Sanitation & Waste Management

The lack of basic sanitation facilities in India has been a significant contributor to diseases, allergies, respiratory infections, malnutrition and a loss of economic output.

A major challenge that India faces today is the lack of equal dispersion of population across the country. India’s urban population consists of approximately 350 million people which is mainly confined to a few large cities, while being responsible for producing over 65 million tonnes of waste. In India, the amount of waste generated per capita is estimated to increase at a rate of 1 to 1.33% annually. Therefore, it is estimated that the total waste quantity generated by the year 2047 will be about 260 million tonnes per year.

Almost 90% of the total waste is managed through land-filled mechanisms in India, requiring around 1,200 hectares of land every year with an average depth of 3 metres. Though most of these cities have Solid Waste Management systems, it is not very effective. This results in poor utilization of resources and a decrease in efficiency. Though there have been attempts to adopt various types of technology that have been developed in other countries such as highly mechanized compost plants, incinerator-cum-power plants, and compactor vehicles, these attempts have not yielded good results as the solid waste composition in India is much different from the countries where the technologies were developed.

The task ahead is to provide India’s population with easy access to basic sanitation needs by 2019. The government has identified India’s sanitation crisis as an issue of high importance and has decided to collaborate with various companies and organizations to achieve their task at hand. Community Surveillance of water sources and Sanitation Practices will be key to the success of total sanitation.


  • Collection, Segregation and disposal of Municipal Solid Waste is a major step in the right direction.
  • Waste to Energy technologies can provide solutions to waste treatment:
    • The Membrane Bio-Reactor (MBR) is a waste water treatment technology that can treat sewage to produce high quality industrial grade water
    • Anaerobic Digestion by Combining Organic & Sewage (ANDICOS) will help sewage treatment processes by deriving energy from the sludge discharged by the STP.

The above solutions can contribute to make a better impact on the environment as a whole.