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A review on the urban municipal solid waste management system of an Indian Himalayan state


Improper management of solid waste creates health problems and degrades the environment (air, water, and soil). The Indian state Uttarakhand is located in the Himalayan range. It is famous globally for its vast and rich biodiversity, hilly terrain, forest area, wildlife sanctuary, national parks, biosphere reserves, rivers, and tourist spots. In the present study, the status of Uttarakhand’s Solid Waste Management (SWM) system has been reviewed and compared with nine other Indian states to identify lagging aspects in the current waste management system. Issues in terms of knowledge gaps and implementation gaps have also been discussed. It was found that the solid waste management system of Uttarakhand is not efficient as required. Although it is better than the other nine Indian states in a few aspects but it still lags in many aspects. Separate collection and transportation of biodegradable and non-biodegradable fractions of waste are not in practice, because only 31.28% of wards have started source segregation. In 88 Urban Local Bodies out of the total 90, open dumping of unprocessed and untreated waste is in practice, because there are not any processing, treatment, and disposal plant. In two operational plants, separation and processing of mixed waste are carried out. Urban local bodies are facing some issues like non-availability of suitable land for a new landfill, improper user fee and tax collection, lack of skills and technical expertise among the staff, delay in getting funds from the government, non-devolution of some functions, overlapping of functions with parastatal agencies. Furthermore, this study urges the government to improve the current waste management system on an urgent basis for sustaining the biodiversity, ecosystem, natural resources, and tourism potential of Uttarakhand. The outcomes and suggestions of this study are useful to the researchers, waste management experts, and policymakers of Uttarakhand and other similar regions around the globe.

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  1. 1 US dollar = 74.09 Indian Rupees



Solid Waste Management


Urban Local Bodies


Swachh Bharat Mission


Information, Education, and Communication


Administrative and Office Expenses


Municipal Solid Waste Management


Central Pollution Control Board


Tonnes Per Day


Asian Development Bank


Uttarakhand Urban State Development Investment Programme


Urban Local Body


Detailed Project Report


City Managers Association


Corporate Social Responsibility


Geographical Information System


Non-Governmental Organizations


Community-Based Organizations


Clean Development Mechanism


Public–Private Partnership


Gross Value Added


Tourism Direct Gross Value Added


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The authors acknowledge the anonymous reviewers for reviewing this manuscript during their busy schedules.


The authors did not receive support from any organization for the submitted work.

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DSS gave the idea of writing this paper and conducted the literature survey. Data were analyzed by AS. AK has done the proofreading and revision of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Dhananjay Singh Shyamal.

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Shyamal, D.S., Sawai, A. & Kazmi, A.A. A review on the urban municipal solid waste management system of an Indian Himalayan state. J Mater Cycles Waste Manag 24, 835–851 (2022).

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  • Solid waste management
  • Source segregation
  • Collection
  • Treatment
  • Open dumping