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Solid Waste Management

Waste- Definition & Classification

Any material which is not needed by the owner, producer or processor.
Domestic waste Factory waste Waste from oil factory E-waste Construction waste Agricultural waste Food processing waste Bio-medical waste Nuclear waste

Solid Waste

What is Solid Waste ?

Solid wastes includes (content / partly on moisture and heating value) Garbage (food waste)

Rubbish (paper, plastics, wood, metal, throw-away containers, glass) Demolition products (bricks, concrete, pipes)
Dead animals, manure and other discarded materials.

Classification of Wastes
Solid waste- vegetable waste, kitchen waste, household waste etc.

E-waste- discarded electronic devices like computer, TV, music systems etc.
Liquid waste- water used for different industries eg distillaries, thermal power plants Plastic waste- plastic bags, bottles, buckets etc.

Metal waste- unused metal sheet, metal scraps etc.

Nuclear waste- unused materials from nuclear power plants

Solid Waste in India

7.2 million tonnes of hazardous waste One Sq km of additional landfill area every-year Rs 1600 crore for treatment & disposal of these wastes

Source: Estimate of Ministry of Environment & Forest

Growth of Solid Waste In India

Waste is growing by leaps & bounds

In 1981-91, population of Mumbai increased from 8.2 million to 12.3 million

During the same period, municipal solid waste has grown from 3200 tonnes to 5355 tonne, an increase of 67% Waste collection is very low for all Indian cities

City like Bangalore produces 2000 tonnes of waste per annum, the ever increasing waste has put pressure on hygienic condition of the city
Source: The Energy & Resources Institute, New Delhi

How solid waste affected us in recent years?

Cloudburst in Mumbai (2005) clogged the sewage line due to large no. of plastic bags Blast in the Bhusan Steel factory at Noida, caused due to imported scrap from Iran

Reduction in the number of migratory birds due to consumption of contaminated foods Stray animals dying on streets and farmland due to consumption of plastic bags, which blocks the food movement in their stomach

Collection & Recycling of Waste Materials

STORAGE:- Galvanized steel dust bin with close fitting cover. COLLECTION :- Public Bins, House to house collection. (Dumping the refuse into the nearest public bins. Thrown in the street). TRANSPORT :- Dustless refuse collector (vehicles) - Western method

Storage of solid waste:

The galvanized steel dustbin with close fitting cover is ideal. The output of refuse in India is approx 1/10 1/20 cft. Per capita per day. So for a 5 member family it is around cft per day. If collection is done every 3 days then a bin with a capacity of 1 - 2 c.ft. would be adequate. Public bins : cater to a large no. of people. They are kept on a concrete raised platform and have no covers.

Waste Collection in India

Primarily by the city municipality -No gradation of waste product eg bio-degradable, glasses, polybags, paper shreds etc -Dumps these wastes to the city outskirts Local raddiwala / kabadiwala (Rag pickers) -Collecting small iron pieces by magnets -Collecting glass bottles -Collecting paper for recycling

MCD- Sophisticated DWM (Delhi Waste Management) vehicle

The Choice of Particular Method of Disposal depends upon the local factors like cost and availability of land and labour.

The principles methods of refuse disposal are :A. Open Dumping B. Controlled Tipping or Sanitary Landfill C. Incineration D. Composting

DUMPING : Refuses are dumped in low lying areas partially as a method of reclamation of land but mainly as an easy method of disposal of dry refuse.
Mechanism of Action: As a result of bacterial action, Refuse decreases considerably in volume and is converted into humus ( organic matter that has reached a point of stability).

Uses: Reclaimed land is used for agricultural purposes


They are open Minimum effort and expense Unsanitary and smelly Vermin and pests Contaminate soil, water and air Fire hazard

Sanitary land fill

Most satisfactory method of refuse disposal if suitable land is available. The material is placed in a trench or a prepared area, adequately compacted and covered with earth at the end of the working day. There are three types of controlled tipping Trench method level ground is available. Ramp method well suited for sloping land Area method Land depressions, disused quarries and clay pits.

SANITARY LANDFILLS (accommodate 57% of total municipal solid waste):

Each day trash is spread in thin layers Compacted down Covered with a soil layer Graded for drainage
Sanitary landfills have largely replaced open dumps.


Refuse can be disposed of hygienically by burning or incineration. It is a method of choice where suitable land is not available. Hospital refuse which is hazardous is best disposed of by this method.

Significantly reduces the volume of garbage Produces heat energy for generating electricity Materials such as batteries, glass etc. (NOT suitable for incineration) Causes air pollution Creates toxic ash and other solid waste

Method of combined disposal of refuse and night soil or sludge.

It is a process of nature where organic matter breaks down under bacterial action resulting in formation of relatively stable humus like material called the Compost which has considerable value as a manure.

How composting takes place?

The principal by product when refuse and night soil is mixed are carbon dioxide, water and heat. (mesophilic bacteria) (thermophilic bacteria) The heat produced is 60 degree centigrade or higher over a period of several days which destroys eggs and larvae of flies, weed seeds and pathogenic agents. Compost is a very good soil builder and has major plant nutrients.

Managing Waste
Recycling: Processing of a waste item into usable forms. Benefits of recycling: -Reduce environmental degradation -Making money out of waste -Save energy that would have gone into waste handling & product manufacture Saving through recycling: -Making paper from waste saves 50% energy -Every tonne of recycled glass saves energy equivalent to 100 litres of oil

Recycling not a solution to all problems!

Recycling is not a solution to managing every kind of waste material For many items recycling technologies are unavailable or unsafe

In some cases, cost of recycling is too high.

Problems in Dealing With Solid Waste

Education & voluntary compliance

Collection of waste
Technological interventions Institutions & regulatory framework Absence of mandatory standards for waste reduction Market action for waste reduction
Source: The Energy & Resources Institute