Every day  India’s urban areas generate about 1,432,000 metric tonne (MT) of municipal solid waste (MSW). Organic waste, the most significant waste stream, accounts for about 71,600 MT of this total amount. If dumped without treatment, this waste can generate climate-warming and polluting gases like methane and carbon dioxide. According to the United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA), one tonne of legacy waste (in the form of a mixture of different types of municipal solid wastes dumped in a dumpsite without any treatment) has the potential to generate 27.7 kg of methane and 692.5 kg of carbon dioxide every year. 

But if this colossal quantity of biodegradable waste is treated with appropriate technology, it has a potential to produce 2219.6 tonne of bio-CNG a day, with an estimated market value of Rs 155.37 crore. This means, the monthly revenue we could have earned just by treating our biodegradable waste to produce bio-CNG is Rs 4,661.1 crore or Rs 55,933.2 crore every year. While the whole world is scrambling to find alternative sources of fuel, here is a resource that is waiting to be tapped! All we need to do is to learn about the technology and process of managing biodegradable waste differently. 

According to the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoP&NG), India has a reserve of 763 million metric tonne (MMT) of crude oil and 1,488 billion cubic meter (BCM) of natural gas. The country currently imports nearly 77 per cent of its crude oil requirements and about 50 per cent of the natural gas requirements, leading the Government of India to set a target of reducing this import by at least 10 per cent by 2022. The treatment of biodegradable waste to produce bio-CNG (or compressed biogas) therefore should be seen as a potential game changer. 

Centre for Science and the Environment (CSE) invites you to join its online training programme on bio-CNG - its technologies, management, and the economic and environmental benefits. 


Subhasish Parida
Programme Manager
Centre for Science and Environment
Email: subhasish.parida@cseindia.org
Mobile: +91 7873222285