Development and Application of a Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) Tool for Solid Waste Management: Kolkata as a Case Study
Solid Waste Management (SWM) is a major challenge for developing countries due to rapid increase in Solid Waste (SW) generation rates and financial constraints for proper management. Poorly managed SW causes severe consequences to society like financial and aesthetic degradation, environmental pollution and is a serious health hazard. SWM consists of six functional elements: generation, storage, collection, transfer, processing or treatment and disposal. Current regulations hold the administrative, i.e., municipal authority responsible for SWM and all expenditure on collection, transfer, processing and disposal of SW has to be met using the financial resources available. The main sources of revenue for any municipal authority are municipal or property tax and octroi. In a survey of municipal budgets and revenues for five major cities in India, 38 to 83% of the revenues were derived from these sources (Sekhar and Bidarkar 2013). Non-tax revenue, grants and other contributions formed the remaining part of the total revenues. In general, policy makers prepare SWM plans by optimizing expenditure on collection, transfer, processing and disposal of SW which is proportionate to municipal tax based on direct costs to households. Additional expenditure to be incurred by the municipal authority in improving the system has to be recovered from the community as additional municipal tax. Also, any savings by the municipal authority are transferred to the households in terms of tax relief. However, these SWM plans fail to account for inconvenience costs to users and environmental costs.
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