• Nishith Jardosh

Land-fills of Mumbai

Image of fire at Deonar captured by NASA -, Public Domain,

India generates approximately 1.5 lakh tonnes of MSW per day and it is observed that collection rates are around 80% with the balance ending up in dumps or the open environment. From the waste collected 28% of it is treated and the balance again ends up in the land-fills. There are a total of 3153 land-fills in India. With limited waste segregation and waste treatment facilities our estimates are that over 72% of the MSW generated daily end-up in the land-fills.

Mumbai houses 1/6th of Mahrarshtra's population and generates 1/3rd of the states waste.

The case in over populated metros is even more profound. Mumbai generates 7500 tonnes of MSW per day which is 1/3rd of the waste generated by Maharashtra. There are 4 land-fill sites in Mumbai - Deonar, Gorai, Mulund and Kanjurmarg.

Deonar is India's oldest and largest dumping ground spread over 120 hectares and set up in 1927. In the past the land-fill received over 5000 tonnes of MSW per day which has now reduced to around 1300 tonnes per day. The height of garbage mounds is around 30 metres. The BMC had initially planned a 3,000 MT waste-to-energy plant at Deonar but when it did not get any response, it decided to break it down to a 600 MT and two 1,200 MT plants in three phases. The latest tender for the 600 MT plant was also floated twice and given four extensions. After this, the BMC finally received a response and has finalised a contractor for the job. It is only when the plant is completely set up that the ground will be shut for further dumping of waste.

The Gorai dumpsite was used since 1976 and was spread on an area of 19-hectare covered with an 80-foot-high mountain of solid waste. Located close to a creek and surrounded by residential developments, the landfill posed serious environmental and health hazards and emitted methane gas which has 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Around 1500 tonnes of MSW was dumped at this site until it was closed. In 2007, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai decided to embark on the Gorai Landfill Closure and Gas Capture Project. The land-fill was closed in 2007 and since 2009 has been used for generation of methane. It is one of the prominent successful land-fill closure case studies for India.

Mulund was the second largest after Deonar and receives around 2000 tonnes of MSW per day. It is spread over an area of 24 hectares and is being used since 1967. This dumping ground was closed in 2018. The BMC has appointed a consortium of Prakash Constrowell Limited, Infotech International Limited and EB Enviro Biotech Private Limited as a contractor to close down the Mulund dumping ground at a cost of Rs 731 crore over a period of six years. The process includes bio-mining and systematic disposal of waste to some other location.

The Kanjurmarg dumping ground is spread over 119 hectares and has been used since 2015. It is the only active dumping ground in Mumbai and receives over 6000 tonnes of waste daily. The yard has two approaches to manage the waste- bioreactor landfills and material receiving and segregation facility (MRF). There are 7 bio reactor cells which can handle around 4500 tonnes of waste per day and MRF handles around 1500 tonnes of waste per day. Efforts are in place to expand this dump but there are numerous ecological challenges from this dump and there is public pressure to close this dump.


The state government has assured the BMC of two new dumping sites a 52-hectare plot at Taloja and a 32-hectare plot in Airoli. The plots cannot be allotted owing to land ownership disputes and encroachments.


Desai, Shweta (3 November 2008). "Deonar dump ready for Rs 5000-cr makeover". The Indian Express. Mumbai. Retrieved 26 March 2012

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