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Updated: Feb 20, 2022

Written by: Avina Dasot

What is solid Waste?

RCRA states that "solid waste" means any garbage or refuse, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility and other discarded material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, and agricultural operations, and from community activities. Nearly everything we do leaves behind some kind of waste.

It should be noted that solid waste is not only the waste which is physically solid, it can be in the form of semi-solid, liquid, or gaseous. Solid wastes are: metal, garbage, wood, plastic, dirt etc.

Solid waste Management:

Solid-waste management, the collecting, treating, and disposing of solid material that is discarded because it has served its purpose or is no longer useful. Inappropriate discarding of solid waste can create unhygienic conditions, and this will lead to pollution, health problems and harm the environment. Useful Waste management is a crucial part of the public and environmental health. It is most important municipal service; it is the one thing just about every city government provides for its residents.

How can we sustain the waste?

We are purchaser and what we buy and how we dispose totally it impact on our environment. To save environment it totally depends on what kind of end user we are going to be. People who care have to think about environmental impact of what they bought and whether they need to buy. 3R’s: Reduce; Reuse and Recycle have been in the flow for a long time. In more recent years, they have expanded to become the 7R’s of waste management.

Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Repurpose, Reuse, Recycle and Rot! All these 7 concepts are focused on minimizing the waste and to taking steps towards sustainability work your way through all of them and you will be well on your way to saving the environment and living a zero-waste life which is very much important.

  1. Rethink- whenever you go out to buy something do think whether you want it or not or go for second hand goods this way you will able to save resource

  2. Refuse- it simply means to say No which can effectively help to minimize waste. It is an effective way to lower our impact on landfill Eg: refuse the things what you do not need.

  3. Reduce- it means to use less and not wastes so try to reduce wasteful, harmful and non-recyclable products

  4. Repurpose- it is the method of finding some other use of the product for eg: making road of plastics.

  5. Reuse- it is good to reduce first than reuse is secondary it means to prevent solid waste from entering the landfills, the useful products which is discarded by someone who no longer want them and providing them to the people who need them that will also help to improve our society and increase the material, educational for welfare of our citizens.

  6. Recycle- it is the method of collecting and processing the stuff that be thrown away as junk and turning them into new product that will benefit to our environment and our society example paper, metal, glass.

  7. Rot- taking lead of the process of decomposition of nature to manage organic resources like wood, scraps etc when such of the materials are decompose in a controlled environment they turn into compost, it can improve the quality of soil and give the plants beneficial nutrients.

Solid waste management rules:

These replaces the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, which have been in place for the past 16 years. Over 62 millions tonnes of waste is generated annually in the country at present, out of which 5.6 million tonnes is plastic waste, 0.17 million tonnes is biomedical waste, hazardous waste generation is 7.90 million tonnes per annum and 15 lakh tonnes is e-waste . The per capita waste generation in India ranges from 200gm to 600gm per day. Around 31 million dumped in landfill, which means that only about 75-80 per cent of the municipal waste gets collected and only 22-28 per cent of this waste is processed and treated. The waste generation will expand from 62 million tonnes to about 166 million tonnes in 2030. Scientific disposal of solid waste through segregation, collection and treatment and disposal in an environmentally sound manner minimizes the adverse impact on the environment. The local authorities are responsible for the development of infrastructure for collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of MSW. These rules are now applicable beyond municipal areas and extend to urban, census towns, notified industrial townships, areas under the control of Indian Railways, airports, port, defence establishments, government organizations (central and state), pilgrims, religious and historical importance . The source of segregation of waste has been mandated to channelize the waste to the wealth by the recovery ,recycle and reuse. Integration of waste pickers or dealers should be done by the state government or any other group to be formed. No person should burn, throw the waste/garbage on the street or outside his place or in drain or water bodies. The waste generator will have to pay user fee to waste collector and fine for non-segregation.

Time Frame for implementation of SWM Rules:

  • By setting up the solid waste processing facilities by all local bodies within 2 years having 100000 or more population

  • Towns below 100000 population setting up common sanitary landfills by or for all local bodies having 0.5 million or more population and setting up common or regional landfills by all local bodies within 3 years

  • Bio-remediation and abandoned dump sites 5 years.

Duties of Waste Generator

Every waste generator shall segregate and store the waste generated by them in separate streams namely bio-degradable, non-biodegradable and domestic hazardous wastes in bins and handover the segregated wastes to authorized pickers or collectors. All resident welfare and associations and institution with an area less than 5000 sqm and all the restaurant and hotels shall within a year from the date of notification of these rules and in partnership with the local authority by the generators as prescribed in these rules, ensuring segregation of waste, facilitate collection of segregated waste in separate streams handover recyclable material to either the authorized waste pickers or the authorized recyclers. The developers of special economic zone, industrial Estate, to earmark atleast 5% of the total area of the plot or minimum 5 plots for recovery and recycling facility.

Duties of Ministry of urban development

  • They shall formulate National policy and strategy on the solid waste management including the policy on waste to energy in consultation with the stakeholder within six months from the date of notification of these rules; review of the measures taken by the states and the local bodies, undertaking the training and the capacity of local bodies and other stakeholders; providing the technical guidelines and project finance to states, local bodies on solid waste management to facilitate standards

  • Utilization of compost and promotion of marketing

  • Ministry of Agriculture shall make flexible Fertilizer Control Order, promote utilization of compost, testing facility for compost and issue guidelines. The Department of fertilizer’s, ministry of chemicals and fertilizers shall provide market development assistance on city compost promotion of marketing of compost with chemical fertilizer in the ratio of

  • 3 to 4 bags:6 to 7 bags by the fertilizer companies to extent compost is made available for marketing to the companies

Waste to energy plant:

Ministry of power shall fix charges for the power generated from the waste to energy plants based on the solid waste and ensure the compulsory purchase of power generated from such waste to energy plants by the DISCOMs. The ministry of new and renewable energy sources shall facilitate infrastructure creation for waste to energy plants and provide appropriate subsidy or incentives for such waste to energy plants. All industrial units using fuel and located within the 100km from an solid waste based RDF plant shall make arrangements within the 6 months from the date of the notification of these rules to replace at least 5% of their fuel requirement by RDF so produced. The waste which is non-recyclable having the calorific value of 1500cal/kg or more shall not be disposed on landfills and shall be utilized for generating the energy.

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