Study Material | Test Series | Crash Course
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Current Affairs Crash Course Download Player Download Android App
SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT
Dec 13, 2015

1. What constitute MSW (Municipal solid Waste)

2. MSW in India

3. Issues relating to Management of MSW

4. Important issues related with MSW generation are-

5. Legal and Policy framework for MSW Management

6. Efforts of Municipalities in Management of MSW

7. Managing Solid waste: Best practices

The management of urban solid waste is one of the most neglected areas of urban development in India. India produces about 42 million tons of urban solid waste annually. The current municipal solid waste generation is estimated to be approximately 0.4 kg per capita per day. There has been a decline in the standard of services in collection and disposal of household, industrial and hospital waste. In most cities, nearly half the solid waste remains unattended. Lack of financial resources, inadequate manpower, fragmentation of administrative responsibility, non-involvement of community and lack of awareness are major constraints in solid waste management. Considering the complexity of the problem, it is necessary to evolve a suitable national strategy even though its implementation can best be handled at the level of ULBs.

1. What constitute MSW (Municipal solid Waste) : MSW  consist of :

  • Biodegradable waste: food and kitchen waste, green waste (vegetables, flowers, leaves, fruits), paper (can also be recycled)

  • Construction and demolition debris

  • Recyclable material: paper, glass, bottles, cans, metals, certain plastics, etc.

  • Composite wastes: waste clothing, Tetra Packs, waste plastics such as toys. 

  • Domestic hazardous waste (also called "household hazardous waste") & toxic waste: medication, e-waste, paints, chemicals, light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, spray cans, fertilizer and pesticide containers, batteries, shoe polish.Sources of waste, waste generators& solid waste contents can be tabulated as bellow:

What constitute MSW

2. MSW in India:

Solid waste from Indian cities contains high proportion of organic matter and have high moisture content. The organic food content attracts flies and rodents. The high ambient temperature and humidity favour rapid bacterial growth and decomposition of the waste and consequent foul smell. The garbage has low combustible material content. The CPCB report also reveals that only 68% of the MSW generated in the country is collected of which, 28% is treated by the municipal authorities. Thus, merely 19% of the total waste generated is currently treated. The remaining waste is disposed off at dump sites / landfill sites untreated

3. Issues relating to Management of MSW :The key issues relating to management of MSW in the country relates to:

(i) There is no comprehensive short and long term plan with municipal authorities to handle MSW in accordance with the MSW Rules, 2000.

(ii) Majority of the municipal authorities do not have preparedness to set up waste processing and disposal facilities. 

(iii) Waste management is being looked either for making wealth or generate revenue; or otherwise is allowed to putrify in cities/towns. 

(iv) Cities and towns, in future, will not get wastelands for further dumping of wastes. In fact, there will be a need to go for ‘total’ recycling and re-use of waste and aim for negligible or ‘Zero Waste’ for landfilling.

Issues relating to Management of MSW

 

 

Source: India Today

4. Important issues related with MSW generation are-

⇒ Non-point source: There are different sources which generate the Municipal solid waste in large quantities which is difficult to manage. Any place where human activity is involved finds solid waste. Waste is generated in the form of vegetable remaining & food waste, used plastic bags, plastic containers/ bottles, from residential area. During celebration of different festivals & events, such waste is generated in significant quantity adding another pollutant- thermocol in it. It has created very serious problem of disposal because of its life span. Due to urbanization & population growth, many construction activities are seen in recent years resulting into creation of construction/ demolition wastes or debris.

⇒  Industries are one of the major sources of MSW generation, this sector generate wastes from activities like Raw material Packaging, transportation, final product packaging, indisposed defective product etc. Workers working in such sectors also contribute to waste generation through office stationeries, paper, daily activates especially excreta and other liquid and solid waste from the community. Offices, Commercial Complex, Industries, Educational Institutes, Residential complexes generate overall wastes in remarkable quantities.

⇒  Attitude: People at large don’t care about waste and so never take efforts to dispose it properly. Waste generation is mostly related with attitude of society towards it. In developed countries people are aware about how to minimize generation of waste. Limited population makes it simple for them. In developing countries particularly with large population things become difficult.

 Impacts: When the waste is dumped, because of its composition it does not decompose very quickly, making space unavailable for other waste.

⇒  It can lead to the spread of infectious diseases. Unattended waste lying around attracts flies, rats, and other creatures that in turn spread disease. Air pollution is another factor to be considered. Normally it is the wet waste that decomposes and releases a bad odour. This leads to unhygienic conditions and thereby causes rise in the health problems. Other than this, co-disposal of industrial/ residential hazardous waste with municipal waste can expose people to chemical and radioactive hazards. Uncollected solid waste can also obstruct storm water runoff, resulting in the forming of stagnant water bodies that become the breeding ground for disease causing agents. Wastes dumped along roads, riverbanks, abandoned quarries, seas, and lakes results in the inevitable effect of contaminating water supplies as well as the whole aquatic chain. Animals grazing on dumps can pass on diseases via the food chain.

⇒  Institutional mechanism:
In developing countries where population is increasing & illiteracy is alarming, it is difficult to manage waste generation. Most of the man force in the governing body is utilized in providing basic services like water, health etc. Waste management particularly generation becomes least priority issue. Unauthorized structures, small shops, construction activities, local markets generate huge solid waste. Local bodies most of the times does not have budgetary support to handle waste generation in better manner. Manforce dealing with waste generation is not equipped enough. Trained, motivated working staff always contributes better in minimizing waste generation.

5. Legal and Policy framework for MSW Management
 

The 12th schedule of the Constitution clearly assigns solid waste management as the primary function of municipal authorities. State laws governing the municipal authorities also stipulate management of solid waste as an obligatory function of the municipal authorities. Despite constitutional and legal mandate no serious efforts have been made, by municipal authorities towards scientific processing and disposal of MSW. It was only after the direction issued by Hon. Supreme Court of India, the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules was finalized by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. These rules define MSW, mandate that all municipal authorities in the country shall manage MSW in a time bound manner and the State Government ensure implementation of the rules. These rules were followed up by the National Environment Policy (NEP) in 2006. A set of rules on plastic waste management were notified under the E(P) Act, 1986 to regulate littering and manufacturing of plastic carry bags.

(a) Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2000: The MSW Rules of 2000 principally mandates collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing, and disposal of municipal solid wastes

(b) National Environment Policy, 2006: The National Environment Policy, (NEP), 2006 is intended to be a guide to action: in regulatory reform, programmes and projects for environmental conservation; and review the enactment of legislation by agencies of the Central, State, and Local Governments. The policy also seeks to stimulate partnerships of different stakeholders, i.e. public agencies, local communities, academic and scientific institutions, investors, and international development partners, in harnessing their respective resources and strengths for environmental management 
 

Action plan for MSW Management- specific issues as per NEP, 2006

1. Develop and implement viable models of public-private partnerships for setting up and operating secure landfills, incinerators, and other appropriate techniques for the treatment and disposal of toxic and hazardous waste, both industrial and biomedical, on payment by users, taking the concerns of local communities into account. The concerned local communities and State Governments must have clear entitlements to specified benefits from hosting such sites, if access is given to non-local users.

2. Strengthen the capacities of local bodies for segregation, recycling, and reuse of municipal solid wastes- recognizing inter-alia the positive impacts it may have on the welfare of safai-karamcharis, and setting up and operating sanitary landfills, in particular through competitive outsourcing of solid waste management services.

3. Give legal recognition to, and strengthen the informal sector systems of collection and recycling of various materials. In particular enhance their access to institutional finance and relevant technologies. 4. Promote biodegradable and recyclable substitutes for non-biodegradable materials, and develop


(c) The Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2011:
The plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011 were issued in supersession of the “Recycled plastic manufacture and Usage rules, 1999” notified under the Environment (Protection) Act 1986. Rules mandates that a plastic waste management system be put in place and identifies municipal authority as the agency responsible for implementation of the said rules within their jurisdiction.

(d) National Urban Sanitation Policy, 2011: It pertains to management of human excreta and associated public health and environmental impacts. The NUSP seeks to create fully sanitized cities through awareness generation, State sanitation strategies and integrated city sanitation.

6. Efforts of Municipalities in Management of MSW

According to CPCB Efforts are being made by many local bodies for creating mass awareness among the citizens for ensuring proper management of MSW including collection, segregation, storage and transportation. Improvement in waste
collection, segregation, storage and transportation were reported in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Chandigarh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal

⇒ In Waste Collection:. Such efforts are confined to a few wards/ localities within the city or town. Some good initiatives were reported in West Bengal (17 ULBs), Punjab (8 ULBs) and Tripura (5 ULBs). House-to-house collection is most critical issue in the entire management of MSW.

⇒  Waste Transportation: Municipalities are well equipped with waste transporting vehicles, but many of them are not following the waste transportation norms like –transporting waste under covered conditions so that littering does not occur on the
way and it should not be exposed to the public, arrange alternative vehicle while breakdown on the way, etc.

⇒ Waste processing: The waste processing technologies currently being followed are:

  • Ccomposting

  • Vermincomposting

  • Biogas plant

  • RDF –palletisation and others.

Some of these pelletization plants are associated with power plants for generation of electricity. However, mechanical composting and vermin-composting are more popular in the country.

  • Waste Disposal: Implementation of waste disposal facilities in the country is found to be far from satisfaction Most of cities/townsare facing problem in identification of landfill sites for construction of sanitary landfills. This is due to public resistance, rapid growth of urban areas, escalating land prices and not having proper master plan. 

7. Managing Solid waste: Best practices

Due to current lavishing lifestyle trade, continuous waste generation is an obvious phenomenon. For better management of solid waste, periodic review of each steps involved in waste management like Generation, Collection, Disposal etc should be conducted & accordingly implementation of “Best Practices” is necessary.

Best practices for waste management can be achieved by well known ‘3 Rs’ principle. ‘3 Rs’ principle (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

Reduce: 
 

  • The most uncontrollable phase in Solid waste management is ‘Waste generation’. Generated solid waste particularly from Non-point sources is always a challenge for local administration, so best practice is to reduce the generation of Solid waste.

  • The reduction of waste can happen only when everybody reduces waste generation in the first place. 

  • Every individual has to contribute in doing so. There is urgent need of public awareness about waste generation. There should be awareness at all levels of Society, which will motivate them to change their casual habits which creates waste.

  • Public- Private Partnership should be engaged in this awareness activity.

  • Definite Point Sources of waste generation like Hotels, Restaurant, and Shopping Complexes etc should contribute their space for disposal in their area itself, which ultimately reduces the burden of Collection. 

  • For Public Gatherings and Events organised in public places for any reason (including for processions, exhibitions, circuses, fairs, political rallies, commercial, religious, sociocultural events, protests and demonstrations, etc.), it will be the responsibility of the Organiser of the event or gathering to ensure the cleanliness of that area.

Best practices

 

 

Reuse:  

  • Utilization value of any item should be known to people who are using it. 

  • NGOs working for under privilege society should work for establishing centres which provides goods for secondary use. Such centres can be set up at the source. 

  • Private sector involvement should be encouraged, repairing facilities should be offered so goods can be used as per its utilization value. 

  • Large production companies of Electronic appliances, gadgets etc should establish the collection centres, where damaged items can be repaired & reused. 

  • NGOs, Self help group etc can organize workshop, seminars which encourage people to use waste material to create some decorative articles.

Recycle: 

  • The process of transforming materials into secondary resources for manufacturing new products is known as Recycling. 

  • Waste recycling leads to less utilization of raw materials, saves on landfill space, reduces the amount of energy required to manufacture new products. In fact recycling can prevent the creation of waste at the source.

  • Promoting/motivating citizens to start segregation of waste at source involving NGO’s, co-operatives, private, Commercial & industrial sectors for appropriate mass awareness campaigns 

  • Source separation: by keeping recyclables and organics waste separate at source, i.e., at the point of generation facilitate reuse, recycling, and composting. 

  • Segregate the waste in the house -keep two garbage bins and see to it that the biodegradable and the non-biodegradable is put into separate bins and dispose off separately. Biodegradable waste can be recycled. 

  • Dry waste consisting of cans, aluminium foils, plastics, metal, glass, and paper could be recycled. 

  • There should be recycling plant at local level. 

  • Wet garbage from hotel, resident can be recycled by establishing composting or vermicomposting plant in the vicinity. This will produce good manure that can be used for gardens and lawns. 

  • The least technically complex and most cost-effective solution should be chosen.

  • Separation of waste for efficacious recycling and environmentally friendly purchasing habits are two areas for effective management.

  • Local Bio-degradable waste processing units, wherever possible set up small scale processing units (composting or bio-methanation) in public parks, playgrounds, recreation grounds, gardens, markets. 

  • Waste should be also seen as a ‘resource’ and not just a problem

Source: Planning Commission, www.mahenvis.nic.in/


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.