What is Waste Management?
Waste management solutions are the urgent need of an hour as improper waste disposal and poorly managed landfills generate ground and air pollution that has harmful effects on people and the environment.
Let’s start with the basics first. So generally, we can classify wastes into 4 major categories i.e. Industrial waste (scrap metals, trash, oil, solvents, chemicals, etc.), Domestic waste (fruits & vegetable peel, paper, cardboard, etc.) Commercial waste (Cafeteria waste, paper, cardboard, etc.) and Agricultural waste (crop residues, weeds, leaf litter, etc.). Waste management is the treatment process of these wastes that includes the following steps:
The main principles of waste management are:
- The most common & fundamental rule of waste management “3Rs rule” i.e. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Among them, the reduction should be our primary goal.
- It is the extended producer responsibility to add all the environmental costs as well as end-of-life disposal costs to the value of a product.
- Also, the “The polluter pays” principle which requires the waste generator to pay for the suitable disposal of the waste.
General waste management Solutions
Landfill –growth. Usually, a gas extraction system is put in to extract gas (arising out of decomposition) through a burrow pit.
However, this method has its own shortcomings. It leads to the emission of major greenhouse gases such as Methane that can be poisonous for us to breathe in as well as is responsible for the Greenhouse effect. According to the EPA, landfill gas energy captures 60-90 percent of methane emitted, and the rest gets released into the atmosphere. The most common & probably one of the most dangerous methods of waste treatment. It involves the waste to be buried off in landfills and these landfills can be found in any city.
The logic behind burying the waste is to create compression & hence, enhance its density and make the filling stable. It is then coated to minimize the possibility of vermin
Incineration – This waste treatment method involves exposing the waste to high temperatures to trigger combustion and ultimately reducing it to ashes, gas, and heat energy. The method is commonly used to treat hazardous industrial waste in a chamber or boiler to extract energy.
However, the majority of waste produced in India is not industrial. Hence, this method is not feasible as it involves a high cost of treatment because of the controlled factors involved.
Sustainable Waste Management Solutions
There are many ways to treat the waste like the ones mentioned above. However, treating the waste in a way that does not jeopardize the environment, human health, or future generations is known as Sustainable Waste Management Solutions. Let’s discuss the most popular of them.
1. Decentralized Waste Management:– This is not the waste treatment method but the waste segregation method. However, we’re discussing it here because educating the masses about the segregation of waste at the source is the need of the hour.
When you separate the wastes at the source as per their category, you can help the Centralized Waste Management institutions to manage it efficiently. They can decompose the organic waste, send the reusable waste to their facilities, and treat the hazardous wastes carefully.
However, when you choose not to separate the wastes, it is not at all possible for them to segregate it at large scales.
2. Biological reprocessing:– Better known as Composting, this waste management solution is a win-win for you. Not only do you get to save money on the waste treatment but you can also make money from it.
This method involves the decomposition of organic waste until it is ready to use as compost that can be further used to improve the fertility of the soil.
This solution is pretty much accessible to all and typically doesn’t require any cost. You just only need to have the organic waste and a small area that can be your composting site. However, it requires a lot of manual effort and there’s a constant risk of rodents. It’s also a very time-consuming process and could take weeks & months to get the compost. You can later sell the compost to earn some quick bucks.
If you’re interested in composting but want it to be safe and don’t want to put in the effort, we suggest you try our GoClean range of composters. This is available in various capacities and generally gives you 70-80% mature compost in a day. It also keeps your pile safe from rodents and the only manual efforts are loading & unloading.
And not only compost, but if you have temple waste available, you can turn it to Havan Samagri or fuel sticks. This could be a nice business model, isn’t it?
3. Reduce, Recycle & Reuse: – Recycling not only saves energy but also prevents the materials from going to landfills & incineration, and provides raw materials for new products. Installing more bins for collecting recyclables like paper, glass, plastics, etc., and then recycling them can be a huge step.
Also, reuse products wherever possible like reusing plastic bottles instead of simply disposing of them. The more you reuse, the more you contribute to keep these items away from the garbage can.
Further, try to minimize the use of products especially that can’t be recycled or reused. Like, use paper glasses for your house parties instead of using plastic ones.
The biggest challenge in the direction of Effective Waste Management is to educate and aware of the masses because in a country with a huge population, the waste management issues can’t be resolved without the proper contribution of its population. Some of the possible measures in this direction could be establishing a proper awareness system, developing policies related to the throwing of waste, etc.
At Clean India Ventures, we are helping with waste management solutions to make the environment better with our organic waste composter processors that are designed to reduce & recycle organic waste, and convert it into organic compost and liquid fuel. We have models available for processing different wastes i.e. kitchen waste, temple waste, Food waste, etc.