India-Swachh Bharat Mission

India Process 73% Of Its Solid Waste – Really?


Kaushal Kishore, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs, has stated that seven Indian states handle more than 90% of their solid waste, while the country as a whole processes 73% of its solid garbage.

According to the new Solid Waste Management Rules (SWM)-2016, solid waste comprises solid or semi-solid home waste, sanitary waste, business waste, institutional waste, catering waste, street sweepings, horticultural waste, agricultural waste, and dairy waste, treated bio-medical waste.

The above facts were told in response to a Lok Sabha question on the Swachh Bharat Mission (Urban), Kishore submitted a state-by-state list of accomplishments under the initiative:-

  • Chhattisgarh processes 100% of its solid waste,
  • followed by Madhya Pradesh (97%),
  • Maharashtra (96%), and Chandigarh (96%)
  • Meghalaya and Puducherry, on the other hand, do not treat any solid waste at all

Kishore told Parliament that India currently generates 1.48 lakh metric tonnes of solid waste per day (MT/D) and 73% of it is processed.

Why is so much rubbish put in landfills if over 80%-90% of solid waste is treated in these states?

According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), over 26% of solid waste created in India goes unaccounted for, with 27% ending up in landfills. According to experts, many wards do not even sort gathered garbage, let alone treat it.

According to CPCB’s report on ‘Implementation of Solid Garbage Management Rules, 2016,’ issued in June 2022, Annual Report 2020-21, only 47% of the 70,973 MT/D waste collected each day gets processed. The research data shows, 27% of garbage (40,863 MT/D) ends up in landfills, while 25.8% (39,010 MT/D) goes unaccounted for.

According to experts, the causes for these data gaps are systemic issues, ineffective treatment methods, and the difficulty of handling solid waste plus there is no proper record of waste collected by the informal sector.

Reference- Factchecker, Down TO Earth, Times of India, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) Report