Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Opportunities for Wisconsin companies

India produces around 62 million metric tons (MMT) of solid waste every year, out of which 7.9 MMT is hazardous waste, 5.6 MMT is plastic waste, 1.5 MMT is e-waste, 0.17 MMT is biomedical waste and the balance of 46.83 MMT is contributed by various other types of waste.

Out of the total waste generated, only 43 MMT is collected, and only 12 MMT is treated, with nearly half (31 MMT) dumped in landfill sites. It is expected that the amount of municipal solid waste generated will reach 165 MMT by 2030, which would mean the country would require 1,240 hectares of land for waste disposal in the coming years. India’s waste management market is expected to be worth $13 billion by 2025, with an annual growth rate of 7 to 10 percent.

The local authorities are responsible for the development of infrastructure for collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of municipal solid waste. According to the Central Pollution Control Board, municipal authorities have so far set up only 553 compost and vermin-compost plants, 56 bio-methanation plants, 22 refuse-derived fuel plants and 12 waste-to-energy plants.

There are 24 waste-to-energy projects that aim to produce 233MW, currently in various stages of construction, and five more projects totaling 79MW have been tendered, adding up to a total of 312 MW. Untapped waste has the potential to generate 439 MW of power from 32,890 tons per day of combustible wastes including refuse-derived fuel (1.3 million cubic meters of biogas per day, or 72 MW of electricity from biogas) and 5.4 MMT of compost annually to support agriculture.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has proclaimed rules making waste-to-energy plants mandatory in hotels, residential colonies, bulk producers of consumer goods, ports, railway stations, airports and pilgrimage sites, etc. to ensure that the solid waste generated in these facilities is treated and recycled.

Waste processing facilities will have to be set up within two years by all local bodies with a population of 1 million or more. In the case of towns with less than 1 million population, setting up common or stand-alone sanitary landfills by or for all local bodies will have to be completed within three years.

Solid waste management is the largest component of the Swachh Bharat (Clean India) Mission. The government of India has allocated $1.34 billion in FY 2016-17 for the Clean India campaign.

The rapid increase in population coupled with changing lifestyle and consumption patterns is expected to result in an exponential increase in waste generation, presenting opportunities for companies dealing in waste-to-energy projects.