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Mains Practice Questions

  • Q. Discuss innovative approaches for solid waste management that can help in dealing with increasing waste problems in Indian cities. (150 words)

    29 Dec, 2021 GS Paper 3 Bio-diversity & Environment

    Approach

    • Begin by highlighting the problem of waste generation, collection, and treatment in Indian cities.
    • The answer should mention a variety of new technological and other methods for proper solid waste management
    • Conclude by highlighting the importance of waste management and likely consequences which we may face in case of negation

    Answer

    Waste Management means all the activities and actions i.e. Collection, transport, treatment, and disposal of waste together with monitoring and regulation. India generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day. Yet, only 83% of waste is collected and less than 30% is treated. India’s waste predicament presents numerous social and environmental challenges for urban local bodies (ULBs), whose prerogative covers MSW management.

    Innovative Approaches

    • z The key to efficient waste management is to ensure proper segregation of waste at source and to ensure that the waste goes through different streams of recycling and resource recovery.
    • The installation of waste-to-compost and biomethanation plants would reduce the load of landfill sites.
    • Bio-methanation is a solution for processing biodegradable waste which also remains underexploited.
    • The concept of a common waste treatment facility should be widely promoted and accepted as it uses waste as a resource by either using it as a co-fuel or co-raw material in manufacturing processes.
    • Special measures should be taken for the collection and treatment of biomedical and E-wastes
    • Reduction of waste by reuse of second-hand products, repairing the broken items instead of buying new, using cotton bags or paper bags instead of plastic, encouraging the consumers to use disposable products, etc.
    • It is important that Biomining and Bioremediation are made compulsory for areas wherever it can be applied.
    • Decentralization of waste management: It is important that waste management is decentralized. Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Vellore presents a very good example of the same where the waste was collected in a decentralized manner, composted naturally, and is planted.
    • Community participation has a direct bearing on efficient waste management and it should be encouraged.

    Civic bodies have to redraw long term vision in solid waste management and rework their strategies as per changing lifestyles. It is time for the nation to wake up and start taking waste management seriously otherwise we are bound to suffer environmental, and health issues arising due to unsustainable waste disposal practices.

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