referred to as source separated waste, in all other cases municipal solid waste (MSW) or solid waste would refer to mixed wastes.
Indian cities are still struggling to achieve the collection of all MSW generated. Metros and other big cities in India collect between 70- 90% of MSW. Smaller cities and towns collect less than 50% (6). The benchmark for collection is 100%, which is one of the most important targets for ULBs at present. This is a reason why source separated collection is not yet in the radar.


  1. I never realized how different solid waste management systems are depending on what country you live in. I am currently researching the topic for a report I am doing for school. I didn't think the topic would be as interesting as it is. I will definitely have to include SWM systems in other countries in the report.

    1. Hello Kelly,

      Hope the semester went well and the report too.

      Keep researching this topic and it only gets interesting.

      All the best.

  2. Very informative article on solid waste management. To know more about the same for your workplace do visit http://greendesignexpert.com/

  3. Commercial disposal bins are used to get rid their garbage and waste management like, residential and commercial, is the only way to maintain a clean and healthy environment.
    commercial waste collection grand rapids

  4. Thanks for your correct informations,you are providing some good helpful informations. Thanks a lot.Disposal of electronic waste delhi

  5. I just want to say that all the information you have given here is awesome...great and nice blog thanks sharing..Thank you very much for this one. And i hope this will be useful for many people.. and i am waiting for your next post keep on updating these kinds of knowledgeable things.

  6. Thanks for the accurate information regarding Solid Waste Management, and I hope this is useful for every person reading this blog.



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