Keywords: urbanisation, municipal solid waste, MSW, waste incineration, waste to energy, environmental standards, waste incineration, solid waste management, Germany, India, urban waste
Waste incineration for urban India: valuable contribution to sustainable MSWM or inappropriate high–tech solution affecting livelihoods and public health?
Urban India is facing huge challenges in terms of population growth and resultant infrastructural needs. Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) still remains a challenge for urban local bodies. Municipal solid waste (management and handling) rules, 2000 was a first step in India towards organising the system, but till date the systems are largely insufficient and/inefficient. Focus on the urban sector in India increased with the initiation of the JNNURM programme in 2005. The programme initiated changes in the MSWM sector, yet resultant improvements are still far from satisfactory. Waste incineration, though perceived as a suitable option for MSWM in India, has concerns related to its suitability to Indian conditions. This paper aims to contribute to the necessary academic and political discussion by summarising some relevant facts of the urban waste sector in India as per GIZ experience and by providing information about the experience and relevance of incineration in Germany and Europe.