Environmental Management

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 536–553 | Cite as

Multi-stage optimization approach for sustainable municipal solid waste collection systems in urban areas of Asia’s newly industrialized countries

  • Moni M MondalEmail author
  • Christopher J Speier
  • Dirk Weichgrebe


A multi-stage optimization approach for sustainable collection system design for urban municipal solid waste is developed for megacities in Asia’s newly industrialized countries. The approach combines four methods—analysis of waste and area characteristics, data acquisition and evaluation by GIS, mathematical projection of existing and future collection systems, and identification of most suitable alternatives through comparative multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The approach is applied in Bangalore, India with 1.66 million inhabitants and 46.7-km2 area of investigation, and stratified based on population density. Two possible collection mechanisms (door-to-door (D2D) and community bin (CB)) are analyzed with a varied combination of collection coverage and waste segregation level. The study results confirm that both operational and investment expenses of the collection system decrease with an increasing rate of CB collection. Moreover, overall CO2 emissions of waste collection from the entire area of investigation decrease from 5.2 to 3.1 tons per day if the present 100% D2D collection is replaced with 100% CB collection system. Also, the increase of segregation at source contributes to the reduction of operational expenses and CO2 emissions; for example, a 20% increase of segregation level for D2D collection system leads to a 6% reduction of CO2 emissions. Considering all decision parameters through MCDA, a collection system comprising only CB with one separate compartment for wet waste and another combined compartment for dry and mixed waste is determined to be the most favorable approach.


Municipal solid waste Waste collection Multi-criteria decision analysis Newly industrialized countries 



The authors express their sincere gratitude to ELCITA and The Forward Foundation which supported this work and helped on ground in Bangalore as well as contributed with their experiences and knowledge to collect data. Grateful to the Mayor, Commissioner, officials, and all the workers of BBMP who helped in conducting this study successfully.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Sanitary Engineering and Waste Management (ISAH)Leibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

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