ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Private Sector Participation in Solid Waste Management and Regulatory Strategy

In most developing countries, waste is managed by government bodies who allocate a large amount of resources but rarely obtain the desired results. Taking this problem into account, this article explores the relationship between environmental policy and firms engaged in solid waste management by studying the case of four firms in the SWM industry in India. Five factors could have an impact on SWM firms in India—demand for waste, awareness among waste generators, segregation as a habit, encouraging decentralisation, and state support. Appropriate policy measures to create awareness about the demand for waste can become a powerful addition to the existing tools since market forces can drive the waste management activity more effectively.


The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewer for their specific comments which helped sharpen the scope and objective of this article and also helped in creating a pathway for future research in this area.

In developing economies, problems and issues related to municipal solid waste management (MSWM) take precedence over other governance issues mainly due to the possible impact on public health. A United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) survey of major cities around the world found that after unemployment, insufficient solid waste disposal ranked as the most serious problem faced by urban residents.

In India, about half the collected waste consists of organic or compostable material and about a fifth consists of plastics, paper, glass, metal and other recyclables (Zhu et al 2008). It is this large component of organic waste that can lead to the growth of disease-spreading pests and insects. It can also lead to the emission of foul odour and spoil the aesthetic beauty of the surroundings. This deficiency in municipal service can be partly blamed on the mismatch between the available financial and planning resources vis-à-vis the increasing urban population. As a result, there is an increasing trend of involving private companies in various activities of solid waste management (SWM) to help rectify this imbalance. Another advantage of including private players in SWM activities is their ability to reach out to areas that are inaccessible for municipal corporations for waste collection.

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Updated On : 7th Aug, 2021
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