How can we structure solid waste management collection, processing and disposal frameworks for multi-town clusters?
Rising pressure on land owing to rapid urbanization and challenges associated with finding adequate land for water processing and disposal led the Government of Tamil Nadu to explore the scope for taking a clustered approach to Solid Waste Management. This focused on multiple towns and cities within districts that are clustered based on their geographic proximity and access, to build both economies of scale to attract private investments in centralized facilities while solving the problem of identifying parcels of land within every town for processing. Athena developed an operational strategy to roll out the new approach. The strategy entailed undertaking waste characteristic and estimation study scenario analyses where multiple treatment options were tested against differing levels of land requirement and end-outputs and a transportation model. This involved development of an optimal route to minimize transport costs for the identified scenarios and identification of public-private partnership structures to most effectively fit the context.