According to a report published in 2016, India produces 277 million tonnes of municipal solid waste every year accounting to approximately 80% of the total waste getting generated across South Asia (334 million tonnes) and about 13% of the global waste generated every year. Municipal solid waste comprises of dry waste and wet waste classified into as any solid or semi-solid substance or object resulting from human or animal activities, discarded as useless or unwanted. Solid waste is a broad term, which encompasses all kinds of waste such as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Industrial Waste (IW), Hazardous Waste (HW), Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) and Electronic waste (E-waste) depending on their source & composition. It consists of organic and inorganic constituents which may or may not be biodegradable. On one hand, the recyclable components of solid waste could be useful as secondary resource for production processes. On the other hand, some of its toxic and harmful constituents may pose a danger if not handled properly. Source reduction, recycling and composting, waste-to-energy conversion facilities, and land filling are the four basic approaches to waste management.
MSW can be broadly categorized into five broad categories as:
- Biodegradable waste: food and kitchen waste, green waste (vegetables, flowers, leaves, fruits), paper (can also be recycled).
Recyclable material: paper, glass, bottles, cans, metals, certain plastics, etc.
- Inert waste: construction and demolition waste, dirt, rocks, debris.
- Composite wastes: waste clothing, Tetra Packs, waste plastics such as toys.
Domestic hazardous waste (also called "household hazardous waste") & toxic waste: medication, e-waste, paints, chemicals, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries, shoe polish.
As per a report by Pune Municipal Corporation, approximately 52% of total municipal solid waste is segregated and remaining 48% is non-segregated. Out of which, around 38% of dry waste and 62% of wet waste is present in segregated waste.