Waste management

Detailed Overview of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Features

calendar26 Jul, 2022
timeReading Time: 13 Minutes
Solid Waste Management Rules

Solid waste management rules were introduced by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change in place of Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 to increase the scope of the rules beyond “Municipal area” and cover areas under the administration of Indian Railways, airports, airbases, ports, and harbours, defence establishments, special districts, census towns, notified industrial townships, and urban agglomerations, places of business, State and federal government agencies, and economic zones as well as historical and religious places.

Synopsis of Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 and Its Features

Want to know more about managing solid waste? Let’s take an overview of the recent rules laid down in relation to solid waste management. The Municipal Solid Waste Rules of 2000 were officially announced and implemented on September 25 in the year 2000. Subsequently, in the year 2016, the rules were revised based on public feedback in the areas of plastic, e-waste, biomedical, hazardous, and construction and demolition waste management. Later that year, the government released the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016.

Solid waste management regulations apply to every urban local body, an outgrowth of the urban cluster, areas that are controlled by Indian Railways, airports, airbases, harbors, defense establishments, special economic zones, State and Central government organizations, etc., as which would be notified by the relevant state government. Domestic, institutional, commercial, and any other non-residential areas are included in solid waste generators located in areas with industrial facilities.

About the SWM Rules, 2016

Solid waste Management rules were revised after 16 years. The incumbent minister of the State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change mentioned that the laws would be applicable apart from municipal areas and would be extended to urban agglomerations, notified industrial townships,  census towns, areas under the control of Indian Railways, port and harbor, airports, airbase, defense establishments, SEZ, State and Central government organizations, places of religious & historical importance.

Another critical point was that 62 millions of waste is annually present in the country, out of which 5.6 million tones is only plastic waste, 0.17 million tones is biomedical waste, while hazardous waste generation is 7.90 million TPA, and 15 lakh tones is e-waste. India’s per capita waste generation varies from 200 grams to 600 grams per day. He also stated that 31 million waste is dumped in landfill sites, out of which 22-28% of waste is processed and treated. He also mentioned that if there is no improvement, there would be rapid waste generation that would be from 62 million tones to 165 million tones by 2030.

It is the responsibility of the generator to bifurcate waste into three areas.

  1. Wet waste
  2. Dry waste
  3. Hazardous waste

The generator must pay A user fee to the waste collector. There would also be a spot fine for littering and non-segregation. The measure for the same would be decided by the local bodies. The integration of ragpickers into the formal economy is a priority for the government. The rules also outlined that land for the construction of sanitary landfills in hilly areas will be identified in plain areas within 25 kilometers.

Additionally, waste processing facilities need to be set up by every local body consisting of 1 million or more population within two years. Setting up common or stand-alone landfills by or for all local bodies with a population of 0.5 million or more and setting up common or regional landfills by all local bodies and census towns with less than 0.5 million population must be completed in three years in the case of census towns under 0.5 million population.

The adverse effects on the environment and human health are lessened or eliminated by solid waste management. Poor management leads to pollution of the air, water, and soil. Monitoring, collecting, transporting, processing, recycling, and disposing of waste are just a few of the procedures a municipality includes for efficient waste management. The variety of resident lifestyles is one factor affecting how much waste is produced in the area. However, there are two significant obstacles that urban local governments must overcome to implement a successful solid waste management system:

Sustainability in both 

  • The financial domain
  • Environmental domains.

Central Monitoring Committee

The government also established a committee under the chairmanship of the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change[1]. The meeting of the committee would be held once a year. 

Members of the Committee

  • The Ministry of Urban Development
  • Ministry of Rural Development
  • Central Pollution Control Board
  • Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers
  • Ministry of Agriculture
  • Urban Development Departments of three State Governments
  • rural development departments from two State Governments
  • three urban local bodies
  • two census towns
  • Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI)
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and two subject experts.

Features of the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016

  • Application of the rules: The Rules now apply to urban agglomerations, notified industrial townships, census towns, areas under control of Indian Railways, airports, defense establishments, airbases, ports and harbors, special economic zones, State and Central government organizations, pilgrimage sites, religious and historical sites.
  • Segregation of waste: Waste segregation at the source has been mandated to channel waste to wealth through recovery, reuse, and recycling.
  • Responsibility for the generator: Generators’ responsibilities have been introduced to segregate waste into three streams: wet and dry waste, including plastic, paper, metal, wood, etc. and domestic hazardous wastes such as napkins, diapers, empty containers of cleaning agents, mosquito repellents, etc. and segregated wastes to authorized ragpickers or waste collectors or local bodies.
  • Waste dealers: State governments, Self Help Groups, or any other newly formed group should work to integrate waste pickers, ragpickers, and waste dealers, also known as Kabadiwalas, into the formal system.
  • Disposal of solid waste: No one should dump, burn, or bury the solid waste they produce on the ground or in open areas such as a street, public park, drain, or water.
  • Usage of sanitary products: Used sanitary products such as sanitary pads and diapers should be placed in the bin designated for dry waste or non-biodegradable waste after being wrapped tightly in pouches provided by the manufacturers or brand owners of these products. Manufacturers, brand owners, and marketing firms of sanitary napkins and diapers should investigate the possibility of using only recyclable materials in their products, or else they must include a pouch or wrapper in the packet of their sanitary products to be used for disposing of each napkin or diaper.
  • Sorting and segregation: In Swachh Bharat, the idea of partnership has been introduced. Direct responsibility for sorting and segregating the waste has been placed on institutional and bulk generators, market associations, event planners, hotels, and restaurants. These organizations work with local organizations to manage.
  • Duties of hotels and restaurant: To ensure that food waste is used for composting, all hotels and restaurants should separate biodegradable waste and set up a collection system or follow the collection system set up by a local body.
  • Areas greater in size: All resident welfare and market associations and institutions with an area greater than 5,000 square meters should separate waste at the source into valuable dry waste such as plastic, tin, glass, and paper and then hand over recyclable material to either the authorized waste pickers the authorized recyclers or the urban local body.
  • Waste handling and processing procedure: New townships and group housing societies are now responsible for establishing internal waste handling and processing procedures for biodegradable waste.
  • Processing of biodegradable waste: As much as possible, biodegradable waste should be processed, handled, and disposed of on the premises using composting or bio-methanation. The local authority will specify which agency or waste collectors will receive the residual waste.
  • Disposal of waste by street vendors: Every street vendor should have appropriate containers on hand to store waste produced by his business, such as food scraps, disposable plates, cups, cans, wrappers, coconut shells, leftover food, vegetables, and fruits, and deposit such waste in a waste storage depot, container, or vehicle as directed by the local government.
  • Recovery and recycling facilities: The developers of Special Economic Zones, industrial estates, and industrial parks must set aside a minimum of 5 plots or sheds, or at least 5% of the total area of the plot, for recovery and recycling facilities.
  • Providing necessary financial support: All producers of disposable goods, such as those made of tin, glass, plastic packaging, etc., or brand owners who release such goods onto the market must give local governments the necessary financial support to develop a waste management system.
  • Non-biodegradable packaging: All brand owners who sell or market their products in non-biodegradable packaging should set up a system to collect the packaging waste that results from their manufacturing. 
  • Information about the product and disposal: Producers, brand owners, or marketing firms should inform the public about product packaging and disposal.
  • Changes to be brought within six months by industrial units: Within six months of the notification of these rules, all industrial units that use fuel and are located within 100 km of a solid waste-based RDF plant must decide to replace at least 5% of their fuel needs with RDF-produced in this manner.
  • Non-recyclable waste: Non-recyclable waste with a calorific value of more than 1500 K/cal/kg should not be disposed of in landfills; instead, it may only be used to create fuel from waste or distributed as a feedstock for producing energy from waste. Waste with a high calorific content must be combined with processing in cement or thermal power plants.
  • 2016 Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules: According to the 2016 Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, construction and demolition waste should be stored and disposed of separately.
  • Waste produced on personal property: Local authority guidelines should dispose of garden and horticulture waste produced on his property.
  • Disposal of waste at a licensed or unlicensed location: Anyone planning a party or event for more than 100 people at a licensed or unlicensed location must ensure that waste is separated at the source and given to the appropriate agency or waste collector by local authority requirements.

Duties of the waste generator

  • Each waste generator must separate its waste into three categories—biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and household hazardous waste—and store each type separately. The waste that has been collected must then be given to authorized rag pickers or collectors.
  • The manufacturers of these products must securely wrap the used sanitary waste, such as diapers, sanitary pads, etc., in pouches provided or in a suitable wrapping material before placing it in the bins designated for dry or non-biodegradable waste.
  • According to the SWM Rules 2016 for Building and Demolition, construction and demolition waste must be handled separately and disposed of.
  • The waste produced on the premises due to horticulture or gardening activities must be segregated and disposed of by the regulations.
  • The act of burying, incinerating, or discarding solid waste in public areas, streets, drains, or water bodies by individuals must be ceased.
  • Waste generators must remit a fee for solid waste management in compliance with the local authorities’ statutes.
  • It is imperative that any event or assembly exceeding 100 individuals be held solely in a licensed venue and only after obtaining prior authorization from the local governing body. A permit must be secured no less than three business days before the scheduled event. The organizer ensures appropriate waste segregation and disposal, which must be surrendered to the assigned waste collector.

Technical standards

Clear technical standards must be established to ensure the mandatory implementation of bio-mining and bioremediation in areas where they are applicable. Municipalities must not be granted the authority to determine whether geographical limitations exist that would preclude the use of these techniques. Biomining and bioremediation are highly effective and straightforward ways that give both cost savings and environmental benefits. Furthermore, the land earlier utilized as a landfill can now be repurposed for alternative uses. Capping must be executed scientifically, incorporating underground pits with sturdy bottoms and sideliners, as well as appropriate piping and gas extraction systems, to prevent the release of leachate and gases.

Municipal Solid Waste

Waste management has become a significant problem in the nation due to the nation’s rapidly urbanizing population. The introduction of many new tools and equipment has resulted in a significant change in quantity and the features of waste over time. According to estimates, the nation produces 62 million tons of waste each year, of which 5.6 million are plastic waste and 0.17 million are biomedical waste. Additionally, 15.4 lakh tones of e-waste and 7.90 million TPA of hazardous waste are generated. In Indian cities, 200 to 600 grams of waste are produced per person each day (2011). 

Proper management of solid waste

  • The adverse effects on the environment are minimized by scientifically disposing of solid waste through waste collection, segregation, treatment, and disposal in an environmentally sound manner. The local government is responsible for the construction of the infrastructure needed for the collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing, and disposal of MSW.
  • According to data that is currently available for 2013–14 and was compiled by the CPCB, only 553 compost & vermicompost plants, 22 RDF plants, 56 bio-methanation plants, and 13 Waste to Energy (W to E) plants have been established nationwide by municipal authorities.

Need for Solid waste management rules

The need for solid waste management rules was seen to control and monitor the waste generator. According to data it is estimated that only around 75-80% of municipal waste is collected among which only around 22-28% of waste is properly treated while the remaining is dumped or discarded in landfills or water bodies. Further, it is also estimated that by the year 2031 municipal solid waste generation will increase to 165 million tonnes which will increase to 436 million tonnes by 2050. According to the Report of the Task Force of the Erstwhile Planning Commission if the waste is properly utilised it has the potential to the generation 72 MW of electricity from biogas, 1.3 million cubic meters of biogas per day, or 439 MW of power from 32,890 TPD of combustible wastes, including Refused Derived Fuel (RDF), and 5.4 million metric tonnes of compost annually to help agriculture.

Solid Waste management rules 2016


Solid Waste Management rules apply to: –

  1. Every urban local body (Megacity to Panchayat level),
  2. Outgrowths in urban agglomerations,
  3. Census towns stipulated by the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India, notified areas,
  4. Notified industrial townships,
  5. Areas under the control of Indian Railways,
  6. Airports/ airbases,
  7. Ports and harbours,
  8. Defense establishments,
  9. Special economic zones,
  10. State and Central government organisations,
  11. Places of pilgrims,
  12. Religious and historical importance may be notified by the respective State government from time to time and every domestic, institutional, commercial, and any other non-residential solid waste generator situated in the areas.


Duties of waste generators

  • Any person generating waste is required to segregate waste into biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and household hazardous waste at the source.
  • Any sanitary waste including diapers and sanitary pads is required to be secured into the pouches or wrapping material provided by manufacturers and disposed of in the bins labelled non-biodegradable.
  • The waste that is generated out of Construction and demolition is required to be treated and discarded separately in accordance with Waste Management Rules 2016 for building and demolition.
  • Further, the waste that is generated from gardens or horticulture is also required to be treated separately and disposed of as per the rules.
  • The Waste generators should stop the practise of burying, burning, or throwing the solid waste generated in public area, on streets, drains, or water bodies.
  • The waste generators are required to pay fees according to the rules for Solid waste management
  • In case of a gathering of more than 100 people, the person is required to take a permit at least three days before the event, and the waste management including segregation and handling in this event will be monitored by the organizer. No such event or gathering will be allowed without a proper permit from authorities
  • All the street vendors are required to keep storage containers to properly dispose of the waste generated such as wasted food, disposable cutleries, cans, cups, coconut shells, vegetables, wrappers, fruits, etc.

Duties of the Central Pollution Control Board

  • For proper execution of Solid Waste management rules as well as compliance with the standards set by the authorities there needs to be harmonisation between The Central Pollution Control Board and The State Pollution Control Board. Along with this, the analysation and inspection of the rules for groundwater, air, and noise pollution, in respect to solid waste processing and disposal facilities shall be done.
  • The Central Pollution Control Board is also responsible to review the proposal on the new technology that is used for processing, recycling, and treatment adopted by State Pollution Control Board/Pollution Control Committee.
  • Further, The Central Pollution Control Board is also required to prepare an annual report on the implementation of Solid Waste management rules and submit it to the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and climate change. This annual report is also needed to be published in the public domain.
  • For various facilities handling more than 5 tonnes of solid waste each day, publish recommendations for the management of buffer zones excluding any residential, industrial, or other building operation from the outer border of waste treatment and disposal facilities.
  • In order to help local authorities follow the legislation and assist States or Union Territories with the interstate movement of waste, instructions on the environmental elements of the treatment and disposal of solid waste must be periodically published.

Criteria for setting up treatment facility under Solid Waste management rules 2016

  1. The deapartment related to land allocation must give appropriate land that is required for construction of the solid waste management (processing and treatment) plants.
  2. The facility operator is required to obtain appropriate authorization and is responsible for the envirnmentally sustainable operations and procedure of solid waste in the facilities by SPCB/PCC (the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee).
  3. An annual report is required to be submitted to the State Pollution Control Board and Local Authority by 30th April by the operator of the solid waste collection and treatment facility.

Process for acquiring authorisation under Solid Waste Management Rules

  1. In order to obtain authorisation under the rules, every village panchayat and local authority of census towns should file an application under Form 1 for setting up waste processing, treatment, or disposal facility. The documents that are required if the waste is exceeding five metric tonnes per day: –
    • Project report on solid waste management
    • Documents relating to land ownership for solid waste processing site
    • Municipal Solid Waste Annual Report of the preceding year
    • Authorisation or work order issued to the operator of the solid waste processing facility (in case the site is being operated by the private operator).
    • Technical details of waste to energy plant or recycling plant
    • Permit from District level site selection committee
  2. After the application is completed and documents are submitted the state pollution control board shall examine the proposal for authorisation.
  3. The State Pollution Control Board should issue authorisation within sixty days under Form 2 to village panchayat and local authorities operating waste processing, treatment, or disposal facility.
  4. In case of cancellation of authorisation because of failure of the facility to fulfil the conditions stipulated under the rules the local body or operator should be given proper notice.

The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 stipulate  

  1. That within two years solid waste processing facilities should be set up by all local bodies having 100000 or more population 
  2. establishing common or independent sanitary landfills by or for all local bodies with 0.5 million or more residents and establishing common or regional sanitary landfills by all local bodies and census towns under 0.5 million residents within three years.
  3. Five years for bioremediation or capping of old and abandoned landfill sites.

New Amendment

As per the new amendment notified by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in 2020 the rules will now also cover the villages with a population of more than 3000. Further, the Ministry Of Urban Development is replaced with the Ministry Of Housing and Urban Affairs.


The Solid Waste Management Rules can revolutionize India’s waste management system entirely. Given the enormity of the country’s waste management, the rules seem almost too good to be true. Regrettably, the SWM Rules were not implemented with adequate agency mobilization. Additional components are mandatory to effectuate transformative change in the area. Numerous individuals from diverse backgrounds are eager to take the lead and participate. The policy framework, particularly the SWMR, supports sustainable waste management through the measures, including provisions that incentivize local governments to impose user fees to defray their expenses, among other things.

A major change can be seen in the Indian waste management system due to the Solid Waste Management Rules. The innovation and green approaches should be opted for by the makers of the policy as it is a vital aspect instead of adapting costly and technological methods for waste disposal, which the manufacturer supports.


What is solid waste management synopsis?

The full process of collecting, treating, and discarding solid waste is called “solid waste management”. “The waste is gathered from various sources and disposed of during the waste management process. Collection, transportation, treatment, analysis, and waste disposal are all part of this process. It must be watched to ensure strict rules and guidelines are followed.

What is the conclusion of solid waste management?

The Solid Waste Management Rules can revolutionize India’s waste management system entirely. Given the enormity of the country’s waste management, the rules seem almost too good to be true.

What are the solid waste management rules for 2016?

Solid waste Management rules were revised after 16 years. Minister of State of Environment, Forest and Climate Change mentioned that the rules would be applicable apart from municipal areas and will be extended to urban agglomerations,, notified industrial townships, census towns, areas under the control of Railways, airports, airbases, defence establishments, port and harbour, SEZ, State and Central government organizations, places of pilgrims, religious & historical importance.

What are the sources of solid waste

The sources of solid waste include Solid domestic garbage, Solid waste material from various industries, Solid agricultural waste, Plastics, glass, metals, e-waste, medical waste, construction waste, sewage sludge, etc.

What are the duties of a waste generator?

Each waste generator must separate its waste into three categories—biodegradable, non-biodegradable, and household hazardous waste—and store each type separately. The waste that has been collected must then be given to authorized rag pickers or collectors.

What are characteristics of solid waste management?

The features of solid waste management is Waste generation, onsite handling, collection, transport and transfer and treatment.

What is solid municipal solid waste?

Frequently used items like product packaging, grass clippings, furniture, clothing, bottles, food scraps, newspapers, appliances, paint, and batteries are included in municipal solid waste (MSW), also known as trash or garbage.

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