The Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016

Published on 14/01/2019

The Solid Waste  Management Rules, 2016 (Government of India)

Some salient features  by Dr. Yashpal Singh

The MoEF and CC, Govt. of India has notified The Solid Waste Management Rules 2016, in supersession to the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000. The new rules generally relate to Municipal Solids Waste. A new category of Domestic Hazardous Solid wastes has also been established. The new rules have also made a provision of segregation at source, specific provisions for proper disposal of sanitary napkins and diapers, collect back systems for packaging wastes and user fees and spot fine for collection. Systems for waste processing and treatment have been prescribed along with adequate provisions of disposal area, promoting use of compost, promoting waste to energy. Industries within 100 Kms of RDF plants have been asked to compulsorily replace 5% of fuel used by refuse derived fuel. Siting criteria for land fill sites have been prescribed along with buffer zones round landfills. Duties and responsibilities of various organization have been prescribed along with a mechanism for seeking authorization from the Pollution Control Boards.    


  1. The Rules apply to –
    1. Every Urban Local Body
    1. Outgrowths in urban agglomerations
    1. Census towns
    1. Notified areas
    1. Notified industrial townships
    1. Areas under control of Indian railways
    1. Airports, airbases, ports and Harbors, defense establishments, special economic zones.
    1. State and Central Government organizations
    1. Places of Pilgrimage, religious and historical importance as notified by State Government.
    1. Every domestic, institutional, commercial and any other non-residential solid waste generator situated in the areas.
  2. Rules do not apply to the following wastes that are covered separately under the E.P. Act 1986-
    1. Industrial Wastes
    1. Hazardous Chemicals
    1. Biomedical Wastes
    1. E-Wastes
    1. Lead acid batteries.
    1. Radioactive wastes.

 Some Definitions

  • Waste Generator means and includes every person or group of persons, every residential premises and non residential establishments including Indian Railways, Defense establishments, which generate solid waste.
  • Solid wastes have been defined (Rule 3.46) to mean and include
    • Solid or semisolid domestic waste
    • Sanitary waste
    • Commercial waste
    • Institutional waste
    • Catering and market waste and other non residential wastes
    • Stored sweepings
    • Silt removed or collected from surface drains
    • Horticulture waste
    • Agriculture and dairy waste
    • Treated biomedical waste
  • Introduces a term domestic Hazardous wastes “(3.17) to mean discarded paint drums, pesticide cans, CFL bulbs, tube lights, expired medicines, broken Mercury thermometers, used batteries, used needles and syringes and contaminate gauge etc. generated at house hold level.
  • ‘Dry Wastes’ (3.19) means waste other than bio degradable waste and inert street sweepings and includes recyclable and non recyclable waste, combustible waste, sanitary napkins and drapers etc.
  • ‘Authorization’ (3.3) means the permission given by the State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committee, as the case may be, to the operator of a facility or urban local authority or any other agency responsible for processing and disposal of solid wastes.
  • ‘Processing’ (3.35) means any scientific process by which segregated solid waste is handled for the purposes of reuse, recycling or transformation into new products.
  • ‘Disposal’ (3.16) means the final and safe disposal of post processed residual solid waste and inert street sweepings and silt from surface drains on land as specified in the rules (Schedule 1) to prevent contamination of ground water, surface water, ambient air and attraction of animals or birds.

Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Waste Generator
    1. Rule 4 prescribes the duties of waste generator which include.
      1. Segregating the biodegradable, non biodegradable and hazardous domestic waste in separate bins and handing over to authorized waste collector/pickers.
      1. Used sanitary waste like sanitary napkins, diapers etc to be wrapped securely in pouches (to be provided by manufacturer or brand owner) and keep in bin meant for dry waste or non biodegradable waste.
      1. Store construction and demolition waste separately and dispose as per the Construction and Demolition Waste management rules 2016.
      1. Store horticulture and Garden waste separately and dispose as per directions of the Local body from time to time.
      1. No waste generator shall throw, burn or bury the solid waste generated by him on  streets, open public places outside his premises or in drains or water bodies
      1. Waste generators to pay user fee for solid waste management to local bodies.
      1. No event involving more than 100 persons to be organized at any unlicensed place without intimating the local body at least 03 days in advance. Segregation and management of solid waste to be the responsibility of the generator.    
      1. Street vendors to keep suitable containers for storage of waste generated and shall deposit such waste at waste storage depot or container or vehicle as notified by local body.
      1. All resident welfare and market Associations, Hotels and Restaurants and gated communities and institutions with more than 50000 sq. meter area shall within one year of the rules (notified in 2016) were supposed to ensure segregation of wastes by the generators and facilitate collection of wastes and handling them over to waste pictures or recyclers in separate streams.
      1. The biodegradable waste has to be processed and disposed, as far as possible through composting or bio methanation within the premises. All residual wastes to be sent to waste collector. 
  2. Duties of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, GOI.
    1. Overall monitoring and implementation
      1. Constitution of Central Monitoring Committee.
  3. Duties of Ministry of Urban Development, GOI
  4. Periodic review of Solid Waste Management projects funded by Ministry and other external agencies in states and local bodies.
  5. Formulate National Policy and strategies
  6. Facilitate states in formulating state policies based on National SWM and National Urban Sanitation policy.
  7. Promote Research and Development in SWM and information dissemination.
  8. Training and capacity building of local bodies
  9. Provide technical guidance and project finance to states.
  10. Duties of department of Fertilisers, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, GOI.
  11. Provide market development assistance on city comport.
  12. Ensure promotion of co-marketing of comport with chemical fertilizers in the ratio of 3 to 4 bags: 6 to 7 bags by the fertilizer companies to the extent compost is made available for marketing to the companies.
  13. Duties of Ministry of Agriculture, GOI
    1. Provide flexibility in the Fertilizer control order for manufacturing and sale of comport
      1. Propagate utilization of compost
      1. Set up laboratories for quality check of compost. 
      1. Issue suitable guidelines for maintaining quality of compost and ratio of use of compost vis avis chemical fertilizers.
  14. Duties of Ministry of Power
  15. Decide tariff for power generated from waste to Energy plants
  16. Compulsory purchase of power generated from such units by distribution company.
  17. Duties of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources
    1. Facilitate infrastructure creation for waste to energy plants.
      1. Provide appropriate subsidy or incentives for such waste to energy plants.
  18. Duties of Secretary-in-charge Urban Development
  19. Prepare a state policy and strategy for solid waste management in consultation with stake holders, the National Policy for solid waste management and the National Policy for urban sanitation.
  20. Lay emphasis on waste reduction, reuse recycling and waste minimization.
  21. Integrate role of informal waste picker or waste collectors and provide guidelines for same in state policy.
  22. Ensure implementation of rules by local bodies
  23. Include provisions of solid waste management fertilizes in the Master plan through directions to the town and country planning department.
  24. Ensure identification and allocation of suitable land to the local bodies for setting up SWM processing and disposal facilities in the development plan for group housing or commercial, institutional or any other non residential complex exceeding 200 divelling units or having a plot area exceeding 5000 sq. meters. Direct Town planning department and local bodies accordingly.
  25. Ensure identification and allocation of suitable land to the local bodies for development of processing and disposal  facilities. Incorporate this in master plans.
  26. Direct the developers of SEZ, industrial areas and industrial parks to earmark at least 5% of total area of plot or minimum 5 plots or sheds for recovery and recycle facilities.
  27. Facilitate establishment of common regional sanitary land fill for a group of cities or towns on a cost sharing basis.
  28. Capacity building of local bodies.
  29. Notify buffer zone for given facility of more than 5 tons per day in consultation with SPCB.
  30. Start a scheme for registration of waste pickers and waste dealers.
  31. Duties of District Magistrate or District Collector or Deputy Commissioner
  32. Facilitate identification of suitable land for development of given disposal sites in consultation with the Secretary in Charge Urban Development.  
  33. Review performance of local bodies.
  34. Duties of Secretary Incharge of Village Panchayats or Rural Development Departments.
    1. Same as duties of secretary-in-charge Urban Development for areas under their control.  
  35. Duties of Central Pollution Control Board
  36. Coordination with State Boards and Committees for effective implementation.
  37. Formulate standards for ground water, ambient air, noise pollution and leachate in respect of all given facilities.
  38. Review and update environmental standards and norms prescribed for given processing facilities and update them.
  39. Review and compilation of data related to compliance to environmental standards for solid waste processing facilities together with State Boards/Committees.
  40. Review proposals on use of new technologies as may be submitted by Pollution Control Boards/Committee and prescribe performance standards, emission norms.
  41. Monitor implementation of rules by local bodies (through State Boards/Committees)
  42. Prepare annual reports and submit to MoEF and CC.
  43. Publish guidelines for maintenance of buffer zones.
  44. Publish guidelines on environmental aspects of processing and disposal of solid wastes.
  45. Guide states and Union Territories on interstate movement of wastes.
  46. Duties and responsibilities of local bodies, village Panchayats of Census towns and urban agglomerations
  47. Formulate Solid waste management Plan as per State Policy.
  48. Door to Door collection of wastes.
  49. Establish and recognize a system of waste collectors.
  50. Facilitate formulation of self help groups
  51. Frame bye laws incorporating provision of these rules.
  52. Prescribe user fee from waste generators.
  53. Prevent littering, refuse burning.
  54. Setup material storage facility for sorting of recyclable material for collection by waste pickers and recyclers.
  55. Establish waste deposition centers for deposition of domestic Hazardous wastes. One Centre per 20 square kilometers or parts thereof.
  56. Ensure storage and transportation of domestic Hazardous waste to the Hazardous waste disposal facility.
  57. Direct city sweepers not to burn tree leaves but store separately and hand over to authorized waste collectors.
  58. Training to waste pickers
  59. Collect biodegradable market waste (vegetable, Fruit, Meat, Poultry and Fish etc.) and promote decentralized Biogas or bio-compost production plants at suitable location in the markets.
  60. Segregate and collect road silt, sweepings and horticulture and garden waste etc, transport and dispose as prescribed.
  61. Involve communities
  62. Phase out the use of Chemical Fertilisers and use compost in all parks, gardens maintained by the local authority within 02 years of the rules of 2016.
  63. Facilitate construction, operation and maintenance of solid waste processing facilities adhering to the Guidelines issued by the Ministry of Urban Development from time to time and the Standards prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board.
  64. Make adequate provisions of funds and undertake the construction, operation and maintenance of solid waste management services.
  65. Apply for and obtain the authorization for setting up waste processing treatment or disposal facilities including land fills if the volume of waste is more than 5 metrec tones per day.
  66. Other function of local bodies include
    1. Incorporate provision of rules in building plans while giving approvals
    1. Frame bye laws and lay down criteria for spot fine.
    1. Public awareness.
    1. Stop dumping or land filling of mixed waste.
    1. Investigate and analyse all existing open dumpsites for biomining and bio remediation
    1. Scientifically cap all existing open dumpsites.
  67. Duties of State Pollution Control Board
    1. Enforce the rules
      1. Monitor Standards
      1. Examine the proposals for authorization after considering the requirement of consents and views of other agencies like the State urban Development Department, Town and country Planning Department, District or Metropolitan area Planning committee, Airports and Air Bases, Ground Water Board, Power distribution companies, highway department and other relevant agencies (Give 4 weeks to Departments to give views)
      1. Issue, renew or refuse Authorisations stipulating compliance criteria and environmental standards, synchronize the validity of such authorizations with periods of consents. Suspend or cancel authorization if required.
      1. Give directions to local authorities for safe handling and disposal of domestic Hazardous wastes.
      1. Regulate Interstate movement of wastes.
  • Duties of manufactures or brand owners of disposable products and sanitary napkins and diapers
  • All manufacturers or brand owners of disposable products like tin, glass, plastic packaging etc shall provide necessary financial assistance to local bodies for establishing waste management systems.
  • “A collect back” system shall be put in place by all brand owners who sell or market their product in non biodegradable packaging material.
  • Manufacturers, brand owners or marketing companies shall educate the masses for wrapping and disposal of products.
  • Duties of Industrial units within 100 kms of RDF and waste to Energy plants based on solid wastes.
    • Make arrangements to replace at least 05% of their fuel requirement by RDF so produced.
  •   Rule 20 prescribes the criteria and actions to be taken for solid waste management in hilly areas. It states that the duties of the local bodies shall be the same as for plain areas but construction of land fill on the hill shall be avoided, instead a suitable land area in the plaIns within 25 kms of the Hill shall be identified along with provisions for transfer stations. Decentralized Waste Processing facilities can however be set up on the hills on lands to be identified and allotted for the purpose. Local bodies shall set up such facilities. It also provides that local bodies can levy solid waste management charger from tourists at the entry point and convey provisions of solid waste to all tourists.
  • Rule 21 prescribes the criteria for waste to energy process. It prohibits the disposal of waste with a calorific value of 1500 K cal/kg or more into landfills and prescribes utilization for energy generation and production of refuse derived fuel either as fuel or stock for fuel production. High Calorific value wastes are prescribed for use in co processing in cement and Thermal Power Plants. A procedure for obtaining an authorization from the State Pollution Control Board has been also prescribed.  
  • The rules also notify the specifications of sanitary land fills including criteria for site selection (100 meters from river, 200 meters from Pond, 200 meters from high way, habitation, public parks, water supply wells and 20 Kms from Airports or Airbase unless the Airport Authorities permit in the NOC. It shall not be in the Flood Plains, Zone of coastal regulation,wetland, critical habitat areas or sensitive eco fragile areas). It also provides for the creation of a buffer zone in consultation of the State Pollution Control Board and temporary storage facilities. Separate areas  have been prescribed for development of facilities like roads, no access, weigh bridges, water inspection facilities, safety provisions etc. Specifications for land filling operations and closure provisions including compaction of waste before land filling, covering the land fill each day with 10 cm of soil  or construction material, leachate protection through intermediate cover and final cover, drainage etc. have been prescribed.

Water quality and air quality monitoring criteria have been provided along with criteria for plantation of trees (non edible perrenial plants resistant to drought and extreme temperature) in consultation with State Pollution Control Board.

Post closure care is prescribed for at least 15 years after closure with regular air and ground water quality monitoring the cover and leachate and gas management systems. Closed landfill sites can be considered suitable for human settlement or otherwise ensuring compliance to environmental standards.

  • The schedules to the notification provide standards for processing and treatment of solid wastes, specifications for compost quality, standards for treated leachates, standards for incineration and the formats for making application. Forms for annual reports and accidental reporting are also prescribed.  

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  1. Thank you for your kind information i will inform about importance of wealthy waste to society and I join to protect environment.


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