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Natural Resource Degradation - Solid Waste Management/E-waste Management/Treatment Methods for Waste Management
                                                                                                    December 19, 2017

Solid Waste Management

India has emerged as the world’s fifth largest electronic waste (e-waste) producer. India discards roughly 18.5 lakh tonnes of e-waste each year and telecom equipment alone accounts for 12% of it.

are materials which are discarded after use at the end of their intended life-span. Waste management is a collective activity involving segregation, collection, transportation, re-processing, recycling and disposal of various types of wastes. Waste management differs for different types of wastes and for wastes in different geographical locations such as urban, rural and hilly areas.

While the management of non-hazardous domestic waste is the joint responsibility of the citizens and the local government, the management of commercial, industrial and hazardous waste is the responsibility of the waste generators like commercial establishments, healthcare establishments, industries and the pollution control boards.

Sustainable waste management can be achieved through strategic planning, institutional capacity building, fiscal incentives, techno-economically viable technologies, public-private partnerships, community participation and such others.


Rapid industrialization and population explosion in India has led to the migration of people from villages to cities, which generate thousands of tons of MSW daily. The MSW amount is expected to increase significantly in the near future as the country strives to attain an industrialized nation status by the year 2020.

The quantity of waste generated in Indian cities reported to be in the range of 0.2-0.6 kg/capita /day as per the “Manual on Solid Waste Management” prepared by Central Public Health & Environment Engineering Organisation (CPHEEO), Ministry of Urban Development, and Government of India.

The Waste Generation pattern is very much dependant on the living style of the population. As the major share of the population is labour force in Dibang, the waste generation factor of 0.3 kg/capita/day has been taken into consideration.

Solid waste management consists:

Municipal waste: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) or Urban Solid Waste is a waste that includes predominantly household waste (domestic waste) with sometimes the addition of commercial wastes, construction and demolition debris, sanitation residue, and waste from streets , institutes such as hospitals, collected by a municipality within a given area. They are in either solid or semisolid form and generally exclude industrial hazardous wastes.

Electronic waste: Electronic metal waste, printed circuits boards, e-equipments, machinery, IC, Sockets connections etc.

Biomedical waste: Hospitals generate various kinds of wastes from wards, operation theatres and outpatient areas. These wastes include bandages, cotton, soiled linen, body parts, sharps (needle, syringes etc), medicines (discarded or expired), laboratory wastes etc which carry infection and should be properly collected, segregated, stored, transported, treated and disposed to prevent contamination and infection.

India generates a huge quantity of Bio Medical Waste (BMW) every year. Almost 28% of the wastes is left untreated and not disposed finding its way in dumps or water bodies and re-enters our system.

Following are the major sources of generation of waste at urban level:

• Solid waste from Residential areas, Institutional/ Community areas
• Solid waste from vegetables markets (retail and wholesale)
• Solid waste from Hotels, and restaurants
• Solid waste from commercial areas
• Biomedical waste from hospitals and dispensaries
• Waste from domestic / stray animals /dairies
• Solid waste from Industries
• Waste from street cleansing

Solid waste management includes the entire process of dealing with solid waste, starting from the collection from the primary source to ultimately disposing off it hygienically, so that it may not be a nuisance or create any harmful effect on nearby community.

The solid waste management involves- management at waste generation level, storage at the source of generation, primary collection, street cleansing, temporary storage at locality level, regular and periodic transportation of this temporarily collected waste to disposing sites and treatment plants.

Issues in solid waste management in India:

• In most of the cities in India, the scientific and systematic storage of waste at source is not in practice.
• The waste is normally thrown in nearby vacant areas, government vacant land, drains, streets etc.
• Because of waste thrown on the street the environment becomes ugly and unhygienic , so even in case of regular cleaning be Municipal Workers also, the city cannot be kept clean for more than 2-3 hours .
• At sources people generally don’t arrange to provide proper dustbins, in residential, institutional and commercial areas.
• In case of open drains and large drains passing across the city, people throw waste and these drains are clogged, width of large drains is reduced because of continuous dumping.
• People generally use following items to collect waste at source: buckets, polythene packets, plastic bins, metal bins with and without lids.
• People generally don’t take the waste to the designated points they carry it to nearby roads, railway tracks, open plots etc and generally people avoid walking to the designated disposal points.
• So when wind blows the heap of solid waste get carried away by wind and spread in large areas and when there are rain the problem get aggravated.
• There is no system of keeping the Bio degradable and non Bio degradable waste separately. No processing of the waste is done in most cities. Very few cities have the organizational and administrative set – up to subject the waste to treatment process like composting and that too on a very limited scale. Most of the wastes are disposed by the concerned agency at an open dump without going in to the details of either site or wastes. There is no adherence to any standards or norms for disposal and the sites are not scientifically managed.

The land filling practice in most Indian cities is one of the most unscientific and unhygienic practices with serious environmental implications. The wastes are brought to the site and dumped. There is no consideration for leach ate gases and cove. The land fill sites are mostly accessible to scavengers, animals and vectors.

• Sweepers generally restrict themselves only to the sweeping of the streets and cleaning of drains.
• Sweepers avoid door stop collection of wastes in some areas; private sweepers collect the waste and deposit it to the collection points.
• Municipal manpower and financial resources are very less contextual to the gravity of problem, and available resources are not properly used.


1. Possible Waste Management Options:

(a) Waste Minimization construction waste recycling
(b) Material Recycling
(c) Waste Processing (Resource Recovery)
(d) Waste Transformation
(e) Sanitary Landfilling – Limited land availability is a constraint in Metro cities.

2. Processing / Treatment should be:
(i) Technically sound
(ii) Financially viable
(iii) Eco-friendly / Environmental friendly
(iv) Robust operate & maintain by local community
(v) Long term sustainability