Mapping incinerability of municipal solid waste in Indian sub-continent

  • Roshni Mary SebastianEmail author
  • Dinesh Kumar
  • Babu Alappat
Original Paper


Effective municipal solid waste (MSW) management is essential for sustainable development of a region. Waste management strategies are, consequently, aimed at waste minimisation with material and energy recovery. Rising MSW generation rates, acute shortage of land resources and improving thermal characteristics have collectively contributed to the growth of waste-to-energy sector in developing countries like India. Negligible source segregation and the resultant heterogeneity of the MSW necessitate ascertaining its incinerability to assess the feasibility of the technology. Incinerability index or i-Index is, hence, used to estimate the incinerability of MSW generated in cities across the Indian sub-continent. An incinerability-based map is developed to illustrate the variations in incinerability across the country. The lifestyle habits, topography, income level of the residents, culture and food habits are found to affect the composition and in turn the incinerability. The variations in incinerability of MSW generated in the northern, southern, eastern and western regions are graphically identified using incinerability plot or i-Plot. The reported power generation potential from MSW in Indian states is also found to be consistent with the incinerability of the MSW feed and the daily waste generation rates.

Graphic abstract


Municipal solid waste Incinerability Waste-to-energy Composite indicator Thermal treatment 

List of symbols


Environment, energy recovery and economic criteria


Analytic hierarchy process


Construction and demolition


Average composition of component (%)


Component fraction (%) in jth city


Detailed project report


Greenhouse gas


Government of India


Number of cities


Municipal corporation of Delhi


Ministry of New and Renewable Energy


Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change


Municipal solid waste


Number of parameters


Non-governmental organisation


Net state domestic product


National thermal power corporation


Normalised value


Normalised value of ith parameter


Refuse-derived fuel


Tonnes per day


Tonnes per year


Urban local body


Uttar Pradesh


Weightage of ith parameter




Per capita generation in jth city


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10098_2019_1771_MOESM1_ESM.docx (2.4 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 2469 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIIT DelhiHauz Khas, New DelhiIndia
  2. 2.North Delhi Municipal CorporationNew DelhiIndia

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