Interventions in the Management of Urban Solid Waste

Ramachandra T.V.1,2,3,*             Shwetmala1,2             Chanakya H.N.1
1 Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences [CES], 2 Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra),
3 Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
*Corresponding author:

Solid waste is heterogeneous mixture of solid materials which does not have any further use to the society. Municipal solid waste refers to wastes generated from commercial and residential places situated in a municipal or notified area (MSW rule, 2000) in an urban locality. Rapid urbanization coupled with the burgeoning population has enhanced the quantity of waste, resulting in serious environmental problems due to lack of appropriate planning and management This necessitates suitable management strategies in an environmentally compatible manner while adopting principles of economy, aesthetics, energy and conservation (Tchobanoglous et al., 1997). This will reduce the risk to the environment and human health at all levels starting from generation to disposal of waste.(Kassim and Ali, 2006). Nevertheless successful implementation of the environmentally sound management of solid waste requires active participation of all stakeholders and sectors like administrative, financial, legal, planning and engineering (Joseph, 2002; Ramachandra and Varghese, 2003; Ramachandra, 2009).

Selection of appropriate collection system in a locality is one of the key steps in management and planning of municipal solid waste (MSW). Community bin and DtD collection are two frequently used collection systems in India. In community bin collection, all wastes will be collected in bins located at each lane of the respective locality. It provides a good chance for rag pickers to recover many of the recyclables (Chanakya and Sharatchandra, 2005) and sometimes leads to the creation of unauthorized open collection points (Sharholy et al., 2008). Compared to this, DtD waste collection mechanism involves the collection of residential wastes at each doorstep by the municipal authorities. In DtD collection, waste collectors, collect waste from each household at fixed time and transfer to the transfer station or designated location. Different colour containers are used to collect segregated waste – organic, recyclables and hazardous. In DtD collection, the quality of service is much better than community bin collection (Obirih-Opareh and Post, 2002). Littering on roads and overflow of community bins have declined with the introduction of DtD collection.

Educational (colleges, universities, research) institutions have ethical and legal obligations (MSW rule, 2000) to manage and treat wastes locally apart from maintaining the cleanliness and hygiene of the environment (Mbuligwe, 2002; Singh et al., 2007; De Vega et al., 2008). In this paper, a comprehensive investigation of MSW and DtD collection are carried out, at Indian Institute of Science campus, followed by a comparative analysis to evaluate the effects of waste collection system in Urban/Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM).

BACK   «   TOP   »   NEXT
Citation : Ramachandra. T.V., Shwetmala and Chanakya H.N., 2012. Interventions in the Management of Urban Solid Waste., International Journal of Environmental Sciences, Vol 1 (3), Pages 259–267.
* Corresponding Author :
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : +91-80-2293 3099/2293 3503 [extn - 107],      Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
E-mail :,,     Web :,
E-mail    |    Sahyadri    |    ENVIS    |    GRASS    |    Energy    |      CES      |      CST      |    CiSTUP    |      IISc      |    E-mail