Waste Management and Disposal
Waste is an unavoidable by-product of most human activity. Economic development and rising living standards in the Asian and Pacific Region have led to increases in the quantity and complexity of generated waste, whilst industrial diversification and the provision of expanded health-care facilities have added substantial quantities of industrial hazardous waste and biomedical waste into the waste stream with potentially severe environmental and human health consequences. Waste is a general term used to describe any material that is no longer useful.
Its composition and volume largely depend on consumption patterns and the industrial and economic structures in place. Air quality, water and soil contamination, space consumption and odors all affect our quality of life. On a global scale, calculating the amount of waste being generated presents a problem. The Basel Convention has estimated the amount of hazardous and other waste generated for 2000 and 2001 at 318 and 338 million tons respectively. Waste is also a result of: Overproduction – making things before they are needed
Waiting – the time and resources consumed in between major steps in a process. Transporting – the unnecessary movement and handling of work. Inappropriate Processing – involves resource overkill, also known as ‘gold platting’. Unnecessary Inventory – in manufacturing the concern is Work-In-Progress (WIP). Unnecessary / Excess Motion — refer to the unnatural acts that people are made to perform in doing their job. Defects – errors are the common focus of improvement disciplines like six-sigma.
Municipal solid waste is generated from households, offices, hotels, shops, schools and other institutions. The major components are food waste, paper, plastic, rags, metal and glass, although demolition and construction debris is often included in collected waste, as are small quantities of hazardous waste, such as electric light bulbs, batteries, automotive parts and discarded medicines and chemicals 2. Industrial Waste Industrial solid waste in the Asian and Pacific Region, as elsewhere, encompasses a wide range of materials of varying environmental toxicity.
Typically this range would include paper, packaging materials, waste from food processing, oils, solvents, resins, paints and sludges, glass, ceramics, stones, metals, plastics, rubber, leather, wood, cloth, straw, abrasives, etc. As with municipal solid waste, the absence of a regularly up-dated and systematic database on industrial solid waste ensures that the exact rates of generation are largely unknown. 3. Agricultural Waste and Residues Expanding agricultural production has naturally resulted in increased quantities of livestock waste, agricultural crop residues and agro-industrial by-products. . Biomedical Waste The number of hospitals and health care institutions in the Asian and Pacific Region has been increasing to meet the medical and health care requirements of the growing population. Although city planners have long taken into consideration the provision of medical and health care institutions and services, until recent years, they, and even municipal waste management authorities, have paid very little attention to the wastes generated from these facilities, which are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. .
Radioactive or Nuclear Waste Information regarding disposal practices for radioactive waste is not extensive and few systematic country surveys have been conducted. In Japan, low level radioactive waste generated from 46 operating nuclear power plants is packed into 2 000 liter drums and temporarily stored in on-site storehouses. 6. Due to advancement in technology another type of waste is the Waste electrical and electronic equipment (commonly referred to as WEEE) consists of end of life products and comprises of a range of electrical and lectronic items such as, Refrigerators, IT and telecommunication equipment, Freezers, Electrical and electronic tools, Washing machines, Medical equipment Toasters, Monitoring and control instruments, Hairdryers, Automatic dispensers, Televisions, etc. Impact of Waste Disposing of waste has huge environmental impacts and can cause serious problems. In the UK much is buried in landfill sites – holes in the ground, sometimes old quarries, sometimes specially dug. Some waste will eventually rot, but not all, and in the process it may smell or generate methane gas, which is explosive and contributes to the greenhouse effect.
Leach ate produced as waste decomposes may cause pollution. Badly-managed landfill sites may attract vermin or cause litter. Litter is basically Land spoilage, degradation of land that occurs due to either natural or man-made causes. Waste that is not properly managed, especially excreta and other liquid and solid waste from households and the community, are a serious health hazard and lead to the spread of infectious diseases. Unattended waste lying around attracts flies, rats, and other creatures that in turn spread disease.
Plastic waste is another cause for ill health. 1st page left -After more than a century of heavy industrialization and consumption, the planet’s inhabitants are feeling the impacts of over-crowded garbage dumps, contaminated sites, acid rain and polluted air and water. Along with industry, the everyday actions of individuals – such as driving, yard work, home energy and home water use. 2nd page right -Oceans make up the main part of water bodies on the earth and are also home to a large number and wide variety of species or life forms.
Over the years and especially in modern times, surplus human activities have adversely affected the marine life. The most important ill effect has been pollution. Incidents of oil spills, industrial waste dumping, garbage disposal and accumulation of various toxic materials as wastes, from many processes has polluted almost all the major aquatic bodies around the globe. Need for Waste Management in India India generates around 0. 2 to 0. 3 million tons of waste on an average every day.
A city like Bangalore generates around 3500-4000 tons of waste while Mumbai and Delhi average almost double of this. The onus of disposing this waste in a safe way falls on the municipal corporation. While the developed nations also face the complicated issue of waste disposal, there is a fundamental difference – other nations have been able to achieve high levels of source segregation and have done much more scientific studies on the various disposal techniques and more importantly, implemented them through active public-private participation.
Apart from the obvious environmental hazards, there are direct and indirect economic costs to this – while the healthcare costs go up due to the air and water pollution happening in the vicinity of the populace, so do the remedial costs for mitigating the contamination of water table due to the seepage of the waste into it. Especially in India, where this network is huge, this problem will become rampant when corporates undertake what the rag pickers have been doing for ages and is their sole source of livelihood. Proper waste disposal is of great importance to both rural and urban areas.
Not doing this may bring us to danger in many ways and surely everybody knows this. Time and again, people are always being educated about the importance of waste but then this process should not stop because every now and then, people forget. So, going back to proper waste disposal, there are so many ways on how people can minimize the accumulation of waste for lesser job to be done in the future. Methods of Safe Disposal of Waste For over thirty years, African nations have been used as the dump station for hazardous waste materials from countries larger and richer.
These countries are attempting to lower the costs by disposing or recycling hazardous by-products created by their industrial business. Many African nations have been sought financial gain by importing hazardous waste from the west because they are trapped with economic affliction. Waste disposal is a growing problem worldwide and is directly connected to industrial development and population growth. Since early modern times, disposing of waste has been an important concern for individuals and community officials. Although there have been recent advancements in waste disposal, it remains an overall public safety and environmental health issue hat countries around the world continue to address. there are many steps to manage or prevent the accumulation of waste: 1.
Segregating waste Waste can be segregated as 1. Biodegradable 2. Non Biodegradable. Biodegradable wastes include organic waste, e. g. kitchen waste, vegetables, fruits, flowers, leaves from the garden, and paper. Non biodegradable waste can be further segregated into: a) Recyclable waste – plastics, paper, glass, metal, etc. b) Toxic waste – old medicines, paints, chemicals, bulbs, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries, shoe polish. ) Soiled – hospital waste such as cloth soiled with blood and other body fluids. 2. Dumping of Waste A landfill site is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment. Historically, landfills have been the most common methods of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world. Landfills may include internal waste disposal as well as sites used by many producers. Many landfills are also used for waste management purposes, such as the temporary storage, consolidation and transfer, or processing of waste material (sorting, treatment, or recycling). .
Composting Composting is nature’s way of recycling. Composting biodegrades organic waste. i. e. food waste, manure, leaves, grass trimmings, paper, wood, feathers, crop residue etc. , and turns it into a valuable organic fertilizer. Composting is a natural biological process, carried out under controlled aerobic conditions (requires oxygen). In this process, various microorganisms, including bacteria and fungi, break down organic matter into simpler substances. The effectiveness of the composting process is dependent upon the environmental conditions present within the composting system i. e. xygen, temperature, moisture, material disturbance, organic matter and the size and activity of microbial populations. 4. Drainage Drainage is the natural or artificial removal of surface and sub-surface water from an area. Many agricultural soils need drainage to improve production or to manage water supplies. Wetland soils may need drainage to be used for agriculture. In the northern USA and Europe, glaciations created numerous small lakes which gradually filled with humus to make marshes. Some of these were drained using open ditches and trenches to make muck lands, which are primarily used for high value crops such as vegetables.
After periods of high rainfall, drainage pumps are employed to prevent damage to the citrus groves from overly wet soils. There are many different types of drainage solutions and drainage installation methods. Choosing the right one often can help alleviate a drainage problem. The installation of the French drain is generally made to best facilitate the distribution of water away from problem areas. 5. Treatment of Effluents Before Discharge Sewage treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and household sewage, both runoff (effluents) and domestic.
It includes physical, chemical, and biological processes to remove physical, chemical and biological contaminants. Its objective is to produce an environmentally-safe fluid waste stream (or treated effluent) and a solid waste (or treated sludge) suitable for disposal or reuse (usually as farm fertilizer). Using advanced technology it is now possible to re-use sewage effluent for drinking water, although Singapore is the only country to implement such technology on a production scale in its production of NEWater. 6. Incineration
Incineration is a waste treatment process that involves the combustion of organic substances contained in waste materials. Incineration and other high temperature waste treatment systems are described as “thermal treatment”. Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas, and heat. The ash is mostly formed by the inorganic constituents of the waste, and may take the form of solid lumps or particulates carried by the flue gas. The flue gases must be cleaned of gaseous and particulate pollutants before they are dispersed into the atmosphere.
In some cases, the heat generated by incineration can be used to generate electric power. Incinerators reduce the solid mass of the original waste by 80–85% and the volume (already compressed somewhat in garbage trucks) by 95-96 %, depending on composition and degree of recovery of materials such as metals from the ash for recycling.  This means that while incineration does not completely replace landfilling, it significantly reduces the necessary volume for disposal. 7. Use of Scrubbers And Electrostatic Precipitators Scrubber’ systems are a diverse group of air pollution control devices that can be used to remove some particulates and/or gases from industrial exhaust streams. Traditionally, the term “scrubber” has referred to pollution control devices that use liquid to wash unwanted pollutants from a gas stream. Recently, the term is also used to describe systems that inject a dry reagent or slurry into a dirty exhaust stream to “wash out” acid gases. Scrubbers are one of the primary devices that control gaseous emissions, especially acid gases.
Scrubbers can also be used for heat recovery from hot gases by flue-gas condensation. There are several methods to remove toxic or corrosive compounds from exhaust gas and neutralize it. An electrostatic precipitator (ESP), or electrostatic air cleaner is a particulate collection device that removes particles from a flowing gas (such as air) using the force of an induced electrostatic charge. Electrostatic precipitators are highly efficient filtration devices that minimally impede the flow of gases through the device, and can easily remove fine particulate matter such as dust and smoke from the air stream. 1] In contrast to wet scrubbers which apply energy directly to the flowing fluid medium, an ESP applies energy only to the particulate matter being collected and therefore is very efficient in its consumption of energy (in the form of electricity). Conclusion In a country like India, which aspires to be a global economic giant, public health and quality of life are degrading everyday with the increasing gap between services required and those provided.
India is also considered a sacred nation by the majority of its inhabitants but the streets and open lands in Indian cities are filled with untreated and rotting garbage. Some countries have achieved considerable success in solid waste management. But the rest of the world is grappling to deal with its wastes. In these places, improper management of solid waste continues to impact public health of entire communities and cities; pollute local water, air and land resources; contribute to climate change and ocean plastic pollution; hinder climate change adaptation; and accelerate depletion of forests and mines.
Waste management is not just a corporate social responsibility or a non-priority service anymore. Improper waste management is a public health and environmental crisis, economic loss, operational inefficiency and political and public awareness failure. Integrated solid waste management can be a nation building exercise for healthier and wealthier communities. Therefore, it needs global attention to arrive at solutions which span across such a wide range of issues.