Friday, December 10, 2010

Human and animal activities generate different kinds of wastes. These wastes are generally in solid form, and may cause pollution of land, water, and air unless treated and disposed off. The process of collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal can be grouped under solid waste management.


The main sources for solid wastes are domestic, commercial, industrial, municipal, and agricultural wastes.

The composition of a city waste is as follows:

- Paper, wood, cardboard 53 percent
- Garbage 22 percent
- Ceramics, glass, crockery 10 percent
- Metals 8 percent
- Rubber, plastics, discarded textiles 7 percent

The increase in the quantity of solid waste is due to overpopulation, affluence, and technological advancement.

Effects of Waste Pollution

a) Health Hazard
If solid wastes are not collected and allowed to accumulate, they may create unsanitary conditions. This may lead to epidemic outbreaks. Many diseases like cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, plague, jaundice, or gastro-intestinal diseases may spread and cause loss of human lives.
In addition, improper handling of the solid wastes is a health hazard for the workers who come in direct contact with the waste.

b) Environmental Impact

If the solid wastes are not treated properly, decomposition and putrefaction may take place, causing land and water pollution when the waste products percolate down into the underground water resources. The organic solid waste during decomposition may generate obnoxious odors. Stray dogs and birds may sometimes invade garbage heaps and may spread it over the neighborhood causing unhygienic and unhealthy surroundings.

Control Measures
The main purpose of solid waste management is to minimize the adverse effects on the environment. The steps involved are:
- Collection of solid wastes
- Disposal of solid wastes
- Utilization of wastes

Collection of solid wastes:
Collection of waste includes gathering the waste, transporting it to a centralized location, and then moving it to the site of disposal.
The collected waste is then separated into hazardous and non-hazardous materials. There are a number of waste separation technologies available such as air stripping, stream stripping, carbon absorption, and precipitation.

Disposal of solid wastes
Before the final disposal of the solid wastes, it is processed to recover the usable resources and to improve the efficiency of the solid waste disposal system. The main processing technologies are compaction, incineration, and manual separation. The appropriate solid waste disposal method has to be selected, keeping in view the following objectives:
- should be economically viable
- should not create a health hazard
- should not cause adverse environmental effects
- should not result in unpleasant sight, odor, and noise

Utilization of wastes
The solid wastes can be properly utilized to reap the benefits such as:
- conservation of natural resources
- economic development
- generate many useful products
- employment opportunities
- control of air pollution

ISWA – The International Solid Waste Association – is an international, independent and non-profit making association, working in the public interest to promote and develop sustainable waste management worldwide. ISWA has members around the world and is the only worldwide association promoting sustainable and professional waste management.

National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI)

The introduction of new materials, especially packaging materials, plastics and the like pose a different set of problems of disposal due to their inherent non biodegradability, among others. 
The problems of industrial solid waste are different and the nature and quantity depends on the product, raw materials and the process involved this requires careful consideration of management. 

With this in mind, an association called “National Solid Waste Association of India (NSWAI)” has been formed on 25th January 1996. The association is also a member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and provides forum for exchange of information and expertise in the field of Solid Waste Management at the international level.

The objectives of NSWAI are as follows:
  • Development of Solid waste management as a profession.
  • Research and development in solid waste management.
  • Development of expertise in solid waste management
  • Development of good solid waste management practices.
  • Development of standards in solid waste management.
  • Improvement in legislation and its enforcement in the field of Solid Waste Management.
  • Awareness and community involvement in Solid Waste Management.
  • Professional recognition Nationally and Internationally and to get affiliation to the International Solid Waste Association.
  • Development of a National Policy on Solid Waste Management In India
Did you know ?

  • India’s potable water quality ranks 120 out of 122 countries.
  • 57% of Delhi’s waste is dumped in YAMUNA
  • Dal Lake figures in the top 100 polluted lakes in the world
  • Only 5% of the collected municipal waste is composted
  • About 0.1 million tonnes of municipal solid waste is generated in India

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