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Solid Waste Management

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

Sl. No. Source Quantity Tones per day Composition percentage
1 Domestic 288.00 64 %
2 Commercial 108.00 24 %
3 Industrial - -
4 Hospitals & Clinics 18.00 4 %
5 Others 36.00 8 %
6 TOTAL 450.00 100 %

Domestic Waste:

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 Waste:

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.

Industrial Waste:

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

Sl. No. Components Percentage by Weight
1 Paper 1.3325
2 Plastic 0.7525
3 Metals 0.085
4 Glass 0.1675
5 Silt 30.13
6 Rubber / Rexin 0.0845
7 Gunny bags 0.1175
8 Cotton 0.36
9 Wood 0.3425
10 Paddy Straw 1.477
11 Cow Dung 0.9046
12 Banana Stem 0.35325
13 Coconut Husk 0.70
14 Baggage 0.26535
15 Vegetables & Fruit Waste 29.00
16 Leaves Waste 8.238
17 Food Waste 24.367
18 Fish Waste 1.3228

Chemical Composition

Sl. No. Element Percentage
1 Moisture 50.70%
2 Net VS 17.31%
3 Ash 30.70%
4 Coal 1.29%
5 Sulphate 3000 mg / kg.
6 Phosphate 1457 mg / kg.
7 Chloride 1499 mg / kg.
8 T.K.N. 1105 mg / kg.
9 Sodium 1302 mg / kg.
10 Pottassium 3315 mg / kg.
11 Calcium 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:

Sl. No. Type of Vehicles Municipal Vehicles Nos. Total Trips/day Nos. Vehicle Capacity MT Carrying Capacity of Vehicles MT
1 Corporation Vehicles - - - -
- Dumper Placer 4 3 4.50 54.00
- Tipper Lorry 8 3 3.00 72.00
- Sub Total 12 - - 126.00
2 Contract Vehicles - - - -
- Tipper Lorry 8 3 3.00 72.00
- Tractors 57 3 1.50 213.00
- Sub Total 65 - - 285.00
- TOTAL 128 - - 411.00


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 4 Zones
No. of Wards 72 Wards
Population (2004) 1051434
Floating Population (20%) 2100000
Garbage Generated per day (including Floating population) 450 MT
Garbage Collected per day 360 MT
Collection efficiency 80%

ii) Vehicles:

Vehicles Nos.
Corporation Tipper Lorries 8
Corporation Dumper Placer (4.5 cum) 4
Corporation Dumper Placer (8 cum) 2
Hand Carts 150
Tricycles 135
Dumber Bins 74
Hired Vehicles
Hired Tractors 57
Hired Auto's 53
Hired Tipper Lorries 8

iii) Solid Waste Generated from different Sources:

Sl. No. Source Generation Garbage
1 Residential 288.00 MT
2 Street Sweeping 36.00 MT
3 Commercial & Market 72.00 MT
4 Institutional 36.00 MT
5 Hospital & Nursing 18.00 MT
- TOTAL 450.00 MT

Present Status – Man Power:

Sl. No. Designation Sanctioned Strength Present Strength Vacancy
1 Sanitary Workers 2700 2516 184
2 Circle Sanitary Officer - 4 -
3 Sanitary Inspector 84 37 47
4 Conservancy Inspector 72 - 72
5 Driver 91 65 26
6 Sanitary Supervisor 110 63 47
- TOTAL 3057 2685 376

* Vacancy being managed by Out Sourcing.

The following are the deficiencies in this present system.

Primary Collection:

  1. Source segregation and house-to-house collection practiced in 20% area only.
  2. Uncontrolled littering along main roads, streets and drains.
  3. Present Capacity is enough for 80% removal of accumulated solid waste only.
  4. Inadequate manpower and infrastructure.
  5. Unaware about the segregation of Garbage, Door-to-Door Collection.

Secondary Collection:

  1. Lack of proper vehicles for secondary transportation.
  2. Lack of workshop facility.
  3. No proper system for secondary collection.
  4. 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.

  1. Campaign on Segregation.
  2. Creating Public awareness.
  3. Door to Door Collections.
  4. Enforcement of by-laws.
  5. Public Private Participation in primary collection.
  6. 7 Days Garbage Collections.

Action plan for Secondary Collection:

(As per Solid Waste Management rule 6(1) & 3, 7(1) Schedule 11 – 4)

  1. Modernization of fleets.
  2. Improvement of Transfer Station.
  3. Improvement of Compost Yard.
  4. Pre-Schedule route chart for vehicle movement.