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Monday, January 9, 2012

Considerations in the management of waste

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All the developed and developing countries generate waste. According to an estimate, U.S. alone generates about 410, ooo tonnes of solid waste whereas U. K. generates about 50,000 tonnes of solid waste per day. About 3000 tonnes of solid waste per day are transported to landfill sites in Delhi, the National Capital of India. The estimates of solid waste generated per day in other big cities of India like Bangalore, Allahabad, Kolkata and Mumbai are 8000, 1280, 3150 and 6050 tonnes respectively.

With the throw away concept of the modern life style, generation of waste has been consistently increasing both in quantity and complexity. Our municipalities and Municipal corporations are spending about 10% of their total budget for the clearance and disposal of solid waste. Municipal corporations in many Indian cities are taking help of Non- government Organisations. These NGOs collect waste from door to door and dispose at some place designated by the municipal corporations themselves. They take minor charges from the house owners on monthly basis. But in most of the cases no process of recycling of these wastes is being adopted and the waste is dumped at landfill sites. At landfill sites too, no proper process of land filling is adopted by concerned NGOs or municipal corporations.

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Heaps of accumulated solid waste decomposing, and produce harmful gases that pollute the air around community habitations. A number of bacteria, fungi and viruses develop at these places. Flies, insects, rodents etc. visit these stinking heaps and take germs of different types of diseases to human habitations. During rains, the rain water may take a part of these heaps to our water bodies and cause water pollution. Some times, all this leads to the break out of epidemic and other health hazard. During monsoon seasons many deadly diseases use to spread in many Indian cities. Many big cities of India have drains that don’t have any destinations. On the other hand many drains in these cities get choked due to filling of solid wastes in them. During rains these drains overflow and send out the filth contained in them to flow on roads.



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Economics is another consideration in choosing the method of waste disposal. The method chosen has to suite a particular situation, must be scientifically correct and feasible, besides being most economic among various alternatives.
The volume of waste to be disposed is another consideration. When in huge quantities we can not depend on natural decomposition by microbes, as it is a time consuming process. Under these conditions commercial or mass scale techniques, using latest technologies are to be adopted. Simple incineration, as it is adopted by some municipal corporations and hospitals is very harmful to the health of local environment. Unless equipped with advanced techniques, incineration is not advisable.

Some liquid wastes like synthetic fabric colours or dyes, cause serious pollution due to their non-biodegradable nature. Use of organic pigments can be substituted on their places. Dyes are also discharged by pulp and paper mills. Presence of arsenic a waste pollutant has been reported by many researchers. This arsenic comes out from abandoned coal mines during rains and joins rivers passing through them. Tanneries release seriously toxic effluents that join local food-chains. Rag- picking children visit waste dumping sites very frequently. They don’t have the knowledge of nature and bad impacts of wastes and become easy prey to many diseases.



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Key Words: Solidwaste, management,microbes,coalmines,decomposition, incineration

Image credit: 1. dmfyp.blogspot.com, 2.thehindu, 3.detomix

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