Waste No More



Site Selection Baseline Assessment​

The need for partnership

Site selection criteria

Environmental protection and public health considerations should be prioritized in the site selection. Choosing an appropriate site, you will reduce environmental impacts and allow for the most effective management of dry waste.

The following factors should be considered during site selection:

Base line assessment

Beginning with base line assessments, a waste collection centre needs to be identified to meet minimum capacity and health and safety guidelines. Below are the important parameters against which the MRF performance should be monitored.


Schematics and layout

Aerial view – D ward centre, Mumbai
Internal view – D ward centre, Mumbai


Equipment inventory

Equipment list

Weighing machine

Weighing machine

  • Measures total waste received, segregated waste of each type and the amount of waste sent to recycling / co-processing units
  • Cost: Inr 10,000 per machine of capacity of 300 Kg
  • Requirement: 2 machines

Segregation conveyor belt

Segregation conveyor belt

  • Segregates mixed dry waste into different categories. The process of segregation is manual, but the belt improves efficiency and ease
  • Cost: Inr 300,000 per machine of 1 HP
  • Requirement: 2 machines

Zatka machine

Zatka machine

  • Cleans plastic waste of stuck dry matter. This is done automatically and only requires manual loading and unloading
  • Cost: Inr 250,000 per machine of 7.5-10 HP
  • Requirement: 1 machine

Bailing machine

Bailing machine

  • Compresses and package dry waste (plastic and paper) so it can be transported. This is an automated process and only requires manual loading and unloading
  • Cost: Inr 550,000 per machine of 15 HP
  • Requirement: 2 machines

Hydraulic trolley / cage trollies

Hydraulic trolley / cage trollies

  • Trollies will be used for material transport in the centre
  • Cost: Inr 25,000
  • Requirement: 2-3 trollies


Staff recruitment & roles

Key roles

There are 4 key types of roles to fill to run the centre:

Site supervisor / programme manager

Site supervisor / programme manager

This person manages compliance, documentation and coordination between stakeholders as well as supervising the site. They will typically be graduate level and above and have experience with waste management.

Labour supervisor

Labour supervisor:

This person oversees the employees on the site, as well as collection activity. They will be responsible for operational oversight and provide insight to the site supervisor e.g. around scheduling / routing. Local experience and an understanding of the local landscape is helpful for this role.

Skilled labour

Skilled labour

These employees are responsible for sorting plastic and operating the machinery on the site. They should have an understanding of waste segregation and have operated machinery in the past.

Semi - skilled labour

Unskilled labour

These employees may have previously acted as ragpickers and therefore have some knowledge of waste. It’s possible (and recommended) to train them to segregate waste and operate machinery on site, though efficiency levels might be low to begin with.

Recruiting & setup

Labour and staffing - FAQ’s

As a general rule of thumb: you need 4 labour staff per 1 ton of waste per day.

In terms of supervisory staff, if is a big facility e.g. 25 MT per day, you may need to add a few ‘core’ functions e.g. a project manager who is responsible for the overall site (reporting to the site supervisor), and who may oversee the labour supervisors, who in turn oversee the labour. You may also need to add additional positions for administrative support.
Start with asking people who have worked in waste management in the local area: connect with local aggregators or local NGOs to help find you talent. NGOs who work with ragpickers often have databases, or they may be able to connect you to small self-help groups / wastepicker cooperatives.

In some cases, municipal governments are also pulling together databases.
There is no standard training available for these centres, but all employees should be training on basic hygiene and safety, and operating machinery.
A core principle of the centre is to promote better livelihoods in the waste sector, and improve earning prospects and quality of life and work for those involved in waste management. Hiring from the ragpicker community will benefit the ragpickers and their families, and will in turn benefit the reputation of the centre. In addition, ragpickers often have a good foundational knowledge of waste sorting and segregation, and may be more enthusiastic to continue working in waste if provided with better opportunities. It is therefore recommended to hire ragpickers as part of the labour staff and train them to become skilled.

We recommend hiring skilled and unskilled labour in a 50:50 ratio to begin: the unskilled workers can initially do primary sorting, and the skilled workers can operate the machinery.


Day in the Life at Dry Waste MRF

This is what a normal shift at the Material Recovery Facility looks like

Additional Notes:


Policies & regulations

Key policies & regulations

When setting up a centre, there are three key laws and regulations you should be familiar with:
These rules regulate overall waste collection; they help you define what is dry, wet and hazardous waste etc. They also provide an overview of how to segregate and handle waste and how to integrate the informal sector into waste management.

You can find the full set of rules here
These are similar to the solid waste management rules, but focus on plastic waste. They define the different types of plastics, standard pricing policies, how to practice EPR, how to qualify for certification and more.

You can find the full set of rules here

As well as the 2018 updates here
These rules vary in each state, so make sure you find the correct regulations for your state. These rules will include details on standard insurance, minimum wage, fire, hygiene and health & safety compliance. In Mumbai, we reference the Factories Act of Maharashtra, as there are no other guidelines for waste collection centres from ULBs.

Achieving compliance

The local / municipal government will typically act as the central compliance body and have their own auditing requirements. If there’s an investor / grant-maker within your partnership, they will also need compliance certificates as part of monthly reporting. Use the below examples as a checklist of key metrics to track for government and investor compliance.

Chapter Checklist

Chapter 5 - Guidelines for responsible sourcing

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