What s and How s of Waste Management in India

Waste generation cannot be stopped altogether at any time. The only way to handle the problem of mounting waste is to manage the within tolerable limits by resorting to planned waste management. This article throws some light on different aspects of waste and waste management.

What is waste and how it is accumulated

Where there is a use there is a waste. Waste is the residue left after some or most of the inputs are used for a purpose. Waste is also called refuse, rubbish, garbage, effluent, exhaust etc. as per usage and language variations. The beginning of waste starts from the excretion of higher living things and animals. The food they take is digested inside their system and after metabolism the waste is excreted. However these wastes are easily dissipated by action of natural occurring bacteria and absorbed into the soil as manure for further plant life. The main thought of this article is the mount of wastes generated by mankind from their general way of living and the manufacturing, using and disposing of all the artificial conveniences for his life or simply due to human development.

The definition given by United Nations is "Wastes are materials that are not prime products (that is products produced for the market) for which the generator has no further use in terms of his/her own purposes of production, transformation or consumption, and of which he/she wants to dispose. Wastes may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of final products, and other human activities. Residuals recycled or reused at the place of generation are excluded" is rather long winding and complex to a layman.

To understand easily about waste is the throwing the wrapper of a toffee after eating it. Let us magnify the single wrapper to all the population of the world and all these years. Instead of toffee take any other example. The figure of quantity of waste is mind-boggling. Now if I may add many other contributors to the list and a person of normal imagination is likely to faint. The total of human and his pet and farm animal's excreta, waste of food items consumed and the general household waste, the industrial waste, waste from all the hospitals in the world , the radioactive nuclear waste, the waste of used computer and electronic gadgets and appliances, the transport vehicles on the road, air and sea.. . the list can go on as per our imagination's reach. The waste goes on accumulating day by day year by year without respite.

Why is waste a serious concern and waste management needed

Those were the good old days when the earth was less populated; also less populated with industries and electronic gadgets, and man's necessity was less. There was sufficient land to just throw the wastes in any place available around, it will take care itself.
In today's world, the waste generated are enormous, most of these wastes are not dissipated by nature and natural process, and if they remain so they cause harm to humans and other living things and pollute the atmosphere, earth and water. Hence these wastes cannot be allowed to be stored near human and animal habitation, and there simply no places on earth now where this can be safely deposited where from the harmful effects are out of reach. This is what is causing concern about waste and waste materials. This makes the civilised human society to think on waste management.

How wastes are categorized for purpose of waste management

The wastes in general are categorized into may types and categories based on their state, their nature of disposal and dissipation and reusability.
There are Liquid wastes, Solid wastes and gaseous wastes.

Bio-degradable wastes

Wastes which can be degraded and destroyed by the biological process of bacteria and other living things feeding on them are called Bio-degradable wastes. The food wastes from kitchens, carcasses of animals and birds fallen plant matter are all degraded by birds and animals eating them and still others by the worms and insects in the earth.

Non-bio degradable wastes.

Those wastes which are not bio- degradable are called non-bio degradable. Non-bio degradable wastes may be degraded by other physical or chemical methods.

Hazardous and Toxic wastes

Wastes which are harmful to plants, animal and human life and cause injury to human beings are hazardous wastes. If they are poisonous or cause death to humans they are toxic wastes

Usual ways of waste disposal.

Dumping or burying - Wastes are dumped into pits or dumpyards and allowed to fill the land or pile up.

  • Composting : wastes are covered in bins or ground earth under soil and allowed to degrade by bio –degradation and the residual matter after degradation for days is used ass manure for plants .

  • Burning : the wastes are accumulated and burned.

  • Reuse : some wastes are not destroyed after use , but given to others for their use.

What are impacts of wastes in modern world

Waste accumulation or dumping, invites flies, pest, insects, cockroaches, rodents, birds of prey and all other nuisance, bad odour and unhygienic condition d for living in the locality. Bio medical wastes with pathogens and harmful bacteria and virus can cause epidemics also.
Soil contamination and pollution of ground water source is another ill effect of waste accumulation. The non degradable wastes remain for years and make the land unusable and may cause injury even years later.

What is waste management

Waste management is a well devised strategy of disposing the generated wastes with least possible harm to environment and life, and also to reduce generation of wastes. It includes all factors of managing wastes from collection, pooling, transporting, treating, processing and disposing waste. The waste management approach varies according to the type of waste and the final aim of the waste management. Modern technologies are used for this.

Under modern waste management, there are well planned and established mechanism to collect household garbage segregate them into types and transport them to the relevant treatment centres.

Conversions of waste to energy

The wastes are converted to usable form of energy. The bio-gas plants use the farm animal excretion treated in bio-gas plants and the gas generated are used as cooking gas for stoves.
The waste of wood peels, are again used in boilers in factories. Coconut and rice husks are used for heaters and boilers in oil factories and rice plants.

Kerala government has started an experimental waste treatment plant for treating the waste from a market in a town and the electricity produced by using the waste is used to light the area of the market.

Reusing wastes

Plastic is a non-bio degradable matter. Hence plastic wastes cause a big environmental problem. Most governments have prescribed norms only to produce plastic carry bags above a particular thickness. This is to enable reuse and reduce waste. People are encouraged to put to use the old products by donating to the needy people or country. In one way this helps but in another way it encourages waste dumping by developed countries in underdeveloped or developing countries.

Recycling Waste

Recycling is one welcome result of waste management. This is very helpful in the case o the modern appliances and gadgets. Recycling is resorted to in plastic and metal industries. Governments are encouraging by giving incentives to recycling.

Legal frame work in waste management

The Basel convention on the control of trans boundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal in 1989 of UN has made the basic scope and objective on hazardous wastes as basis for international norms. The provisions of the Convention "center around the following principal aims: (i) the reduction of hazardous waste generation and the promotion of environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, wherever the place of disposal; (ii) the restriction of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes except where it is perceived to be in accordance with the principles of environmentally sound management; and (iii) a regulatory system applying to cases where transboundary movements are permissible."
India has its "the Hazardous Wastes (Management, Handling and Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2008."

1st International Conference WASTES:Solutions,Treatments and Opportunities
The above conference is going to be held during 12 to 14 September 2011 at Guimaraes, Portugal . "The primary goal of this event is to bring together experts from the Waste Management and Recycling sectors from around the world, offering valuable and new information and sharing their experience to all who attend".

India gets first e-waste management rules

The e-waste (management and handling) Rules, 2011 will come into effect from May 1, 2012 These rules make it producers' liability for recycling and reducing e-waste in the country.

Waste management in India

India is a fast developing nations. With a population of over 1.2 billion, and urbanization growing at a fast pace, the consumption patters are almost catching up with other developed countries.. This shows mostly in the field of automobile, electronic and electrical appliances, computers and mobile phones. All of these contribute for an increased amount of waste production. The waste management in India has not caught up with this pace in framing a solid policy and implementation.
But the country has started on this and the latest is the framing "The e-waste (management and handling) Rules, 2011" notified by the Ministry of Environments and Forestry recently, which will come to effect from May 2012.

India has some very special problems of child rag pickers and the shipbreaking industry in Alang etc. The problems are now being attended on by state governments also.

Waste management is Kerala's new mission

News item dated August 20,2011 –" After the success of prestigious literacy mission of Kerala, the state is planning to fix its target on waste management. Soon the government will announce the project in the state. Malappuram will be the first district to be selected for this project.
The state Industries and Urban Development Minister P K Kunjalikkutty said, "To handle the issue of waste in the state, we need to educate people in this direction. We need a mission like the literacy mission we had."
Kerala government has started an experimental waste treatment plant for treating the waste from a market in a town and the electricity produced by using the waste is used to light the area of the market.

Future Waste Management may have to consider Everest and outer Space

Mount Everest has attracted thousands of climbers since the first conquest. It has now become another dump yard for wastes recently there was a unique mission of a set of climbers who brought back tons of rubbish thrown in the serene peak and base.
Outer space which was a vacuum is now getting populated with lost and expired space vehicles, used junks, broken debris from space vehicles and international space station. So very soon our future articles may have chapters on Waste management in outer space also.
Let us hope that our words on waste management at least do not go waste.

Waste accumulated on Everest
Image Link: Waste accumulated on Everest
(image source Thanks to:everestsummiteersassociation.org)


Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman03 Sep 2011 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

rather than talking about the waste management elaboratively, we,ourselves,should prepare to
1.Think twice before throwing a thing as a waste - whether is a real waste.

2.put the waste only into the dustbin.

3.never put even a bit paper on the roadside.

4.never spit on the road with or without any pan ect.,

5.watch not to get the dustbin overflown and if so inform the respective authorities or wait to dump our waste till it is cleared.

Author: K Mohan06 Aug 2014 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

This is the most important topic to be discussed by all because day in day out we are facing the pollution from filth and waste thrown in street corners. I am really at a loss to understand the fact that the Municipalities, instead of using the garbage waste for energy purpose are stooping to the level of burning the same and that is giving toxic and bad odour smell to the nearby dwellings. Some of the waste yards are located near the big colonies. For example the Hyderabad waste is being dumped and collected from Indira Park area just beneath the Tank Bund. Please note that many people take morning walks on the Tank Bund and the foul smell really disturbs the good breeze.

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