Increasing urbanization and its effects have led to a constantly changing lifestyle posing a serious challenge to the proper management of waste generated at the domestic and industrial level in front of modern society. Not only is the volume of waste increasing year-on-year, but the nature of solid waste is also changing with the increasing share of plastics and packaging materials. Although the growing problem of waste management has made the country think again on this subject and many such commendable efforts are being made in this context, but such efforts have not yet been done on a wide scale in the country. Have failed to prove their utility to deal with the problem of.
What is waste?
- With urbanization, industrialization and population explosion, solid waste management has become an important challenge for state governments and local municipal bodies in the 21st century.
- According to experts, waste refers to the remaining unused substance after our use. When it comes to literal meaning, waste indicates ‘unwanted’ and ‘unusable material’.
Waste can be classified into the following parts:
Solid Waste: Solid waste includes waste from homes, factories or hospitals.
Wet Waste: Any liquid based waste coming from wastewater plants and houses etc. is classified under liquid waste.
Dry waste: Waste which is not liquid or liquid in any form, comes under dry waste.
Biodegradable Waste: Any organic material that can be synthesized by organisms in soil into carbon-dioxide, water, and methane.
Nonbiodegradable Waste :): Any organic material that cannot be synthesized into carbon-dioxide, water, and methane.
As per the 2016 data released by the Press Information Bureau-PIB, India produces about 62 million tonnes of waste per day.
Impact on ecosystem and health
- Several studies have shown that if waste management is not managed properly, it adversely affects specific ecosystems such as marine and coastal. Marine waste has been seen as a serious concern over the past few years. This not only affects the productivity of the marine ecosystem, but it also affects the lives of many marine species.
- Waste both directly or indirectly affects our health and well-being in many ways. As methane gas contributes to climate change, clean water sources get contaminated.
- Waste not only impacts the ecosystem and health, but also increases the economic burden on society. Apart from this, a lot of money is also spent in waste management. Creating an infrastructure for waste collection, sorting, and recycling is relatively expensive, although once established, money can be generated through recycling and employment can also be created.
- According to the World Health Organization-WHO, 22 types of diseases can be controlled by improving solid waste management in India.
- Waste management refers to the adoption of appropriate procedures for collecting and treating waste. In simple words, the only meaning of waste management is to convert and use waste as a valuable resource.
- Waste management methods:
- Landfill: It is currently the most popular method used for waste management. In this method, waste is collected in empty spaces around cities. While doing so it is taken care that the area where the waste is being collected is covered with soil to prevent contamination. Experts believe that this method can prove to be economical if designed correctly.
- Incineration: In this method the waste is burnt at high temperature until it turns into ash. The method of waste management can be done at the level of individual, municipal and institutions. The best thing about this method is that it reduces the amount of waste by 20-30%. However, this method is considered relatively expensive.
- Pyrolysis: Under this method of waste management, solid waste is chemically decomposed without the presence of oxygen.
Related Legal Provisions:
Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016
- According to the rules, polluters would classify the entire waste into three types viz. Bio degradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous wastes and place them in separate compartments to the waste collector as determined by the local body.
- In addition to this, the pollutant will pay the usage charges prescribed by the local bodies. These charges will be determined by regulations made by local bodies.
- Under this rule various parties viz – various ministries of Government of India like Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Urban Development, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, District Magistrate, Gram Panchayat, Local Bodies, State Pollution Control Board The duties of Adi are also mentioned.
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste Management Rules
- These rules apply to the building construction and all activities related to it, from where the waste is produced.
- Under this rule, these provisions are that the waste producer who will produce the same or more waste of 20 tons per day and 300 tons per month, will have to obtain appropriate approval from the local body for each construction and sabotage and it must complete its entire waste Has to be classified into concrete, clay, wood, plastic, brick etc. and given to the collector.
E-waste management rules
- E-waste Management Rules, 2016 came into effect from October 2016.
- This rule applies to every manufacturer, producer, consumer, vendor, waste collector, remedial and user, etc.
- Informal sector workers will be formalized and workers will be trained to manage e-waste.
- Prior to this rule, the E-waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011 was operational.
Waste Management Challenges
- Along with the intensification of urbanization, solid waste production has also increased which has significantly disrupted solid waste management.
- Most urban local bodies in India struggle to provide efficient waste management services due to lack of finance, infrastructure and technology.
- Although solid waste management rules-2016 mandate the segregation of waste, this rule is often not followed on a large scale.
- Most municipalities collect solid waste at open dump sites without any special treatment. Often these types of sites produce bacteria of diseases on a very large scale and diseases living nearby are also greatly affected by it. The contaminated chemical found in ground water from these types of places causes great harm to the lives of common people.
- Many experts also consider these sites responsible for air pollution.
- Another problem is that most of the finance allocated for waste management goes to the collection and transportation, while very little remains for processing and disposal.
- The waste management sector in India is mainly constituted by informal workers, most of whom are poor living in cities. Being informal workers, these people do not get functional and social security.
- The country needs a comprehensive waste management policy that emphasizes the need for decentralized waste disposal practices to encourage private participants to participate in the sector.
- The importance of citizen participation and participation in improving the waste management sector cannot be denied.
- Efforts should be made to educate and educate the people about waste disposal in the country, as it is necessary to change the mindset of the people to bring changes in the society.
- There is a need to encourage research and development to strengthen the waste management system. At the time of policy making, our focus should be on recycling and recovery rather than building more landfills.
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