Urban Solid Waste Management in Mumbai Current challenges and future solutions for Urban Development : Minor Field Study

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekologi; KTH/Industriell ekologi


This study was conducted as a bachelor thesis at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in the spring of 2016. The study was carried out as a Minor Field Study (MFS) funded by the Swedish public authority Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

The aim of the study is to provide an overview of the elements of the Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) system in the city of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, India. The main current challenges were identified and discussed with focus on social and political aspects such as waste management planning, strategies and legislations. The data for this research were gathered from literature studies and in-depth interviews with officer level stakeholders responsible for MSWM in Mumbai. The results show that the MSWM in Mumbai is facing many challenges and that there is a lack of coordination and a system approach on all levels. Further, a deeply rooted negative attitude towards the field of MSW could be observed. The main problems were shown to be related to politics and lack of awareness. The overall conclusion is that it is not enough that a small fraction of the society, with partially contradictory interests, is taking initiatives to improve the MSWM in Mumbai. In order to achieve a sustainable long-term solution, coordination and a more holistic system approach is necessary. 

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