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Think Green, Think Waste Management- Path for Sustainable Environment

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Solid Waste

Solid waste is classified into several different types depending on their source: 

  • Industrial waste also known as hazardous waste
  • Household waste generally classified as municipal
  • Biomedical waste discharged from hospital, also known as infectious waste
  • E-waste also known as electronic wastes including TV’s, refrigerators and computer waste

Hazardous Waste

It includes the traces of toxic chemicals which when disposed affects the drinking water supplies, groundwater sources, etc. Disposal of hazardous waste needs utmost attention. In India, the concern for disposal of hazardous waste was generated in late eighties after the occurrence of the Bhopal gas tragedy. Attention was drawn towards environmental damage and the casualties caused by such substances. The Environment (Protection) Act in 1986 was enacted by the MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) in order to prevent disposal of hazardous waste in the environment. Due to the liberalized policy, pace of industrialization has seen a rapid acceleration. This has definitely resulted in accelerated growth but has resulted in increasing amounts of hazardous wastes every year. Rapid urbanization too has increased the amount of municipal solid waste which remains a daunting issue of environmental concern to India.

Municipal Solid Waste

Significant generation of MSW (Municipal Solid Wastes) was witnessed in India over the past few decades. All thanks to the rapid population growth in the country. Per capita daily generation of municipal solid waste in India ranges from about 100 g in small towns to 500 g in large towns which is quite high as compared to the global numbers. Currently due to the lack of sanitary landfill, most of the MSW in the country is disposed off unscientifically. This has shown adverse impact not only on the ecosystem but also on the human environment. Wastes are left unattended at the disposal sites and attract birds, rodents, fleas etc. which results in creation of unhygienic conditions like odour, release of airborne pathogens, etc. Plastic wastes picked up by the rag pickers are recycled mostly in factories which lacks adequate technologies for safe processing. This leads to emission of toxic fumes and unhygienic conditions for the workers and surrounding. Rag picking sector is not organised and thus not all the recyclables are picked up. This lead to littering of waste everywhere reaching the drains and water bodies ultimately and choking them.

Biomedical Waste

Waste generated by hospital during diagnosis, treatment or immunization of human beings or animals or research activities are known as biomedical waste. They include sharp, soiled waste, disposables, discarded medicines, chemical wastes, etc. Waste in the form of disposable syringes, bandages, body fluids, human excreta, etc. are disposed out of the hospital. These wastes are highly infectious and can be a serious threat to human health if not managed properly. In order to establish proper guidelines for waste management, the Bio-medical Waste (Handling and Management) Rules was enacted in 1998 which outlines the process of waste segregation, collection, treatment, and disposal.


Electronic waste or E-wasteis a collective term for the entire stream of electronic wastes which includes used TV’s, refrigerators, telephones, air conditioners, computers, mobile phones etc. Recycling of e-waste is a complex process and involves many hazardous materials which poses significant environmental and health hazard.  E-Waste in India has grown by more than 500% in the last 7 years. E-waste is a concern to India currently. India is undoubtedly setting a shining example in the IT sector. However, the country is unfortunately importing e-waste.

Read more about Electronic Waste Management Companies in India.

Thus it is important now to understand the need of environment sustainability and take proper steps to fight the problem of environment degradation. It is now the need of hour for everyone to understand the kind of burden one gives to the earth. A better, healthy place to live in will only be created if we spread awareness among people and take charge of changing ourselves first, rather than dictating others.

Available on GWI Free Guide on Solar Energy in India.


Niraj Satnalika

Niraj is an MBA in International Business (Finance). Prior to this he completed B.Tech in Electronics and Instrumentation. He is currently working with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Kolkata in capacity of Consultant. Satnalika is actively involved with an NGO and works towards promoting education among the underprivileged.

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. shaikh m I

    Hai I am a small scrap dealer your information is so good for me but I have not a high edguceted so I have wan any person sujjest me for making industry or e west scrap management &buisness with any company thanks