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How to improve waste management system in India by using information technology?
Common waste management solution in
Improving waste management using
information technology


India’s growth story, especially in the last few decades has also resulted in a rapid increase in both domestic and industrial waste. The main driver for domestic waste is the rapid urbanisation that is slated to change India from a largely rural to a majority urban country in the next decade (2020). As per UNDP research study the total waste quantity generated by the year 2047 is estimated to be about 260 million tons per year. It is estimated that if the waste is not disposed of in a more systematic manner, more than 1,400 km square of land, which is equivalent to the size of city of Delhi, would be required in the country by the year 2047 for its disposal.

Solid waste management (SWM) has three basic components, namely, collection, transportation and disposal. The objective of SWM is to reduce the quantity of solid waste disposed of on land by recovery of materials and energy from solid waste in a cost effective and environment friendly manner. Discussion given below explains level of waste management problem in India and how information technology can be used in waste collection as a prospective means of improving waste management. This paper is an attempt to proffer a generic but yet concrete and efficient solution to the problems associated with waste collection via the application of mobile technologies, firstly, by tackling the problems individually in form of subsystems and then, through integration of the subsystems together.


OBJECTIVE: How to improve waste management system in India by using information technology?

INTRODUCTION: Waste management is the "generation, prevention, characterization, monitoring, treatment, handling, reuse and residual disposition of solid wastes". There are various types of solid waste including municipal (residential, institutional, commercial), agricultural, and special (health care, household hazardous wastes, sewage sludge).The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics.

Scale of problem: With a population of over 1.2 billion, rapid urbanization and modernization of India is simply inevitable. Most of the cities are under-prepared for the rapid growth, because the infrastructure lacks serious development. As per a study conducted by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) urban India generates about 47 million tons of solid waste (garbage) every year or about 1.3 lakh tons every day. According to a calculation done by TERI in 1998, the garbage generated till 2011 would cover 2, 20000 football fields piled 9 meters (27 feet) high with garbage. The other dimension of sanitation is sewage or wastewater disposal. CPCB estimates that in 2009, 38 billion liters of sewage was generated per day from 498 tier I cities. Installed capacity to treat this giant river of wastewater is 12 billion litres or less than one-third of the requirement. This means the remaining 26 billion liters is getting dumped into our streams and rivers daily, making many of them terminally sick.

Source: EAI

Electronic waste or e-waste describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling or disposal are also considered as e-waste. The Indian city of Bangalore produces some 20,000 tonnes of ewaste per year, according to a report by Assocham, the Association of Chamber of 3

Commerce and Industry of India. This figure is rising at a rate of 20% per year and the report's authors forecast the amount of computer waste across the country could increase by nearly 500% by 2020.

Source: Department of Information Technology


Landfill: Disposal of waste in a landfill involves burying the waste, which is one of the most common practise of waste management in India. A properly designed and well-managed landfill can be a hygienic and relatively inexpensive method of disposing of waste materials. Older, poorly designed or poorly managed landfills and open dumps can create a number of adverse environmental impacts such as wind-blown litter, attraction of vermin, and generation of liquid leachate.

Incineration: Incineration is a disposal method in which solid organic w...

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