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Jul 7, 2012

Population and Municipal Solid Waste Generation in India


1. Population
2. Population Growth
3. Impact of Population Growth on Municipal Solid Waste Generation

1. Population

India is the second most populous nation on the planet. The Census of 2011 estimates a population of 1.21 billion which is 17.66% of the world population. It is as much as the combined population of USA, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Japan. The population of Uttar Pradesh, one among 28 Indian states is greater than that of Brazil, the fifth most populous nation in the world. India’s urban population was 285 million in 2001 and increased to 377 million in 2011. Indian urban population is greater than the total population of USA (308.7 million), the third most populous nation.
Appendix 1 (in the report here) lists 366 cities which represent 70% of India’s urban population and generate 130,000 tons per day (TPD) or 47.2 million tons per year (TPY) at a per capita waste generation rate of 500 grams/day. This implies the total MSW generated by urban India could be as much as 188,500 TPD or 68.8 million TPY. This number matches the projection (65 million TPY in 2010) by Sunil Kumar, et al. (17). Therefore, this report assumes that the quantum of waste generated by urban India to be 68.8 million TPY. The general consensus on amount of waste generated by urban India is 50 million TPY, which is very low in comparison to the current findings.
Figure 8. Total Population and Urban Population Growth in India
The six metro cities, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru together generate 48,000 TPD (17.5 million TPY) of MSW. Currently, India has 53 cities with populations greater than one million, generating 86,245 TPD (31.5 million TPY), which is about 46 % of the total MSW generated in urban India. The remaining 313 cities studied generate 15.7 million TPY (43,000 TPD), 23% of the total urban MSW, only half of that generated by the 53 cities with million plus population.


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