GHG mitigation & sustainability co-benefits of urban solid waste management strategies: A case study of Ahmedabad, India
Journal article, 2017
Driven by rising income and urbanization in India, the urban solid waste generation and associated externalities are rising rapidly. Disposal of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in landfills without adequate treatment and segregation is leading to sizable local environmental impacts including land and water contamination, air pollution and emissions of methane which is a potent greenhouse gas. Continuation of the current waste disposal methods shall add to pressure on increasingly scarce land resources in the urban areas. This paper recognises two distinct spatial dimensions of the environmental impacts of urban waste; first, the local impacts which are typically addressed under the urban sustainability programmes and second, and the global climate change impacts from methane emissions which are implemented locally but are driven by the global climate change policies. The paper proposes a framework to integrate solid waste management strategies in cities to mitigate GHG emissions from land-fills and concurrently maximize sustainability cobenefits. Using the case of Ahmedabad, the paper explores three waste management scenarios. i) Business as Usual scenario ii) INDC Scenario follows the commitments as outlined in India's INDC and iii) sustainable low carbon scenario considers the transition towards the more resource efficient economy through implementation of sustainable waste management strategies The scenarios analysis, spanning till the year 2035 is used to identify the potential greenhouse emission reduction and local co- benefits accrue through waste management strategies.