The Collection, transportation and disposal of municipal solid waste is an obligatory function of the Madurai Corporation. The Municipal Solid Waste mainly comprises waste from households, market, commercial establishments, hotels, hospitals and industries in the town. The public health department of the corporation, headed by City Health Officer and Assistant Health Officer is responsible for the Solid Waste Management in the city. For the efficient administration and for day-to-day operational purposes, the town is divided into 4 Zones covering all the 100 Municipal Wards.
In Madurai City garbage is generated at the rate of 406 gram per day per head accumulating to a massive quantum of 548 Metric Ton per day. This is slightly higher when comparing similar level of cities where the per capita generation of waste is around 400 grams per day and the reason for the excess rate of creation of waste is due to the heavy influx of floating population which is estimated to be around 3 lakhs. Out the accumulated garbage released by the houses, shops, daily and weekly markets, commercial establishments, hotels, hospitals and industries, garbage generated from the house account of 64%. Household wastes contains mainly residual vegetables and food which could be easily disposed. But the scientific disposal of solid waste such as plastic, paper discharged by the commercial establishments, without affecting the environment remains to be a great challenge.
The various sources of waste generation in Madurai are detailed below:
Source of Solid Waste Generation
Quantity Tones per day
Hospitals & Clinics
In Madurai the major source of waste generation has been households. The quantum of waste generated from households is around 288 tones per day, which is 64 percentage of the total waste generation of the town. The household waste mainly consists of organic waste such as Vegetable Waste, Food etc., which can be easily disposed.
Commercial establishments like Hotels, Restaurants, Shops, Trading Units, Small time Street Traders, Kalyana Madappams etc., generates solid waste which mainly comprises of paper, plastics, food left-overs and others in organics. Madurai has approximately 25 Daily Markets and 2 Weekly Markets. The total quantum of waste generated from these sources is 108.00 tones per day, which constitutes about 24 percentage of the total waste generated. Waste Collection in the Market areas and the bus stand are managed by means of contract employees.
As there is no major Industries in the Corporation area, the waste from the existing units is not mixed with the municipal waste.
Hospital and Clinical Waste:
The Urban local body is maintaining a few health post and maternity homes. In addition, the town being a district Head quarters has many institution of health. Hospital waste constitutes approximately 18.00 tones. Hazardous waste are collected and disposed separately through incineration and is not mixed with municipal waste.
Waste from other sources:
The Municipal also collects waste generated from streets sweeping, drain desilting and construction. The quantity of solid waste generated from the above sources is of the order of 36 tones per day, which is about 8% of the total waste generation.
Composition of Waste:
In 2004, a study of the waste characterization of solid waste has been conducted by Madurai Corporation Approximately 65.40% waste is degradable, while the rest is Non-degradable (which mainly include paper, plastic Gloss etc.,) the details are present below.
The primary collection of waste in Madurai Town is done by SHG in 7 wards and bus stands and through privatization 2 wards and by Corporation 63 wards.
Detail study made by Madurai Corporation along with IES, Anna University the physical characteristic of Garbage in Madurai Corporation
Percentage by Weight
Rubber / Rexin
Vegetables & Fruit Waste
3000 mg / kg.
1457 mg / kg.
1499 mg / kg.
1105 mg / kg.
1302 mg / kg.
3315 mg / kg.
5600 mg / kg.
The Madurai Corporation is collecting solid waste by employing 2700 Sanitary Workers in clearing the garbage using hand carts and Tricycles, who collections waste from Dustbins and Dumper Bins.
Effects in privatization of collection have been made through employing of contract workers and collection of waste from bus stand and other commercial areas. Privatization of Household waste collection is under active consideration by the Corporation. Presently the corporation has also engaged 70 contractual labourers for waste collection from markets and bus stand. The Corporation has also appointed 12 SHG's with a total of appropriates 240 workers. The Corporation has also engaged 200 Contract Workers for Garbage Loading on the transportation vehicles.
The Corporation manages primary collection through 135 Tricycles (carrying capacity – 20 kg/Tricycle) and 150 Hand Carts (carrying capacity – 100 kg/hand cart). Collection and transfer of waste to collection points is also managed by Auto minder (57 rented vehicles are being used). There are 74 Dumper Bins with a total carrying capacity of approximately 100 tones placed at main collection locations around the city. Night sweeping is done effectively around the temple areas, the core city areas, some markets and around bus stands.
In Madurai Corporation waste transportation is being carried out using open vehicles. Transfer of garbage to collection points is done by corporation owned hand carts, Tricycles and rented Vehicles like Auto minders, which is further taken to dumping yard by means of corporation own vehicles (Lorries and Dumper Placers) and rented vehicles (Tractors).
Transportation of waste is managed by 12 Corporation own vehicles and 65 hired vehicles. The Corporation is collecting and transporting 410 MT of waste to the Dump site based on varying number of trips assigned and undertaken by these vehicles. The details of waste transportation vehicles are detailed below:
Type of Vehicles
Municipal Vehicles Nos.
Total Trips/day Nos.
Vehicle Capacity MT
Carrying Capacity of Vehicles MT
At present, the corporation is not practicing any safe or scientific solid waste disposal methods. The waste collected from various localities in the city is directly disposed off by open dumping at Vellakkal site, located outside the city limit. Solid Waste generated from all sanitary wards is disposal off at this site. Site is located at about 10 Km from the city and the total area of the site is 82 Acres.
i) Existing Solid Waste Management:
Solid Waste Management
No. of Zones
No. of Wards
Floating Population (20%)
Garbage Generated per day (including Floating population)
Garbage Collected per day
Corporation Tipper Lorries
Corporation Dumper Placer (4.5 cum)
Corporation Dumper Placer (8 cum)
Hired Tipper Lorries
iii) Solid Waste Generated from different Sources:
Commercial & Market
Hospital & Nursing
Present Status – Man Power:
Circle Sanitary Officer
* Vacancy being managed by Out Sourcing.
The following are the deficiencies in this present system.
Source segregation and house-to-house collection practiced in 20% area only.
Uncontrolled littering along main roads, streets and drains.
Present Capacity is enough for 80% removal of accumulated solid waste only.
Inadequate manpower and infrastructure.
Unaware about the segregation of Garbage, Door-to-Door Collection.
Lack of proper vehicles for secondary transportation.
Lack of workshop facility.
No proper system for secondary collection.
Road leading to final dumping yard is in very bad condition.
Processing and Disposal of Waste.Presently waste is dumped in the compost yard.
Solid Waste Management Action Plan:
Implementing MSW Management and handling rules 2000 and to ensure Zero Garbage litter free with Eco-friendly environment.
Campaign on Segregation.
Creating Public awareness.
Door to Door Collections.
Enforcement of by-laws.
Public Private Participation in primary collection.