To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Municipal solid waste generation, composition, and management: the global scenario

Kapil Dev Sharma (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Gurukul Kangri Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, India)
Siddharth Jain (Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering Roorkee, Roorkee, India)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 23 June 2020

Issue publication date: 23 June 2020

3594

Abstract

Purpose

Due to the increasing population and prosperity, the generation rate of municipal solid waste (MSW) has increased significantly, resulting in serious problems on public health and the environment. Every single person in the world is affected by the municipal solid waste management (MSWM) issue. MSWM is reaching a critical level in almost all areas of the world and seeking the development of MSW strategies for a sustainable environment. This paper aims to present the existing global status of MSW generation, composition, management and related problems.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 59 developed and developing countries have been grouped based on their gross national income to compare the status of various MSWM technologies among them. A total of 19 selection criteria have been discussed to select appropriate MSWM technology(s) for a city/town, which affects their applicability, operational suitability and performance. All risks and challenges arising during the life cycle of the waste to energy (WtE) project have also been discussed. This paper also gives a comparative overview of different globally accepted MSWM technologies and the present market growth of all WtE technologies.

Findings

It was found that most developed countries have effectively implemented the solid waste management (SWM) hierarchy and are now focusing heavily on reducing, reusing and recycling of MSW. On the other hand, SWM has become very serious in low-income and low-middle-income countries because most of the MSW openly dumps and most countries are dependent on inadequate waste infrastructure and the informal sector. There are also some other major challenges related to effective waste policies, availability of funds, appropriate technology selection and adequacy of trained people. This study clears the picture of MSW generation, composition, management strategies and policies at the worldwide context. This manuscript could be valuable for all nations around the world where effective MSWM has not yet been implemented.

Originality/value

This study clears the picture of solid waste generation, composition, management strategies and policies at the worldwide context. This manuscript could be valuable for all nations around the world where effective MSWM has not yet been implemented. In this study, no data was generated. All supporting data were obtained from previously published papers in journals, the outcomes of the international conferences and published reports by government organizations.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the Indian Academy of Environmental Sciences Hardwar and Municipal Corporation of Haridwar Nagar Nigam for giving valuable information about solid waste. Grateful thanks are also due for useful discussions with Dr M.P. Sharma (IIT Roorkee, India) whenever the authors needed. The authors show our appreciation to colleagues, friends and organizations all around the world that have contributed with valuable information.

Citation

Sharma, K.D. and Jain, S. (2020), "Municipal solid waste generation, composition, and management: the global scenario", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 917-948. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-06-2019-0210

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles