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Municipal Solid Waste includes commercial and residential wastes generated in municipal or notified areas in either solid or semi-solid form excluding industrial hazardous waste, but including treated bio-medical wastes (Ministry of Environment and Forests, GoI, 2000).

Sources and Types of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)



Type of MSW


Single & multi family dwelling

Household waste, kitchen, house cleaning, old papers, packing, bottles, crockery wares, furnishing materials, garden trimmings, etc

Commercial  & Construction

Business premises, shops, offices, markets, departmental stores, schools, colleges, large hotels and restaurants, markets selling vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, etc., community halls, religious places.

Old papers, packing, bottles, crockery wares, furnishing materials, street waste, food waste, digging of roads by various utilities comprising earth, brickbats, stones, wooden logs, etc.


small/medium scale industry office and canteen

Office waste, food waste, packaging material etc.

Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2013

Major factors contributing towards generation of municipal solid wastes are growth of population, urbanization, construction and commercial activities, increase in slaughter houses besides shift towards western lifestyles. Further, many towns do not have proper collection and transportation facilities.

1453121.19 MT  of Municipal solid waste is generated in the state( Source: PPCB, 2012-13). The major waste is from class I cities as more than half the state’s urban population (58.39%) lives in these cities. Further, out of total municipal solid waste generation, 71% of waste is from the five corporations (Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala & Bathinda) alone.

Physical Composition of MSW generated in Punjab





Recyclable Material

Paper, Plastic, rags Leather, Rubber, Synthetic Glass, Ceremics, Metal


Compostable Material

Food articles, Fodder, Dung, Night Soil, Leaves, Organic Material


Inert Material

Ash, Dust, Sand, Building Material





Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2013

Chemical Composition of MSW generated in Punjab











                                  Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2013


     No specific study on impact of municipal solid waste on environment or health of people is available. General impacts due to improper handling/disposal municipal solid waste are as under:

Health hazards: The municipal solid waste is thrown into municipal waste collection centres near residential localities from where it is collected by the municipal vehicles for putting into the dump site. However, either due to resource crunch or inefficient infrastructure, not all of this waste gets collected and transported to the final dumpsites. At this stage improper management and disposal of municipal solid waste can cause environmental pollution and serious health hazards. On site burning of the waste, at times can cause air pollution. Besides this waste gets blown with the wind causing unaesthetic sights. It can also flow into the storm water drains especially during rainy season, thus blocking/choking them. Its decomposition at site also results in bad odour and soil pollution.

Pollution of surface and ground water: Pollution of groundwater sources from solid waste dump sites has become one of the major problems today. Dumping of solid wastes in open low lying places is the common practice in the state. Even banks of streams have become dumpsites. Otherwise also, the identified landfill sites have not been properly developed and lined. Once the dump site gets filled up, its closure is not done scientifically. Consequently the surface water bodies carry leachates of solid wastes. Through run off during rainy season, it can also percolate into ground and pollute ground water source. Thus, the municipal solid waste, if not managed and treated properly, results in pollution of the environment.

MSW Generated and Treated in Punjab

Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2014

Management of MSW

Efforts being made by the government to promote better management of municipal solid waste (MSW) in the state. The Punjab Pollution Control Board, being the regulatory agency for ensuring proper implementation of Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000, is monitoring waste collection and treatment by local bodies. It has been observed that over the years the content of plastic waste, especially carry bags, in MSW has increased considerably which adversely affects the environment. They choke the sewerage channels and drains and cause serious health effects on animals when ingested along with food waste. Hence a persuasive, as well as, punitive approach has been adopted to control the manufacture of plastic carry bags from recycled plastics and to prohibit disposal of non-biodegradable plastic waste in public places, drains and sewers.

To promote the ‘3R’ principle of ‘reduce, recycle and reuse’ and to ensure segregation at source, awareness programmes are being organized by CPCB, PPCB, PSCST and  municipal authorities at different levels in the State.

The major steps undertaken / being undertaken by State Govt for management of MSW are as follows (PPCB , 2015):

  • 163 Urban Local Bodies in the State.
  • Municipal Solid Waste generation @ 4300 TPD.
  • All the ULBs are implementing 10 Common Action Points as per the agreement made between PPCB and Deptt. of Local Govt.
  • State Govt. has formulated Model Plan for Management & Handling of Municipal Solid Waste in the State.
  • The entire State of Punjab has been divided into eight Clusters i.e. (i) Jalandhar (ii) Ludhiana (iii) Bathinda (iv) Ferozepur (v) Patiala (vi) Amritsar (vii) Pathankot and (viii) GMADA Cluster for treatment and disposal of MSW.
  • All these clusters to be developed under Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode and work already started at Ludhiana.
  • Environmental Clearance (EC) for integrated MSW sites at Patiala, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Mohali (GMADA Cluster) already obtained, except Pathankot cluster for which land is yet to be finalized.                         

10 Common Action Points for MSW Management:

Waste in each dumping site shall be scrapped and piled up in a corner. After compaction of the waste, it shall be covered with a layer of at least 60 cm. of soil, inert debris or construction material and shrubs/grass will be planted over the piles. To prevent leaching in rainy season, a clay bed of 40 cm thickness shall also be prepared before dumping the garbage at dumping sites. This has to be completed before 15 June, 2012.

100 % collection of garbage shall be ensured in all the ULBs. Each collection point shall be fully cleared at least twice in a day and it shall be ensured that there is no garbage left over.

The burning of dry garbage or leaves shall not be allowed.

The fully covered vehicles shall be used for shifting of Municipal Solid Waste to avoid foul smell and to prevent it from scattering.

A green belt having a width of minimum 5 meters along the entire boundary/ fencing of the dumping sites shall be ensured by growing of dense trees and shrubs for the purpose of greenery and healthy environment of that area. The plantation shall be done during this Monsoon season.

To avoid stray animals, fencing around dumping site shall be constructed and completed within two months.

All the ULBs shall ensure that the spray of herbal sanitizer daily on regular basis shall be done at the dumping sites to prevent any environmental hazard and to retard the foul smell.

Fogging of melathene shall also be done every week at dumping sites to kill the insects and flies.

Wastes shall be covered immediately or at the end of each working day with minimum 10 cm of soil, inert debris or construction material till such time waste processing facilities for composting or recycling or energy recovery are set up as per Solid Waste Management (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000.

In all the Corporation towns and Class-I ULBs, Piezometer shall be installed at dumping sites within two months to monitor the quality of ground water.

 Status Report on Municipal Solid Waste Management in Punjab