Starting a Solid Waste Management Business
A solid waste management businessis a comprehensive process that revolves around the efficient collection, handling, treatment and disposal of various types of solid waste. This encompasses the entire journey from collection to treatment and, ultimately, proper disposal. The process commences with the systematic gathering of solid waste from diverse sources, including households, industries, and commercial establishments. Once collected, the waste is transported to waste collection facilities for treatment and analysis. This treatment phase is critical as it encompasses processes like recycling, composting, incineration, or controlled landfilling, each chosen based on the waste's characteristics and potential impact on the environment.The collected wastes are disposed of in un-attended landfills, and it is a long way to see that the entire waste collected by a city or town is processed and only remnants are disposed of in landfills. In fact, remnants classified as “inert / non-recyclable have to be converted into other useable products so to realise the vision and mission of achieving ‘Zero’ landfilling.
So, the next question that comes to mind is where business opportunities lie in all this. The collection and transportation is mostly by municipalities. Due to the overburdened municipalities and the massive amount of trash municipal waste being generated, neither the waste is being properly segregated and treated, and everything is getting disposed of in landfills. This has led to a huge pile of legacy waste which also requires treatment and disposal. This is where the scope lies.
How to start a Waste Management Business?
Sage 1: Identifying the category of Solid Waste Management Business
The sources of different solid waste are as follows:
- Municipal solid waste: Solid waste generated by households.
- Industrial waste: Solid waste emanates from diverse industrial processes.
- Agricultural Solid Waste: Solid waste is produced within agricultural activities.
- Non-biodegradable waste: Items like plastics, glass, metals, electronic waste, and other Plastic Waste/E-Waste.
- Waste of a medical nature: Waste stemming from construction projects and sewage treatment residuals.
Stage 2: Identifying the Scope of your chosenSolid Waste Management Business
- In the 21st century, as India undergoes rapid urbanisation, industrial growth, and a surge in population, effective solid waste management emerges as a pivotal challenge for both state governments and local municipal bodies.
- Solid waste management plays a critical role in safeguarding the health and overall quality of life of urban residents.
- Particularly, the urban underprivileged population is at heightened risk, residing in informal settlements where access to proper solid waste collection is limited or absent, often near open landfills.
- The 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' initiative was instituted to address these challenges in waste management, effectively fostering awareness among the populace regarding the appropriate handling of solid waste. Since the inception of this campaign, the notion of waste management has gained considerable traction.
Stage 3: Identifying the challenges faced by the Governmental waste management facilities and Municipalities
Inadequate handling of solid waste, often attributed to deficiencies in waste management systems, yields detrimental consequences for the environment and the public and has led to a huge gap between the amount coming in and the amount being disposed of.
Improper disposal practices, frequently by waste management entities, the most common being landfilling, lead to the accumulation of waste heaps that pose significant challenges for both local ecosystems and the general populace. The unregulated depositing of substantial garbage encourages the decomposition of biodegradable materials in uncontrolled and unhygienic conditions. The resultant decay fosters the breeding of disease-carrying insects and pathogens, exacerbated by the foul odours generated. Additionally, this unsightly accumulation detracts from the visual appeal of the affected area.
Solid waste originating from diverse industries comprises toxic metals, chemicals, and hazardous substances. These materials can inflict biological and physicochemical harm upon the environment upon release. Chemicals might infiltrate the soil, contaminating groundwater and altering the soil's productivity. Occasionally, hazardous waste can become intertwined with regular waste and combustibles, complicating the disposal process and introducing risks.
The incineration of paper and other scraps alongside hazardous waste generates dioxins and poisonous gases. When released into the atmosphere, these emissions contribute to the onset of various ailments, including chronic diseases, skin infections, and even cancer.
The adverse repercussions of inadequate solid waste management underline the urgency of adopting responsible waste disposal practices to avert these far-reaching environmental and health hazards.
Stage 4: Address the identified challenges through your business model
This stage can include approaches like
- Enforcement of waste source separation to redirect waste towards recovery, reuse, and recycling, promoting a sustainable approach.
- Integration of waste pickers/rag pickers and waste dealers into the formal waste management system through collaboration between state governments, SHGs, and other relevant groups.
- Imposing user fees on waste generators and fines for littering and failure to segregate waste properly enhances accountability.
- Mandatory biodegradable waste segregation for hotels and restaurants, with setup or adherence to local body-endorsed collection systems, facilitating composting or bio-methanation of food waste.
- Compulsory waste segregation at source for residential welfare, market associations, gated communities, and institutions exceeding 5000 sq.m, ensuring valuable dry waste is handed over to authorised collectors or recyclers.
- On-site processing and disposal of biodegradable waste through composting/bio-methanation, with residual waste handed over to designated collectors or agencies, as directed by local authorities.
- SEZ, industrial estate, and industrial park developers must allocate at least 5% of the total plot area for recovery and recycling facilities.
- Manufacturers of disposable products like tin, glass, plastics, etc., and brand owners introducing such products, are required to financially support local authorities in establishing waste management systems.
- Industrial units within 100 km of solid waste-based RDF plants must determine within six months from rule notification whether to replace a minimum of 5% of their fuel requirement with RDF.
- Special provisions for solid waste management in hilly regions.
Requirements for Businesses under the SWM Rules 2016
- Mandatory waste source segregation facilitates resource recovery, reuse, and recycling, aligning to convert waste into valuable assets.
- Inclusion of waste pickers/rag pickers and waste dealers within formal waste management structures, a task to be undertaken by state governments, SHGs, or equivalent groups.
- The imposition of user fees on waste generators and fines for littering and failure to segregate waste properly enhances accountability for waste disposal practices.
- Requirement for hotels and restaurants to segregate biodegradable waste, along with the establishment of collection systems or adherence to local body-endorsed systems. This enables the utilisation of food waste for composting or bio-methanation.
- Mandatory waste segregation at source for resident welfare associations, market associations, gated communities, and institutions with areas exceeding 5000 sq.m. Valuable dry waste is to be handed over to authorised waste pickers, recyclers, or the urban local body.
- Prescribed processing and disposal of bio-degradable waste through on-site composting/bio-methanation, with residual waste management directed by local authorities.
- The mandate for developers of SEZs, industrial estates, and industrial parks to allocate a minimum of 5% of the total plot area for recovery and recycling facilities.
- Stipulation for manufacturers of disposable items like tin, glass, plastics, or brands introducing such products to provide financial support to local authorities for establishing waste management systems.
- Stipulation for industrial units located within 100 km of solid waste-based RDF plants to decide within 6 months from rule notification whether to replace at least 5% of their fuel requirement with RDF.
- Inclusion of special provisions for solid waste management in hilly regions, addressing unique challenges in these areas.
Waste handling and disposal procedures exhibit diversity across nations, with India being no exception. Within India, the protocols vary based on solid waste management must be based on the origin of solid waste, which can be categorised into the following:
- Municipal Solid Waste.
- Hazardous Solid Waste.
The category of municipal solid waste can be further segmented into biodegradable, recyclable, and hazardous domestic waste. Biodegradable waste encompasses decomposing food, vegetable peels, and predominantly moist kitchen refuse. Recyclable waste includes plastics, while hazardous waste encompasses items like bulbs, batteries, and more.
Waste emerging from industries such as chemical factories, along with medical waste from hospitals, qualifies as Hazardous Solid Waste. Their proper disposal necessitates specialised settings. Irrespective of the location, effective solid waste management holds immense significance in ensuring the safe elimination of waste materials. This, in turn, serves to mitigate environmental contamination and pre-empt potential health risks.
Among the methods of waste disposal, landfills emerge as the most commonly utilised. Contemporary landfills are strategically designed, considering factors such as environmental impact and waste composition. These measures aim to curtail pollution levels and minimise health hazards.
Opportunities for Solid Waste Management Businesses
Disposal of Legacy Waste (Old Municipal Solid Waste)
As per the NGT order, every city and town has to deal with the piling heaps of landfills and must adhere to clause ‘J’ of Schedule–I of SWM Rules, 2016. This has been due to the fact that there has been a continuous flow of solid waste on a daily basis, and the authorities have neglectedto deal with the legacy of neglect, which has resulted in garbage heaps having been built up at dumpsites that were meant for waste processing and landfills
The treatment & disposal of Legacy MSW can be done by Bio-remediation and Bio-mining.
Documents required for Authorisation of Solid Waste Management Business
The documentation is as follows:
- Aadhar Card of the Authorized Signatory with Authorization;
- PAN Card of the Authorized Signatory;
- GST Certificate;
- Evidence of site ownership or rental/lease agreement;
- Factory License or Trade License;
- Electricity Bill;
- Land Layout Plan;
- Process Flow Chart;
- Comprehensive Machinery Details.
Procedure to apply for Authorisation for Solid Waste Management Business
Individuals engaging in waste management activities, particularly within solid waste management, are obligated to obtain authorisation from the pollution control board. This entails securing prior approval from the state pollution control board or pollution control committee, accomplished by applying in Form I. The Pollution Control Board is responsible for evaluating the authorisation proposal and conducting relevant inquiries as necessary. Upon receipt of the Form I application from the local body or an agency authorised by it, the Pollution Control Board is empowered to issue the authorisation within 60 days, as detailed in Form II. This authorisation document outlines compliance criteria, environmental standards outlined in Schedules I and II, and any additional stipulations deemed necessary.
The State Pollution Control Board or the pollution control committee monitors compliance with environmental standards and the fulfilment of conditions specified in Schedule I and II. This oversight pertains specifically to waste processing and disposal sites, ensuring adherence to environmentally responsible practices.
Applicability of SWM Regulations on Solid Waste Management Business
The applicability of these regulations extends to a diverse range of entities, including:
- Urban local bodies
- Census towns as designated by the registrar general and census commissioner
- Notified areas
- Notified industrial townships
- Areas under the jurisdiction of Indian Railways
- Defence establishments
- Special Economic Zones (SEZs)
- State and central government organisations
- Locations of pilgrimage, religious significance, and historical importance
- Domestic, educational, commercial, and other non-residential solid waste generators within these areas.
Exclusions comprise specific waste categories covered by distinct regulations framed under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986. These excluded categories involve industrial waste, hazardous waste, chemicals, biomedical waste, electronic waste (e-waste), lead-acid batteries, and radioactive waste. These separately governed waste types are outside the scope of the present regulations.
How can Enterclimate assist you?
Owing to our extensive experience of over ten years in the field of Environmental aspect-related clearances, our team of professionals is fully equipped to provide comprehensive assistance in authorisation for your Solid waste management business.
Expert Legal Guidance
Enterclimate provides complete legal support services for Solid waste management businesses, including legal advice, through a customisable package that can be tailored to the priorities and needs of our clients.
Best in Class Client Support
Our dedicated support team ensures that our clients are kept up to date with the latest guidelines and updates from relevant government departments regarding Solid waste management business and other appropriate monitoring guidelines.