Contaminated Sites in India: Challenges and Recent Initiatives for MSW disposal sites

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The sites contaminated by disposal of municipal solid waste pose a number of hazards to their surrounding environment. But the status of these sites is still unknown in India in terms of scale of size for planning the remediation effectively. The study tries to give an idea of the size of these sites for the cities having population more than a million. Subsequently study attempts to present the challenges associated in remediation of these sites such as financial constraints and lack of standards in guidelines for clean-up. Recently, a number of initiatives have been taken in India to manage the municipal waste safely and cleaning-up the contaminated sites in collaboration with international agencies such as The World Bank and European Union. Government of India has started a program CBIMP (Capacity Building for Industrial Pollution Management) focusing on contaminated sites management. The study presents the scale of the size of the waste disposal sites, challenges associated in management of these sites and a glimpse of the recent initiatives being undertaken in India for clean-up.

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... Where, HR GHGhazard rating for GHG emissions as calculated by GH-HARAS (Kumar et al., 2014) and HR odrhazard rating for odour emissions as calculated by OD-HARAS (Kumar et al., 2015). The aggregation method by root sum square is based on HRS-1990(USEPA, 1990. ...
... For case studies, the data was collected from offices of the municipal corporations. All the cities having population more than one million (fifty-three in total) were contacted with questionnaires regarding the conditions of the dump sites in their jurisdiction (Kumar et al., 2015b). All of these waste dumps are without liners or covers (Table 3). ...
... A survey was undertaken to collect data on the number of waste dumps in 53 cities of India with 1 million plus population. Data was obtained for 62 waste dumps in 26 cities (Kumar et al. 2015). The alternatives for remediation/closure of waste dumps were identified on the basis of literature review and consultation with the experts. ...
... These conditions include: size of landfill (waste quantity or area), annual rainfall, permeability of subsoil, depth to groundwater table (GWT), distance to nearest drinking water well used by community, built-up area within 2km, intervening slope to nearest surface water body, distance to nearest surface water body used by the community, distance to nearest community, height of landfill, distance to nearest dwelling units and distance to nearest airport. The range of site conditions encountered in India based on study of waste dumps is reported by (Kumar et al. 2015). These dumps can have base areas as large as 120 ha and heights of up to 60m. ...
This paper focuses on one of the major environmental concerns of urban centres of developing countries, i.e. the remediation or closure of waste dumps. Data was collected and analysed for 62 waste dumps sites from 26 cities of India. Eight remediation/closure alternatives were considered for containment of the dumps. A multi-criteria analysis (MCA) approach was adopted to select the most appropriate alternatives for different sites. The proposed method uses the concept of modified and normalised scores to relatively rank the alternatives. The method was applied to 11 dumps with varying site conditions and observed to be sensitive to changes in conditions and perform satisfactorily in identifying different options for distinctly different sites. The decision-making method performs well with the available limited information on the waste dumps rather than elaborate geo-environmental parameters.
... high rainfall and the surface water body is close by. The area and waste heights used for these sites are based on a country-wide survey of waste dumps from million-plus cities of India [25]. The values for rainfall are based on the ranges of annual rainfall employed by the existing systems. ...
... To perform the Monte Carlo analysis, all the parameters were randomly generated for the 1000 scenarios. Site area and waste height were varied between the 10th and 90th percentile values of these parameters as obtained from the survey of dump sites in India [25]. The other parameters for the source rating were randomly generated between the values assumed for the waste sites with continuously varying characteristics. ...
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Leachate emission from uncontrolled municipal solid waste landfills (referred to as waste sites in the present study) is a major threat to the environment and living beings in its vicinity. Surface water contamination potential resulting from leachate may be used as one of the criteria for prioritization of sites for remediation purposes. The existing hazard rating systems that prioritize waste sites considering surface water contamination potential as one of the criteria are mainly suited for the developed countries where these were developed initially. In developing countries like India, the set of conditions differ from those in developed countries, and therefore the existing systems may not be suitable for developing countries. Thus in the present study, an improved system is proposed to assess surface water contamination potential from MSW sites. The system is based on the concept of Source, Pathway and Receptor. The proposed system employs parameters derived from the review of existing rating systems and selects their best and worst values based on literature review, design standards and field conditions. The importance weights of the system parameters have been decided based on expert judgment using Delphi technique. Sensitivity analysis of the system shows that the improved system is more sensitive than the existing systems for the site conditions encountered in developing countries. Monte Carlo analysis of the proposed system confirms the spread of the scores obtained from the system over the full scale of 0–1000. The improved system is compared with existing systems by applying it to waste sites from metropolitan cities of India and performing clustering analysis on the rating scores. The clustering analysis shows that the rating scores from the improved system are less clustered as compared to the scores from the existing systems. This demonstrates that the improved system makes a better tool to distinctly prioritize the waste sites for remediation purpose.
... [4]. Furthermore, only a minute fraction of the disposal sites in India have engineered measures in place which makes the situation more severe [12]. Even if disposing waste in engineered landfills would be practiced, to cautiously store waste, it still demands a large wide area for disposal. ...
... For case studies, the data were collected from offices of the municipal corporations. All the cities having population more than one million (fifty-three in total) were contacted with questionnaires regarding the conditions of the dump sites in their jurisdiction [8]. All of these waste dumps are without liners or covers ( Table 3). ...
The study focuses on developing an improved rating system to assess the hazard for subsurface migration of landfill gas leading to explosion. From literature review, the study first identifies eight parameters important for the hazard: waste quantity, waste depth below ground, biodegradable fraction, annual rainfall, number of rainy days, soil permeability, distance to nearest receptor and land use. Consequently, assessment of the only existing rating system i.e. RASCL applicable to MSW sites for the hazard, indicates that it gives equal ratings to sites with distinct characteristics as it employs only five out of the total eight parameters identified and that too, with improper ranges for four of the parameters. RASCL was improved into ExpRASCL by modifying ratings for existing parameters, introducing ratings in the system for the three parameters and provision to account for uncertainty in the input data using fuzzy logic. When compared to RASCL, ExpRASCL performs better when applied to MSW sites with continuously varying characteristics and in sensitivity analysis. When applied to waste dumps from Indian cities, ExpRASCL is able to categorize these waste dumps in distinct hazard categories and helps deciding a closure alternative between cover system with active gas collection system and cover system only.
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This paper presents an Integrated Risk Based Approach (IRBA) for developing a decision-making tool for dumpsite rehabilitation including sites with high health risk, maximum environmental impacts and sensitive public concerns. Attributes to be considered for decision- making were selected based on literature, observations on activities and investigations in and around a few dumpsites in Asia, pollution, health risks and social impacts of the attributes and consultation with experts. The attributes fall into three categories, with weightage assigned to each attribute following the pair wise comparison method and sensitivity index on a scale of 0 to 1 based on attribute measurement. Validation of the tool done in respect of two local dumpsites indicates its usefulness as a decision making tool for prioritizing actions related to dumpsite rehabilitation. Detailed investigations and regulatory approval may be required as per the respective national or local legislations.
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Solid waste management is a challenge for the cities' authorities in developing countries mainly due to the increasing generation of waste, the burden posed on the municipal budget as a result of the high costs associated to its management, the lack of understanding over a diversity of factors that affect the different stages of waste management and linkages necessary to enable the entire handling system functioning. An analysis of literature on the work done and reported mainly in publications from 2005 to 2011, related to waste management in developing countries, showed that few articles give quantitative information. The analysis was conducted in two of the major scientific journals, Waste Management Journal and Waste Management and Research. The objective of this research was to determine the stakeholders' action/behavior that have a role in the waste management process and to analyze influential factors on the system, in more than thirty urban areas in 22 developing countries in 4 continents. A combination of methods was used in this study in order to assess the stakeholders and the factors influencing the performance of waste management in the cities. Data was collected from scientific literature, existing data bases, observations made during visits to urban areas, structured interviews with relevant professionals, exercises provided to participants in workshops and a questionnaire applied to stakeholders. Descriptive and inferential statistic methods were used to draw conclusions. The outcomes of the research are a comprehensive list of stakeholders that are relevant in the waste management systems and a set of factors that reveal the most important causes for the systems' failure. The information provided is very useful when planning, changing or implementing waste management systems in cities.
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A range of tools have been proposed to support decision making in contaminated land remediation. From a European perspective it is clear, however, that there are considerable national differences in the decision support process, and more generally in the extent to which this process supports the selection of less invasive, alternative remediation options such as phytoremediation, in situ immobilisation etc. (referred to here as “gentle” remediation technologies). In this paper we present results from the recently completed European Union ERANET SNOWMAN project SUMATECS (Sustainable Management of Trace Element Contaminated Sites), and critically review available decision support tools in terms of their fitness for purpose for the application of gentle remediation technologies. Stakeholder feedback indicates a lack of knowledge amongst stakeholders of currently available decision support tools. We propose that decision support which focuses on gentle remediation is more strongly incorporated into existing, well-established (national) decision support tools / decision-frameworks, to promote more widespread use and uptake.
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Leachate and groundwater samples were collected from Gazipur landfill-site and its adjacent area to study the possible impact of leachate percolation on groundwater quality. Concentration of various physico-chemical parameters including heavy metal (Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb and Zn) and microbiological parameters (total coliform (TC) and faecal coliform (FC)) were determined in groundwater and leachate samples. The moderately high concentrations of Cl−, NO− 3, SO2− 4, NH+ 4, Phenol, Fe, Zn and COD in groundwater, likely indicate that groundwater quality is being significantly affected by leachate percolation. Further they proved to be as tracers for groundwater contamination. The effect of depth and distance of the well from the pollution source was also investigated. The presence of TC and FC in groundwater warns for the groundwater quality and thus renders the associated aquifer unreliable for domestic water supply and other uses. Although some remedial measures are suggested to reduce further groundwater contamination via leachate percolation, the present study demand for the proper management of waste in Delhi.
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Municipal solid waste management (MSWM) is one of the major environmental problems of Indian cities. Improper management of municipal solid waste (MSW) causes hazards to inhabitants. Various studies reveal that about 90% of MSW is disposed of unscientifically in open dumps and landfills, creating problems to public health and the environment. In the present study, an attempt has been made to provide a comprehensive review of the characteristics, generation, collection and transportation, disposal and treatment technologies of MSW practiced in India. The study pertaining to MSWM for Indian cities has been carried out to evaluate the current status and identify the major problems. Various adopted treatment technologies for MSW are critically reviewed, along with their advantages and limitations. The study is concluded with a few fruitful suggestions, which may be beneficial to encourage the competent authorities/researchers to work towards further improvement of the present system.
Conference Paper
The status of existing legislation on waste management in EU, Ukraine and worldwide has been considered. Special features of EU Directives on waste management are considered. Different technologies of waste utilization including grate firing, gasification and pyrolysis and plants performance where they are used are briefly analyzed. Special attention is drawn to current situation in Ukraine related to MSW. Кеуwords – Waste Management, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), incineration, Best Available Techniques, Waste-to-Energy Plant.
Conference Paper
The study aims to develop a relative hard rating system to assess the air contamination potential from waste dumps in terms of odour potential hazard. The parameters and their relative importance have been selected based on existing literature and expert judgement. The developed framework has been applied to four dump sites from Indian cities and compared with the results from existing rating systems. The proposed model produces significantly differing scores for the dump sites as compared to the existing systems, and thus is more responsive to varied site conditions.
Unlike that of western countries, the solid waste of Asian cities is often comprised of 70-80% organic matter, dirt and dust. Composting is considered to be the best option to deal with the waste generated. Composting helps reduce the waste transported to and disposed of in landfills. During the course of the research, the author learned that several developing countries established large-scale composting plants that eventually failed for various reasons. The main flaw that led to the unsuccessful establishment of the plants was the lack of application of simple scientific methods to select the material to be composted. Landfills have also been widely unsuccessful in countries like India because the landfill sites have a very limited time frame of usage. The population of the developing countries is another factor that detrimentally impacts the function of landfill sites. As the population keeps increasing, the garbage quantity also increases, which, in turn, exhausts the landfill sites. Landfills are also becoming increasingly expensive because of the rising costs of construction and operation. Incineration, which can greatly reduce the amount of incoming municipal solid waste, is the second most common method for disposal in developed countries. However, incinerator ash may contain hazardous materials including heavy metals and organic compounds such as dioxins, etc. Recycling plays a large role in solid waste management, especially in cities in developing countries. None of the three methods mentioned here are free from problems. The aim of this study is thus to compare the three methods, keeping in mind the costs that would be incurred by the respective governments, and identify the most economical and best option possible to combat the waste disposal problem.
The present work attempts statistical analysis of groundwater quality near a Landfill site in Nagpur, India. The objective of the present work is to figure out the impact of different factors on the quality of groundwater in the study area. Statistical analysis of the data has been attempted by applying Factor Analysis concept. The analysis brings out the effect of five different factors governing the groundwater quality in the study area. Based on the contribution of the different parameters present in the extracted factors, the latter are linked to the geological setting, the leaching from the host rock, leachate of heavy metals from the landfill as well as the bacterial contamination from landfill site and other anthropogenic activities. The analysis brings out the vulnerability of the unconfined aquifer to contamination.
DESYRE (DEcision Support sYstem for the REqualification of contaminated sites) is a GIS-based decision support system (DSS) specifically developed to address the integrated management and remediation of contaminated megasites (i.e., large contaminated areas or impacted areas characterized by multiple site owners and multiple stakeholders). In the DESYRE conceptual design and development the main aspects pertaining to a remediation process--analysis of social and economic benefits and constrains, site characterization, risk assessment, selection of best available technologies, creation of sets of technologies to be applied, analysis of the residual risk, and comparison of different remediation scenarios--were included. The DESYRE DSS is a GIS-based software composed of 6 interconnected modules. In the characterization module, chemical and hydrogeological data are organized in a relational database and contaminants' distributions are mapped by using geostatistic tools. The socioeconomic module addresses the socioeconomic constraints though a fuzzy logic analysis to select the best land use. The risk assessment module is divided into 2 phases. In the preremediation phase, an original procedure allows assessing and representing the spatial distribution of risks posed by contaminants in soil and groundwater, providing a risk-based zoning of the site. Then, in the technology assessment module, a selection of suitable technologies and creation of different technology sets, taking into account both technical requirements and site-specific features, are performed by experts supported by multicriteria decision analysis tools. In the postremediation risk assessment, a simulation of applied technologies provides residual risk maps with related uncertainty maps. Finally, in the decision module, alternative remediation scenarios are described by a set of indices and can be compared and ranked by interested stakeholders using multicriteria decision analysis methodologies. The paper highlights original procedural steps and functionalities of DESYRE nd analyzes its main points of strength and potentialities, as well as limits.
Solid waste management is one of the most challenging issues in urban cities, which are facing a serious pollution problem due to the generation of huge quantities of solid waste. This paper presents an assessment of the existing situation of municipal solid waste management (MSWM) in major cities in India. The quantity and composition of MSW vary from place to place, and bear a rather consistent correlation with the average standard of living. Extensive field investigations were carried out for quantification, analysis of physical composition, and characterization of MSW in each of the identified cities. The MSW management status (per the MSW Rules, 2000) has also been assessed, and an action plan for better management has been formulated; both are presented in this paper. Studies carried out in 59 selected cities in India have revealed that there are many shortcomings in the existing practices used in managing the MSW. These shortcomings pertain mainly to inadequate manpower, financial resources, implements, and machinery required for effectively carrying out various activities for MSWM. To overcome the deficiencies in the existing MSWM systems, an indicative action plan has been presented incorporating strategies and guidelines. Based on this plan, municipal agencies can prepare specific action plans for their respective cities.
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