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VARIATION IN INCINERABILITY OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE IN INDIAN CITIES

Abstract

Abstract: Municipalsolid waste (MSW) management has become a challenging task in India for localgovernment authorities and concerned private agencies and non-governmental organizations(NGOs) due to the quantum and heterogeneity of the waste generated. With wastegeneration increasing at alarming rates and segregation at source remaining anunattainable task, there is an imminent demand for an integrated wastemanagement strategy. Biological treatment techniques like composting haveperhaps become unfeasible as the primary treatment route owing to the longtreatment durations spanning from at least 2-3 weeks to as high as 4-6 months.With daily generation rates as high as 9000 TPD in metros like Delhi, there isan evident need for a faster treatment technique while ensuring energy andmaterial recovery. As a result, waste incineration has perhaps, emerged as anundisputable element of integrated waste management system owing to shortertreatment durations and low space requirement, as opposed to conventionalpractices like composting and landfilling. However, being a technology withhigh monetary requirements, it becomes mandatory to ensure its feasibility toprevent operational failures. While detailed composition and characterizationstudies can facilitate this decision making to an extent, experimentationbecomes tedious and erroneous. To expedite the decision making process, acomposite indicator, the i- Index has been formulated by the authors which canquantify the incinerability of the MSW, and thus the feasibility of wasteincineration process for waste disposal. The index incorporates the potentialenvironmental impact, energy recovery and fiscal aspect of waste incinerationprocess in the decision making. The current study is focused on the applicationof the i- Index for estimating the incinerability of MSW generated inAhmedabad, Patna, Bengaluru and Lucknow, cities whose MSW generation rates haveincreased by nearly 42.5%, 82.7%, 26% and 20% from 2011 to 4000, 1277, 5000 and1500 TPD, as per latest reports from local government authorities. With urbanizationand economic growth increasing the MSW generation furthermore, thequantification of incinerability of MSW from the study areas can help deviseappropriate treatment and disposal strategy to handle the mounting MSW. Thestudy shall also help derive an incinerability based ranking of MSW generatedin the study areas. 

Keywords: Municipal solid waste, incinerability, wasteincineration

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Department of Civil Engineering, Amity University Haryana,




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