Municipal Solid Waste Management : Challenges and Best Practices

India is confronted with significant environmental difficulties as a result of garbage generation and insufficient waste collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal. The current waste management systems in India are unable to cope with the volume of waste generated by an expanding urban population. This, in turn, impacts the environment and public health negatively.

Solid waste management (SWM) has become a serious issue for many Indian urban local governments. Rising populations, industrialization, and economic development have all contributed to a rise in the amount of MSW generated per resident. In metro cities with a high population density, effective SWM is a huge challenge.

Solid Waste Management solutions in India have remained chiefly intact despite tremendous progress in social, economic, and environmental aspects. According to research, 90% of residual garbage is dumped rather than properly landfilled, indicating the pressing need to implement robust waste management solutions in India.

Solid waste collection and monitoring systems currently in place are inefficient, with waste affecting human health, the environment, and the economy. It’s high time – Now authorities must focus on shifting away from our reliance on waste dumps that provide no environmental protection in favor of smart solutions for solid waste management.

In this post, we shall discuss some of the Best Practices and challenges of Municipal Solid Waste Management.

Let’s get straight to the article now…

So, what is Municipal Solid Waste?

Municipal solid waste (MSW) is defined as anything that is used and then discarded in a municipal setting. It is primarily found in residential areas, schools, hospitals, and public venues. Municipal solid waste is categorized into three, namely

1. Household Trash
2. Office Trash
3. Retail Trash

This simply indicates that the three listed above are the primary sources of waste in the country. Over the last few decades, economic growth and population growth have both contributed to an increase in the rate of MSW creation.

municipal corporations solid waste managementHence, public authorities must implement appropriate municipal solid waste management solutions.

Municipal Solid Waste Management Challenges

1. Increased Garbage Creation

The first and foremost challenge that local bodies find troublesome is increased garbage creation. Economic growth leads to increased trash output as well as higher levels of consumption. Economic development also frequently results in the consumption of new sorts of items, such as electronics, which are difficult to recycle.

Increased population growth also results in an increase in garbage creation. Furthermore, this growth is frequently comprised of highly populated areas of towns and cities, which might compound the issues associated with waste collection.

2. Lack of Financial Resources

Another serious issue is a lack of financial resources. The shortfall could restrict operating expenditures such as maintenance, fuel, and salaries. Also, the lack of capital will prevent the purchase of new equipment and vehicles.

3. Littering and Illegal Dumping

More often than not, garbage is not placed in designated containers, leading to dirty streets, streams, etc. All of this aggravate situations for authorities.

4. Inconstant Sanitation Workers

Inconstant sanitation workers are quite a common issue when it comes to solid waste management. More often than not, sanitation workers do not do their duties righteously. Often, they miss garbage pickups, area cleaning, and so on. Therefore, it becomes critical for authorities to come up with smart solutions for solid waste management.

5. Inappropriate Vehicles

Other challenges include using vehicles designed for materials much denser than solid waste, resulting in low carrying capacity and productivity. Many waste collection vehicles have issues with rubbish being hauled quite high. Because no adequate lifting mechanism is provided, it is done manually, inefficiently, and unhygienically.

So, these are some of the challenges that authorities face generally. Let’s now take a look at the best practices of Municipal Solid Waste Management…

Municipal Solid Waste Management Best Practices

1. In order to properly manage garbage, people need to be taught the importance of source segregation at generating points.

2. Viable decentralized composting plants should be established to lessen the load on ULBs for MSW collection and transportation, reducing pressure on landfills.

3. Decentralized composting units should be put up in large cities. Individual community/unit biodegradable waste should be collected and put into these decentralized composting units.

Municipal Solid Waste Management Best Practices

4. Waste collection and disposal point characterization should be made public by encouraging universities and technical colleges to teach waste management.

5. Formal recycling sectors/industries should be formed to recycle non-biodegradable waste components, thus giving jobs and mainstreaming rag-pickers.

6. A policy for the reuse and recycling of C& D waste should be devised and communicated to producers to reduce the strain on landfills.

7. Lastly, municipal corporations and agencies must implement smart solutions for solid waste management. Smart Waste Management System is nothing but an IoT-based solution that help corporation keep cities and towns smart and clean. Smart solid waste management systems include:

i. RFID-Enabled Door-to-door waste collection monitoring: The local authorities can ensure daily waste collection by placing RFID tags on each property.

ii. Bin Sensors: Sensors are installed on public trash bins to track the bin’s status in real-time. When the waste in these bins reaches a specific threshold, sensors in the bins alert the corporation’s control center. The system automatically updates nearby collection drivers which smart bin is full. The vehicle driver then quickly empties the bins, ensuring timely cleaning of bins.

iii. GPS Vehicle Tracking System: Garbage collectors’ whole fleet of vehicles is fitted with GPS trackers. It helps municipalities and garbage collection agencies get real-time data about garbage collection vehicles and track their route. This increases vehicle productivity and reduces costs.

iv. Attendance App: Keeping track of the waste collector’s schedule has never been easy. However, with attendance apps and smartwatches, tracking field staff’s routine has become a breeze.

Convexicon India have developed IOT-based solutions to help municipal corporations and agencies manage municipal solid waste smartly across the country. A million tones of garbage are generated in India every day, making Smart Solid Waste Management solutions vital.

Consider implementing Convexicon’s SMART waste management solutions to streamline the waste management operations. Doing so will go a long way to help you achieve your operational excellence!