Industrial symbiosis potential and urban infrastructure capacity in Mysuru, India

Marian Chertow, Matthew Gordon, Peter Hirsch, Anu Ramaswami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


If the material intensive enterprises in an urban area of several million people shared physical resources that might otherwise be wasted, what environmental and public benefits would result? This study develops an algorithm based on lifecycle assessment tools for determining a city's industrial symbiosis potential - that is, the sum of the wastes and byproducts from a city's industrial enterprises that could reasonably serve as resource inputs to other local industrial processes. Rather than report, as do many previous papers, on private benefits to firms, this investigation focuses on public benefits to cities by converting the maximum quantity of resources recoverable by local enterprises into an estimate of the capacity of municipal infrastructure conserved in terms of landfill space and water demand. The results here test this novel approach for the district of Mysuru (Mysore), India. We find that the industrial symbiosis potential calculated based on analysis of the inputs and outputs of ∼1000 urban enterprises, translates into 84 000 tons of industrial waste, greater than 74 000 tons of CO2e, and 22 million liters per day of wastewater. The method introduced here demonstrates how industrial symbiosis links private production and public infrastructure to improve the resource efficiency of a city by creating an opportunity to extend the capacity of public infrastructure and generate public health co-benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number075003
JournalEnvironmental Research Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Sustainable cities
  • byproduct reuse
  • industrial ecology
  • industrial waste
  • life cycle inventory


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