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Solid Waste Transportation Management System (STMS)    

1. The Union Territory of Delhi with a population of around 18 million is one of the biggest metropolises of the world. One of the major goals of the Government is to make Delhi a centre of urban excellence; a well managed; clean and hygienic city. The urban population increases @ 3.5% per annum and the per capita waste generated in the city increases @ 1.3% per year. Cleanliness is the most vital indicator of good Urban Management Process, Poor Solid Waste Management practices affect the health and amicability of Metropolis in many ways like trans matting diseases among residents and environmental degradation, including emission of green house gases from land fills etc. The Solid Waste generated by the City contributes the major share towards the environmental problems and challenges for better urban management; and on account of tremendous increase in population and increase in per capita income, generation of domestic waste has increased considerably. It is estimated that the quantity of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) would reach 17,000 – 25,000 MT per day by 2021. There are three agencies responsible for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management in Delhi namely the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Cantonment Board (DCB). The area covered by MCD is approximately 1399.26 The function of the DEMS of MCD can broadly be divided into two parts.

  • Solid Waste Management
  • Management of Storm water drainage system

2. The jurisdiction of MCD includes 135 urban/191 rural villages; 567 unauthorised regularised colonies; 1639 unauthorised colonies; 45 resettlement colonies; 725 jhuggi jhopri clusters; 18 industrial estates; 9 dairy colonies; roads; streets and public conveniences. About 49% of the total population of Delhi lives in slum areas, unauthorized colonies and about 860 JJ Clusters with 4,20,000 Jhuggies.  A sizeable population therefore lives in unplanned areas having no proper system of collection, transportation and disposal of Municipal Solid wastes. As a rough estimate only about 25% of population lives in planned development areas. There is also the floating population visiting Delhi in connection with business activities Delhi being a major distribution centre of retail business in North India.  As per the Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules 2000 the collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing and disposal of MSW is the responsibility of the local bodies. It is also the obligatory function of MCD to provide receptacles, depots and places for waste disposal. MCD is helped by various agents in private sector e.g. private sweepers and garbage collectors employed by private premises; rag pickers; junk dealers and industries which use scrap to produce recycled products. MCD uses waste receptacles of two types i.e. neighbourhood dalaos and street dustbins of different designs and sizes. There are open sites in some locations.

3. The Municipal Solid Waste operation under MCD is by far the biggest in the Union Territory with more than 50,000 employees. The comprehensive operation of street cleaning; waste transportation and waste disposal is done by MCD. The secondary collection and transportation of MSW from the receptacles (dalaos) is done through private concessionaires in six zones and in four zones the secondary collection and transportation of garbage is done by the Corporation involving a large number of staff; mobile equipment and plant. The primary collection of the garbage is done by the residents themselves. A new initiative of the Corporation in two Zones from July 2009 takes care of the primary and secondary collection and transportation of garbage to Sanitary Landfill Sites for processing i.e. door-to-door collection of garbage, its transportation directly to the sanitary landfill sites and processing involving recycling, compacting and generation of energy which is expected to begin by 2012.

4. Twenty landfill sites have been developed since 1975 of which 15 have already been closed and two have been suspended. There are at present three landfill sites in operation :


Name of SLF site



Start Year

Waste Received




North Delhi

21.06 Ha


2200 TPD

Civil Line, Karol Bagh, Rohini, West and Najafgarh



East Delhi

29.16 Ha


2000 TPD

Shahdara (North), Shah. (South), City, Sadar Paharganj & NDMC area



South Delhi

16.20 Ha


1200 TPD

Central, South, Najafgarh and Cantonment area

There are three Compost Plants for treatment of MSW (i) at Okhla by MCD – 200 TPD (ii) at Bhalswa run by a private developer (Nature Waste Management India Limited) – 300 TPD (iii) at Narela being run by Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) – 100 TPD. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi has also set up a C&D Waste processing facility for processing 500 TPD construction and demolition waste which comprises around 20%-30% of the Municipal Solid Waste being generated in the city. It is proposed to set up two more plants for this purpose. An organic waste convertor which can convert 500 kg. of biodegradable kitchen waste in the compost has been installed in Delhi Government Secretariat and at Maurya Hotel and its use is being popularised in hospitals, hotels, hostels, Cooperative Group Housing Societies to reduce the load on the receptacles/dalaos. In addition three waste to energy plants which would use RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) for power generation namely (i) at Okhla to use 2500 TPD to produce 16 MW of power (ii) at Ghazipur to produce 10 MW of power by using 1300 TPD (iii) at Narela-Bawana using 1000 TPD initially and finally 4000 TPD to produce 35 MW power.  The Municipal Corporation of Delhi with World Bank assistance has carried out feasibility study for gas recovery and reuse and signed MOU with GAIL from part of the Ghazipur Landfill Site for extraction of Methane Gas from garbage to convert it into CNG.

5. There is an extensive network of informal and formal stakeholders in the process who collect wastes like paper/cardboard, plastics, metals, glass, rubber, leather, textiles etc. Recyclables are collected by rag pickers and passed into recycling stream.  Households also sell recyclables to itinerant buyers.  There are 80,000 to 1,00,000 rag pickers and assuming that a rag picker picks up 50 kg of waste everyday it reduces the load for treatment and disposal by 1200-1500 tones per day.  The total number of itinerant buyers in Delhi is estimated at around 18,000 to 20,000.  The quantity of waste sold to these buyers is unknown but expected to be roughly of same magnitude as collected by rag pickers.  It is however a matter of concern that recycling is done in a dirty and unhygienic manner causing air, soil and groundwater pollution.  The total social value added from wastes trading activities in 2002-03 has been estimated at Rs.358.7 crores.

6. Technological development in handling municipal solid waste has been fairly modest and no significant breakthrough has been achieved.  Land filling of waste which has been the dominant waste disposal option for centuries still remains the dominant waste disposal method in Delhi.  The per capita expenditure in waste management in Delhi estimated in 2003-04 is Rs.268.1 whereas it should not be more than Rs.259 per capita and therefore there is a need to invest more in mechanization of services and reduction in staff.  The induction of around 30 Mechanical Sweepers in the City in July 2011 would be a step in this direction.

7.  The three sanitary landfill sites have already got saturated.  They are however being used even at great risks to both life and property.  It is proposed to reclaim the landfills as no new sites are becoming available due to stiff resistance from citizens who want them to be located elsewhere.  Landfill closure is not a viable option.  A number of technologies are being proposed for management and disposal of garbage but so far no technology has been shortlisted as the one which would be viable not only from the environment angle but also in terms of the cost involved.  The need is to implement technologies which would process the MSW fully i.e. to the extent of at least 75% and the residue left in the form of inert could be deposited safely without any adverse impact on the environment.  The three existing landfill sites would be reclaimed in a phased manner to set up recycling plants at the existing SLF sites.  There is also a need to set up facilities to appropriately manage e-wastes which is at present being deposited at the SLF sites causing environmental degradation which could prove very costly in times to come.
8.  The following treatment facilities are either in operation or are scheduled to come up shortly:

(i)         Compost Plant at Okhla                                                         :           200 MT
(ii)        Compost Plant at Bhalswa                                                     :           300 MT
(iii)       Compost Plant at Narela (APMC)                                          :           100 MT
(iv)       Waste to Energy Project at Okhla                                          :           2050 TPD
            (Work awarded to M/s Jindal in 2008 expected operation by 2012)
(v)        Waste to Energy Plant at Ghazipur                                        :           1300 TPD
            (Work awarded to M/s DIAL in 2009 expected operation by end 2012)
(vi)       Integrated Waste Processing Landfill facility at Narela-Bawana            :           1000-4000 MT
(Work awarded to M/s DMSWSL in 2009 expected operation by end 2012)
(vii)      C&D Waste Processing Facility at Burari                               :           500 TPD
            (Operational since July 2009)

            The following technologies are under appraisal before they could be used:

  • Arrow Biotechnology from Israel
  • Zero Landfill Concept-involving Gasification;

C&D processing facility; In vessel Composting Facility

  • Plasma Technology received from JMS Enterprises
  • Other biological, mechanical processing technologies
  • Reclamation of Ghazipur Landfill

The use of any technology in the city will have to be critically evaluated in terms of the following requirements:

  • Environmental requirements;
  • Economic aspects;
  • Approval of CPCB;
  • Conform to the specification and standard as specified in MSW Rules.


  • 100% MSW Collection Efficiency
  • Collection of MSW/Waste from Door-to-Door
  • Segregated Garbage Collection
  • Mechanical Sweeping of Wider Roads
  • Hygienic & Efficient Transportation to Processing/ Landfill Site 
  • Vehicle Tracking System of Transport Vehicles
  • Integrated process including Recycling/Treatment Facilities, 100% of MSW to be processed
  • New Technologies for Collection, Odour Reduction, Processing & Treatment of MSW
  • Reclamation and Value Extraction from existing dumping yards
  • Conversion of Existing dumping yards into Engineered Land Fills
  • Citizen Friendly Complaint Redressal & Monitoring System


  • Monitoring of Safai Karamcharis by Displaying Beat Wise Name & Photos on MCD website
  • Web Based Citizen Grievance Management System
  • Delhi Cleanliness & Sanitation Byelaws
  • Solid Waste Transport Monitoring System (GPS based Vehicle Tracking)
  • Deep Collection System on Pilot Basis
  • Using Bio-Culture at Dalao to Improve Ambient Environment
  • Sweeping of Major Roads of ≥ 60’ ROW and >100’ ROW by Deploying Mechanical Sweepers (Approx. Road Length Covered 900 Km)