Urban sanitation offers USD 1.5 bn business in next 12-14 months

In the midst of a focus on Swachch Bharat sanitation programme, the market for generating value of municipal solid waste (MSW)  is expected to be worth USD 1.5 billion (about Rs 10,000 crore) in the next 12-14 months,  a comprehensive ASSOCHAM –cKinetics study has pointed out.

“Assuming the base capital expenditure of USD 8750 /TPD for compositing plants and average capital expenditure of USD 1.4 million /TPD for setting up waste to energy plants, market for generating value of waste is expected to be worth USD 1.5 billion by 2017,” the study said.

It said a large portion of this market for generating value of MSW remains untapped owing to several operational, policy and technological barriers.

Quoting the data of the erstwhile Planning Commission, the ASSOCHAM-eKinetics study said the urban population in India is expected to increase to 404 million in 2017 (from the level of 365 million in 2012).

There is a four- level value chain for potential business opportunities across the MSW management. First, the value lies at the level of service contract for waste collection at source (both residential and commercial customers) and collection of recyclable materials for sale in local market.

Second, the value lies at the level of setting up and maintenance of transfer stations for transfer of waste from collection centres to processing centres for energy and material recovery.  Then, there is also a value proposition for waste processing (waste to energy plants, RDF generation, composting systems and recycling plants). Finally, the opportunity for value creation is also available at the level of design and construction of sanitary landfills.

“It is imperative to move towards constructive waste management which involves Public-Private –Partnerships focused on eventual waste minimization, driven at the community level, using low energy and low technology resources. Additionally, future waste minimization programmes must derive greater economic benefits through decentrialized waste administration as well as reconciliation of investment costs with long-term goals”, ASSOCHAM President Mr Sunil Kanoria said.

The study noted a good part of the story as also the bad one: The good part is that almost 80 per cent of the total urban municipal waste generated is collected. The bad part is that only about 23 per cent of the total MSW is treated. “So, the further flip side is that majority of the waste ends up being untreated and dumped in unsanitary landfills or local dumpsites”.

During the last decade, India’s urban population grew by 31.8 per cent to 377 million, which is larger than the entire population of the US, thereby underlining a tremendous need for waste management services, the study noted.  Additionally, rapid economic growth, urbanization and industrialization have generated significant waste, adversely impacting environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *