Solid Waste Management – Know How

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Solid waste refers to all non liquid waste generated from animal and human activities that are discarded as unwanted and useless.

Solid waste is generated from industrial, residential and commercial activities in a given area and maybe handle in a variety of ways.

It refers to collective activity generation, storage, collection, transport or transfer, processing and disposal of solid waste material in such a way that it’s management doesn’t have an adverse effect on environment, public health and conserve our economy.

What’s in it for me:

  1. Sources of solid waste.
  2. Impact of poor management.
  3. Components of solid waste management.
  4. India’s waste generation.
  5. Conclusion
  6. FAQs.

Sources of Solid Waste

In India, tonnes of solid waste is generated every year, a serious cause of environmental pollution everywhere.

Listed below are the various sources of solid waste:

sources of solid waste

Residential

A big chunk of solid waste comes from residences and homes where people live.

For instance, garbage from this source include paper, cardboard, plastics, textiles, leather, yard waste,food waste, special waste( electronics, batteries etc.).

Municipality vehicles collects the waste generated by residents.

 Industrial

Above all, one of the biggest contributors of solid waste are industries.

Moreover, most of the toxic industrial waste are dumped on landfills for slow and gradual decomposition.

Light and heavy manufacturing, fabrication, construction sites, power and chemical plants are some of the typical industrial waste generators.

For instance, this waste consists of packaging, food waste, construction and demolition materials, ashes etc.

Commercial

Another source of solid wastes are commercial facilities and buildings.

In this case stores, hotels, restaurant, market office buildings are part of commercial facilities and buildings.

For instance, some of the solid waste generated from these places include plastic, food waste, metals, paper, glass, wood, special waste and hazardous waste.

Mining solid waste

It includes mine dust, rock tailing, slack and slag.

Certainly, open cast mining completely spoil the surrounding soil.

Above all, toxic chemicals and metals present in the mining wastes destroy vegetation and produce many deformities in animals and human beings.

Agricultural

Crops, orchards, vineyards, dairies, feedlots, farms are the waste generators in the agricultural sector.

These waste include for instance, spoiled food waste, agricultural waste, hazardous waste like pesticides.

Biomedical

This refers to biomedical equipment, hospitals and chemical manufacturing forms.

Waste generated by the biomedical sector are for instance syringes, bandages, used gloves, drugs, paper, plastic, etc.

Impact of Poor Solid Waste Management

Due to improper waste management system by municipalities wastes heap up and become a problem.

People know the importance of cleaning their house but not their surroundings, that’s why they just clean their house.

Listed below are the various adverse effects of improper solid waste management :

Effects on human health

The US PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE has identified 22 human disease which are linked to improper solid waste management.

For instance, burning of garbage could be a reason of major health hazards like asthama, heart attack and esphysema.

Effects of improper waste management

Human fecal matter is also frequently found in municipal waste – this along with un-managed decomposed garbage attracts other rodents and mosquitoes.

It further leads to a spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria.

When hazardous waste like pesticides, batteries are mixed up with paper and other scraps and are burned they produce dioxin and gases.

Certainly, these toxic gases have a potential of causing various diseases include cancer.

Effect on environment

Incineration of garbage is one of the biggest cause of greenhouse emission

Because burning releases carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, Sulphur dioxide and many other harmful gases.

Consequently, the unprocessed garbage releases toxic chemicals that may seep into the soil and pollute the groundwater.

Effect on waste picker families

Effects of improper waste management on rag pickers

Most of the waste pickers are children aged below 18 years in some countries according to an estimation.

Above all, these rag pickers live of in unhygienic environment and suffer from malnutrition, extreme poverty and adverse health infections.

Despite having no protection such as gloves, uniforms, shoes of masks and putting their health to extreme risk they consider garbage as gold.

Moreover, these families are recorded to be affected by several respiratory diseases physical cuts skin diseases and worm infestation.

They are severely discriminated and considered as lowly people in country like India because they do their work of waste picking.

Components of Solid Waste Management

Solid waste management can be divided into five key components and they are:

Components of solid waste management

 Generation

Firstly, generation of solid waste means the stage at which people wish to get rid of the materials they possess which becomes useless for them by throwing them in the dustbin.

Items which may be valueless to one individual may not be necessarily be useless to another.

Storage

Storage is a system for keeping the materials after they have been discarded and prior to collection and final disposal.

Some storage facilities include:

  • At first, small containers like dustbin for household waste.
  • Secondly, large containers like communal bins, oil drums, etc. for commercial of industrial waste.
  • In addition, shallow pits.

In determining the size, quantity and distribution of storage facilities things need to be considered are:

  • Firstly, the number of users
  • Secondly, the type of waste
  • Further, maximum walking distance and
  • The frequency of emptying.

 Collection

Waste collection is a crucial phase of waste management system as if this phases is not done properly then it will become difficult to manage the waste.

In other words, it simply refers to the process of collecting waste for transporting it to the final disposal site.

Certainly, collection systems should be carefully planned to ensure that storage facilities do not become overload.

Transportation

Transportation means moving the solid waste collected to the final disposal site through various modes of transportation for e.g. open hand-cart, donkey- drawn cart, tractor and trailer, tipper truck etc.

Disposal

Safe disposal is the final step of solid waste management.

It includes for instance, burning, burial at landfill sites or at sea of the unwanted solid waste.

The four main methods of solid waste disposal are:

  • Land burial or land filling
  • Incineration
  • Composting
  • Recycling/ Resource recovery.

India’s Solid Waste Generation

Generally in India MSW is disposed of in low lying areas without taking proper precautions are operational controls.

Therefore, municipal solid waste management is one of the major environmental problems of Indian mega cities.

According to press information bureau India generates 62 million tonnes of waste (both recyclable and non recyclable) every year, with an average annual growth rate of 4% (PIB 2016).

There are generally three main categories of waste:

Organic (all kinds of biodegradable waste), dry (recyclable waste) and biomedical (sanitary and hazardous waste).

Categorization of India’s Waste Generation are:

Urban

Urban areas in India generate more than 100000 MT of solid waste per day and 68.8 million tonnes per year.

More than 80% of this waste reaches open dumpsites causing-

  • Firstly, public health issues.
  • Secondly, environmental degradation and
  • Moreover, the Resultant climate change.

There is a marginal increase in waste generation with the rise in incomes according to an audit conducted in the Hyderabad city.

The table below shows that:

    Average waste generated per day in each                     Household  (in Kgs.)
HouseholdsWetDryHazard.Total
High  income Middle income Final Averages0.902 0.887 0.894  0.387 0.235 0.306  0.216 0.200 0.208  0.149 1.322 1.409

Rural

In India, especially in rural areas waste is a severe threat to the public health concerns and cleanliness.

According to an estimation rural people are generating solid waste of 0.3 to 0.4 metric tons per day (organic/recyclable).

Certainly, ten major crops of India generate about 312.5 Mt of crop residues that have nutrient potential of about 6.46 Mt of plant nutrient according to crop production levels.

Above all, India produces around 33 million tonnes of fruits and 50 million tonnes of vegetables annually.

The total dung production estimated to be 450 Mt including the dung   available in union territories.

Recently, the waste that is non-biodegradable such as bottles, cans, plastic etc. are increasing gradually which create big problem to manage them.

Source: researchgate

In short, I have presented you the picture of the solid waste generated in India per day and per year.

Conclusion

So, it can be concluded from this that no matter the region India is drowning in waste and the challenges remain the same for the Indian government to properly manage the waste.

To sum up, many technologies and ways have been developed to efficiently manage the waste, the only thing Indian government needs to do is:

  • Firstly, to educate the people
  • Secondly, strategically planning the waste management system and
  • In addition, join hands with the private sector.

FAQs

Q1. What solid waste management means?


Ans:The term solid waste management refers to the process of collecting, transporting, treating and disposing solid waste.

It also offers solution for recycling items that do not belong to garbage or trash.

Q2. How solid waste management is done?

Ans: There is not one way to implement solid waste management system. It can be done through ways like:

1. By properly following the R’s of waste management
2. By implementing strict laws for not following the waste management rules and many more.

Q3. Will waste management take a mattress?

Ans: Yes, waste management services include pickup of all kind of household items like mattress, major appliances, furniture etc.  

Q4. How can waste management help the environment?

Ans: Waste management helps the environment in the following ways:
1. It helps to curb pollution.

2. When done properly waste management and recycling help to minimize the greenhouse gases.

3. Waste emits these harmful gases but recycling reduces the harmful gases from the environment.

Q5. How waste management affects tourism?

Ans: From my point of view clean places attract people.

So, if waste management is done properly the tourism of that place will definitely increase. It affects tourism in a positive way.

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