Bangalore generates around 3000-4000 t/d of USW and a major constituent (72%) of which is organic
waste. Today, primary and secondary collection, and transportation have been reasonably satisfactory to
enable the city to remain clean. The existing solid waste treatment system in the city is not very effective.
Between the 70s and 90s a significant fraction of the fermentable wastes was composted or used directly in
the fields. In spite of rapid growth in USW production over the years, the capacity of compost plants has not
increased. Various forms of waste recycling processes are currently functioning in Bangalore (reaching an
estimated 67% of total recyclable content). This level is inadequate and it results in the production of nonfermentable
wastes to be land-filled. A significant fraction of the total USW is also dumped in about 60
shifting open dump sites and poses environmental problems. The total MSW generated in Bangalore city
has increased from 650 t/d (1988) to 1450 t/d (2000) and today it has become 3500 t/d. From 1988 to 2000
there is reasonable change in waste composition: fermentable, paper and plastic has increased by 7%, 3%
and 0.2%, respectively. Generation rate has also increased from 0.16 (1988) to 0.58 kg/capita/day (2009)
attributable to development and lifestyle changes. There is now a potential to reduce the quantity of wastes
transported by adopting source segregation and facilitating decentralized treatment wherever possible.
Open dumping is conducive to the generation and release of GHGs, such as methane – having 21 times
more GHG potential than CO2. As we head into a climate conscious society, it is imperative that we plan to
reduce the potential GHG emissions from waste management. Our estimates indicate that there is potential
for a maximum of 21.84 tCH4/d and using IPCC default this value is estimated to be 87.32 t/d. Most
components of USW incur multiple level of reuse which finally change the carbon content at each stage and
offset the final dumpsite level of CO2 and CH4 emission estimates. No CH4 emissions were detected at these dumpsites. A better understanding of processes and underlying factors is required to explain these
findings. Conventional approaches have a limited the ability to predict C-cycle changes and resultant GHG
emissions. All these pose challenges to the sustainability of Bangalore waste management system: lack of
people’s participation at various stages, insufficient segregation, inadequate recycling, insufficient
commercial incentives for processing fermentable and an absence of a value system for health are possible
causes. The paper discusses the potential for decentralized options as possible solutions to overcome this
Keywords: Bangalore, Municipal solid waste, Sustainability, Methane.
|T. V. Ramachandra
Centre for Ecological Science and Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science,
|Citation: H.N. Chanakya, T.V. Ramachandra and Shwetmala., 2009. Towards a sustainable waste management system for Bangalore, 1st International Conference on Solid Waste Management (IconSWM), Kolkata.
|Corresponding Author :
Dr. H. N. Chanakya,
Centre for Sustainable Technologies,
Indian Institute of Science,