waste-management-in-india

In News

  • Indore has managed to flatten a landfill by chipping away 15 lakh metric tonnes of waste at a cost of around 10 crores in just 3 years by using 20 trommel machines and bioremediation and biomining techniques.
  • Similar work will start in Okhla, Ghazipur and Bhalswa from October 1 in accordance with the deadline set by the National Green Tribunal.
Waste Management
  • Waste management (or waste disposal) are the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal.
  • This includes the collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation of the waste management process.
  • Waste can be solid, liquid, or gas and each type has different methods of disposal and management. Waste management deals with all types of waste, including industrial, biological and household.
Methods of Waste Disposal
  • Landfill- The Landfill is the most popularly used method of waste disposal used today. This process of waste disposal focuses attention on burying the waste in the land.
  • Incineration/Combustion - Incineration or combustion is a type of disposal method in which municipal solid wastes are burned at high temperatures so as to convert them into residue and gaseous products.
  • Recovery and Recycling - Resource recovery is the process of taking useful discarded items for a specific next use. These discarded items are then processed to extract or recover materials and resources or convert them to energy in the form of useable heat, electricity or fuel.
  • Recycling is the process of converting waste products into new products to prevent energy usage and consumption of fresh raw materials. Recycling is the third component of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle waste The idea behind recycling is to reduce energy usage, reduce the volume of landfills, reduce air and water pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preserve natural resources for future use.
  • Plasma gasification - Plasma gasification is another form of waste management. Plasma is primarily an electrically charged or highly ionized gas. With this method of waste disposal, a vessel uses characteristic plasma torches operating at +10,000 °F which is creating a gasification zone till 3,000 °F for the conversion of solid or liquid wastes into a
Waste Management in India
  • India generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day, with Mumbai being the world’s fifth most wasteful city. Yet, only 83% of waste is collected and less than 30% is treated.
  • According to the World Bank, India’s daily waste generation will reach 377,000 tonnes by 2025.
Problems in India in how waste is treated:
  • Segregation of waste - into organic, recyclable and hazardous categories is not enforced at the source. As a result, mixed waste lands up in landfills, where waste-pickers, in hazardous conditions, try to salvage the recyclables, which are of poor quality and quantity by then.
  • Pay for waste management - Ideally, waste management should not be offered free of cost to residents. Only if residents pay will they realise the importance of segregation and recycling.
  • Contractors - The logistical contractors are motivated to dump more garbage in landfills as their compensation is proportional to the tonnage of waste. They are also prone to illegally dump waste at unauthorised sites to reduce transportation costs.
  • No economical alternative - Organic farming and composting are not economically attractive to the Indian farmer, as chemical pesticides are heavily subsidised, and the compost is not efficiently marketed.
Way forward:
  • There is a need to give sufficient power to the local bodies across India to decide the user fees.
  • Municipal authorities should levy user fees for collection, disposal and processing from bulk generators.
  • As per the rules, the generator will have to pay “User Fee” to the waste collector and a “Spot Fine” for littering and non-segregation, the quantum of which will be decided by the local bodies.
  • The need of the hour is we need a comprehensive waste management policy that stresses the need for decentralised garbage disposal practices. This will incentivise private players to participate.
  • Behavioural change and citizen/community participation in SWM is the key to sustain a project related to the management of municipal solid waste.
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