The market for generating value out of waste (VOW) is expected to be worth USD 1.5 billion by 2017 from the current level of below USD 1 billion market in India, according to the ASSOCHAM- cKinetics joint study on ‘Earth Day’.
According to a study on ‘Value out of Waste: Next USD 1.5 bn opportunity for Indian Industry,’ jointly conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and cKinetics on “Earth Day” revealed that daily per capita urban waste generation is expected to grow at a steady rate of 10 percent from 0.37kg in 2012 to 0.82 kg in 2052. The urban population of India is also expected to increase from 365 million in 2012 to 404 million in 2017 and 672 million in 2052, adds the study.
“With technological improvements, improved waste management systems and better quality of source waste due to increased segregation, the potential capacity for waste to energy plants is expected to grow to approximately 2200 MW by 2030 and 5,400 MW by 2052”, said DS Rawat, Secretary General ASSOCHAM releasing the joint study.
The total urban municipal solid waste generation is expected to increase from 136,514 TPD in 2012 to 553,550 TPD in 2052, reveals the joint study.
High organic content in Indian urban municipal waste, less upfront capital expenditure, as well as ease of adoption in decentralized setting, composting is expected to grow from about 26,000 TPD in 2017 to 66,500 TPD in 2052, highlights the joint study.
The state of MSW treatment efficiency in Indian states is highly concerning. While Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are responsible for 19 percent and 13 percent of overall waste generation in the country, but they end up treating only 18 percent and 27 percent of the waste they generate while the rest is directed to landfills, highlighted the joint study.
In the seven states with 100 percent collection efficiency, apart from Uttar Pradesh, all other states have barely any treatment efficiency. In order shape a holistic and successful municipal waste management system, it is important to understand the waste generation trends in various regions and also the reasons for the dismal levels of collection and treatment efficiencies of municipal waste, said Rawat.
As per the study, majority of municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in India is organic matter (40 percent) which is compostable in nature, followed by 10 percent of combustible waste, 5 percent of recyclable materials and the rest of the material (45 percent) are inerts, reveals the joint study.
Currently solid waste management (SWM) services face sub-optimal planning, inefficient implementation and heavy expenditure, thereby posing serious challenges to public health, environmental pollution, degradation of natural resources and climate change, impacting the overall quality of life.
To address these issues, Rawat said, India’s development strategy must be sensitive to these growing environmental concerns, while appropriately evaluating its threats and trade-offs. A multi-stakeholder approach, including the community and the private sector, focused on leveraging innovative technologies and disposal methods as well as increased awareness, must be designed and incorporated in all Government and Corporate CSR models.
There are multiple technologies available for extracting value out of waste depending upon the composition of waste. For some wastes like metals, glass, construction and demolition waste etc. it is possible to recover useful materials through recycling. For other wastes like inorganic combustible waste, it is possible to recover energy through various technologies (like pyrolysis, incineration, gasification etc). Organic waste can be used to recover materials through composting as well as energy through bio-methanation.