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Solid Waste Management
National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
E- Waste
Water Act, 1974

On April 8, 2016 the Central Government notified new rules for the management of Solid Waste called the Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules, 2016 vide S.O.1357 (E) in supersession of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2000. The Highlights of the new Rules are as follows:  

  1. Scope of Applicability:

    The ambit of rules has expanded beyond the Municipal areas for effective management of solid waste in other designated areas also. It applies to every urban local body, outgrowth in urban agglomerations, Census Towns as declared by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, Notified Areas, Notified Industrial Townships, areas under the control of the Indian Railways, Airports, Airbases, Ports and Harbours, Defence Establishments, Special Economic Zones, State and Central government organization, places of pilgrimage, religious and historical importance as may be notified by the respective State Governments from time to time and to every domestic, institutional, commercial and any other non-residential solid waste generator.


  2. Important Definitions and Provisions:


    1. ‘Waste generator’ includes every person or group of persons, every residential premises and non-residential establishments including the Indian Railways, defense establishments etc. which generate solid waste.

    2.  ‘Refuse derived fuel’ (RDF) means fuel derived from combustible waste fraction of solid waste like plastic, wood, pulp or organic waste, other than chlorinated materials, in the form of pellets or fluff produced by drying, shredding, dehydrating and compacting of solid waste.

    3.  "solid waste" means and includes solid or semi-solid domestic waste, sanitary waste, commercial waste, institutional waste, catering and market waste and other non- residential wastes, street sweepings, silt removed or collected from the surface drains, horticulture waste, agriculture and dairy waste, treated bio-medical waste excluding industrial waste, bio-medical waste and e-waste, battery waste, radio-active waste generated in the area under the local authorities and other entities.

    4.  The rules contain the duties of the-

      • Waste generator

      • Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC)

      • Ministry of Urban Development

      • Department of Fertilizers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers

      • Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India

      • Ministry of Power

      • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources

      • Secretary–in-charge, Urban Development in the States and Union territories

      • District Magistrate or District Collector or Deputy Commissioner

      • Secretary–in-charge of Village Panchayats or Rural Development Department in the State and Union territory

      • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)

      •  Local authorities and village Panchayats of census towns and urban agglomerations

      • State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC)

    5. The criteria for duties regarding setting up of solid waste processing and treatment facility, the criteria and actions to be taken for SWM in hilly areas and the criteria for waste to energy process is elaborated in the notified rules.

    6.  The time frame for implementation has been specified.

    7.  State level Advisory Body.

    8.  Annual Report.

    9.  Accidental Report.

  1. Highlights of the Rules -


    1. Duties of waste generators:

      •  Waste should be segregated and stored in three separate categories namely biodegradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous wastes.

      • Garden waste and horticultural waste is to be kept separately but on the waste generator’s own premises.

      •  Nobody is allowed to organize an event or gathering of more than 100 persons at any unlicensed place without intimating the local body atleast 3 days in advance.

      • Throwing or burning or burying of solid waste in public areas or water bodies is not permitted.

      • User fee is to be paid by the waste generators mandatorily.

    2. Duties of manufacturers or brand owners of disposable products and sanitary napkins and diapers:

      • All manufacturers of disposable products such as tin, glass, plastics packaging, etc., or brand owners who introduce such products in the market shall provide necessary financial assistance to local authorities for establishment of waste management system.

      • The manufacturers or brand owners or marketing companies of sanitary napkins and diapers should strive to use only recyclable materials in their products or should provide recyclable pouches or wrappers for their safe disposal; the waste could also be wrapped in suitable wrapping material as instructed by the local authorities and should place the same in a bin meant for dry waste or non-biodegradable waste.

      • All such manufacturers, brand owners or marketing companies shall educate the masses for wrapping and disposal of their products.

      • Brand owners of non-biodegradable material should arrange for a system of collecting back the packaging waste.

    3. Duties of Central Pollution Control Board(CPCB):

      • To coordinate with the SPCB and PCC for implementation of these rules.

      • To formulate standards for water, air and noise pollution leachate w.r.t. solid waste processing and disposal facilities.

      • To review environmental standards and norms regarding solid waste.

      • To review and monitor the implementation of the standards and rules through SPCB or PCC.

      •  To review proposals of SPCB or PCC regarding use of new technologies for treatment or disposal or recycling of solid waste.

      • To prepare an annual report on implementation of these rules based on reports sent by SPCB and PCC and submit them to MoEF.

      •  To publish guidelines for maintaining buffer zones restricting different activities from producing more than five (5) tons per day of solid waste and to publish guidelines on environmental aspects of processing and disposal of solid waste.

      •  To provide guidance to States or Union territories on inter-state movement of waste.

    4. Duties of State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) or Pollution Control Committee (PCC):

      • To enforce these rules in the State and local bodies and review implementation at least twice a year.

      • To monitor environmental standards and adherence to Schedule I and II for waste disposal and processing.

      • To examine the proposal for authorization and review requirement of consents while doing so.

      • To issue authorization (Sch. I and II), synchronize validity of said authorization, suspend or cancel the authorization and review the application of renewal of authorization when such application is received.

      • To record in writing the reasons to refuse to grant or renew an authorization by SPCB or PCC.

      •  SPCB to approach CPCB for getting standards specified.

      •  To monitor the compliance of standards as prescribed in these rules.

      •  May give directions to local bodies for safe handling and disposal of domestic hazardous waste deposited by the waste generators.

      •  Shall regulate Inter-State movement of waste.

    5. Duties of Industrial Units: Industrial units which are located within 100 km of a solid waste based refuse derived fuel plant, should make arrangements within 6 months from the date of notification of these rules to replace at least 5 percent of their fuel requirement by refuse so produced.

    6. Waste to energy: Composting will ensure effective utilization of the waste to generate energy by producing RDF and thereby reduce the quantities of waste disposed. However, the following criteria should be met with:

      •  Non-recyclable waste having calorific value of 1500 K/cal/kg or more shall not be disposed of on landfills and shall only be utilized for generating energy either or through refuse derived fuel or by giving away as feed stock for preparing refuse derived fuel.

      •  High calorific wastes shall be used for co-processing in cement or thermal power plants.

      • The local body or an operator of facility or an agency designated by them proposing to set up waste to energy plant of more than five tons per day processing capacity shall submit an application in Form-I to the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, for authorisation.

      • The State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, on receiving such application for setting up waste to energy facility, shall examine the same and grant permission within sixty days.

    7. Annual Report: The operator of facility shall submit the annual report to the local body in Form III on or before April 30 of every year. The local body shall then submit its annual report to the SPCB or PCC and other authorities mentioned in the rules in Form IV on or before June 30 of every year. Each SPCB or PCC shall prepare and submit a report to the CPCB and Ministry of Urban Development by July 31 every year. The CPCB shall submit its annual review report to the Ministry of Urban Development and MoEF on or before August 31 every year. The annual report shall be reviewed by MoEF during the meeting of Central Monitoring Committee.

      Here ‘facility’ means any establishment wherein the solid waste management processes namely segregation, recovery, storage, collection, recycling, processing, treatment or safe disposal are carried out.

    8. Accidental reporting: In case of an accident at any solid waste processing or treatment or disposal facility or landfill site, the Officer- in- charge of the facility shall report to the local body in Form-VI and the local body shall review and issue instructions if any, to the in- charge of the facility.

    9. Criteria laid down: Further, criteria have been given for site selection, development of facilities at the sanitary landfills and specifications for land filling operations and closure on completion of land filling, pollution prevention and water control monitoring, ambient air quality monitoring, plantation at landfill site, standards for incineration etc. have been given.

      • Criteria for pollution prevention from landfill operations: The storm water drain shall be designed and constructed to prevent surface runoff water from getting diverted so that leachates from solid waste do not get mixed with it. A non-permeable lining system at the base and walls of waste disposal area must be made. The highest level of water table shall be at least two meters below the base of clay or amended soil barrier layer provided at the bottom of landfills.

      • Criteria for water quality monitoring: Before establishing any landfill site, baseline data of ground water quality in the area shall be collected and kept in record for future reference. Use of groundwater in and around landfill sites for any purpose (including drinking and irrigation) shall be considered only after ensuring its quality.

      • Criteria for ambient air quality monitoring: Landfill gas control system including gas collection shall be installed at landfill site. The concentration of methane gas generated should not be more the 25 per cent of the lower explosive limit (LEL). The landfill gas from the collection facility at a landfill site shall be utilized for either direct thermal applications or power generation as per viability; otherwise landfill should be burnt (flared) and passive venting shall be allowed in case flaring is not possible. Ambient air quality shall be regularly monitored at the landfill site.

    10.  No person is allowed to organize an event or gathering of more than 100 persons at any unlicensed place without intimating the local body at least 3 days in advance. The rules also impose an obligation to the organizer for such an event to ensure segregation of waste at source and handing over the segregated waste to a waste collector or agency.

    11.  All resident welfare and market associations, gated communities and institutions with more than 5,000 m2 area, and hotels and restaurants have been directed to, within one year from the date of notification of these rules and in partnership with the local body, ensure segregation of waste at source by the generators as prescribed in these rules, facilitate collection of segregated waste in separate streams, handover recyclable material to either the authorised waste pickers or the authorised recyclers. The bio-degradable waste shall be processed, treated and disposed off through composting or bio-methanation within the premises as far as possible. The residual waste shall be given to the waste collectors or agency.

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