Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 678–689 | Cite as

Physico-chemical characterization of municipal solid waste from Tricity region of Northern India: a case study

  • Rishi Rana
  • Rajiv Ganguly
  • Ashok Kumar Gupta


An integrated solid waste management system is an effective method for controlling the huge volumes of solid waste generated in urban locales in India. The success of the integrated solid waste management system depends upon the amount and type generated from different sources for better facilitating of the appropriate management system. In this context, characterization studies are often performed on urban solid waste generated to enable suitable decision making for proper management of solid waste generated. The paper presents the characterization of urban solid wastes generated from the Tricity region of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula in India. The present study characterizes the physical and chemical properties of the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated in all the three study locations for different socio-economic groups. In general, the MSW generation from the Tricity of Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula account for approximately 680 tons per day (TPD) of solid waste (380 TPD in Chandigarh, 150 TPD in Mohali and 150 TPD in Panchkula). The characterization of the three cities indicates that MSW generated from all the three cities have high proportions of biodegradables [52% Chandigarh (CHD), 46.7% Mohali (MOH) and 42.6% Panchkula (PKL)] with inert fraction as (27% in CHD, 28.6% in MOH and 28.46% in PKL). The calorific value of the MSW generated varies from 1929 kcal/Kg for CHD, 1801 kcal/Kg for MOH and 1542 kcal/Kg for PKL with average moisture content of about 50% in CHD, 46% in MOH and 40% in PKL. Chemical characterization results of MSW reveal variation in elemental carbon with carbon fraction reported being 34.18% in CHD, 33.8% in MOH and 31.9% in PKL city. In the context of the characterization study, the paper also proposes suitable alternatives to the existing MSW management practices including composting, vermicomposting, setting up of a formal recycling unit and installation of bio-methanation plant along with the existing refuse derived fuel (RDF) plant as a comprehensive process for handling the municipal solid waste generated in the Tricity region.


Characterization of municipal solid waste Refuse derived fuel Moisture content Calorific value Biomethanation Vermi-composting 


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringJaypee University of Information TechnologyDistrict SolanIndia

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