The recycling sector in India, which consists of a comprehensive trade and production sector, is rather complex. Nevertheless, it creates important benefits for both the economy and the environment. In order to comprehend the system, a case study has been performed on the recycling sector (paper, plastic, glass and non-ferrous metal) in Bangalore (India), focussing on the market structure, the scale of operation, employment effects, constraints, and recent developments. It was found that this highly competitive and labour-intensive industry is largely dependent on cheap labour and the supply of solid waste from the local trade system. Its mostly informal nature results from the ‘unregisteredness’ of the materials. Consequently, government involvement is avoided as much as possible. With present growth rates, prospects of recycling in Bangalore are advancing. Yet, problems such as lack of supply and loss of quality emerge. Therefore, quality control and market conditions should be improved.
- Urban solid waste; Waste trade; Informal; Bangalore; India; Development; Economics