Integrated Management of Municipal Solid Waste

Dr. T.V. Ramachandra 
Co-ordinator, Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES),
Associate Faculty, Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra),
Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP),

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
*Corresponding author:,
Citation :Dr. T.V Ramachandra TV,. (2016). Integrated Management of Municipal Solid Waste, Ediotors (Dr. H.K. Ramaraju and Prof. Manjunatha. L) Proceedings of National Seminar on "Swatchh Bharath Drive for Solid waste management" Jointly Organized by Departement of Ciliv Engineeing, SJBIT, IWWA, and IPHE, 23rd September 2016, (ISSN -0970-319), 13(2016): Pp: 1-13.
Solid waste management situation in Bangalore:

Many corporation wards in Bangalore city are characterized by having a high degree of fermentable component in municipal solid wastes (MSW) from residential areas.  These wastes are typified with low calorific value (800-1800 kCals/kg), high moisture content (50-80%, low net cal value), high proportion of organic matter (>60%) and low recyclable content such as paper, plastics, metals etc. The fermentable components of MSW are predominantly vegetable and fruit wastes that can range between 65 and 90% (Rajabapaiah  1998, Ramachandra and Saira 2003; Ramachandra 2006, 2011; Chanakya et al. 2007, 2009).  As and when the city begins source segregation into fermentables, it is expected that a significant component of fermentable fraction will be produced and needs to be picked up on a daily basis. Only 68% of wastes generated is being collected by the agencies in Bangalore.

The quantum of waste generated in Bangalore city varies from 2300 to 3600 MT/day and the composition of waste is given in Table 1. The quantity is likely to grow in the next few years due to the increasing population and will present a formidable challenge to authorities unless an integrated approach is taken. As the daily per capita organic fraction of MSW production varies between 0.2-0.5kg (Ramachandra et al., 2013, 2014), depending upon lifestyles in the cities (indicated by city population).  Thus, due to the small size of the total fermentable MSW generated at the household scale only composting and vermicomposting seem feasible at the household level.  Many commercial and non-commercial devices for household composting and vermicomposting have been tried in Bangalore (Chanakya et al. 2007; Ramachandra 2006).   Area or community scale options indicated above have been more successful in Bangalore and in various places in India. Area or zone wise collection has been shown to simplify collection systems and it enables collection of waste of similar composition (Sathishkumar et al. 2001).  Leaf litter and garden waste, vegetable and fruit waste, domestic and kitchen waste, etc. thus are manually carted and treated at scales between 0.05-0.25 tpd scale. Composition of waste (Table 1) clearly shows the predominance of fermentable materials at all locations in the process of generation to its reaching the dump site.  In the residential areas, parks and vegetable markets, the presence of a large fraction of fruit and vegetable waste (fermentable fraction, 70-90%) increases the moisture content of waste to about 70-80% (Shwetmala et al., 2014).  When composting of such high moisture feedstock is attempted by the standard windrow method, there is excessive generation of leachates and its fermentation results in malodours.  High levels of such waste arise even in the business districts where there is a concentration of fresh fruit juice vending shops in the area.  Citrus fruit skins, pineapple cores, sugarcane bagasse, other fruit waste, etc. are generated in large quantities in certain pockets of the city.  These form nearly 80% of the waste collected area (Sathishkumar et al. 2001).  It is, therefore, important that such waste materials  are treated rapidly in decentralized units and two options, namely, aerobic composting and biomethanation are available.

Table 1:  Composition of municipal solid waste at different stages



Components (%)

Street bin, before rag picking

Street bin, after rag picking


Dump site

Bangalore overall





















Polythene /plastics










Dust and sweepings





The steps, in order of priority, which must be taken for Bangalore are given below:

The ISWM approach is designed to minimize the initial generation of waste materials through source reduction, then through reusing and recycling to further reduce the volume of the material being sent to landfills or incineration compared to the conventional approach of simply focusing on disposal of solid waste. Good municipal solid waste management practices require collection of critical information which is not just for keeping the records up to date but for taking corrective measures as well as proper planning for the future. There is also a need for integration and assimilation of information from various levels of jurisdiction. Thus, the strategic approaches for ISWM involve the integration of available data, guidelines and framework and elimination of the constraints. The main objective here is to arrive at a proper storage with least negative environmental impact, efficient collection system, engineered processing and disposal according to the constituents present in the waste stream. Analysis of spatial data, i.e. land use and land cover pattern, transport network, collection network etc., along with the information related to the quantity and quality of wastes  (through Geographic Information System) enables the authorities involved in the solid waste management to come out with feasible options. To keep a city clean and maintain healthy environment, the administration has to adopt this approach and set goals for installations to reduce the amount of solid waste being generated, increase the solid waste diversion rate and comply with the existing regulations. 


Figure 2: Integrated solid waste management using Geographic Information System (GIS), Management Information System (MIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS)


Focus of the ISWM program includes the following: