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Think Green, Think Waste Management- Path for Sustainable Environment

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Solid Waste

Companies and individuals should take waste management seriously to help save the environment. Unfortunately, too many people worldwide aren’t aware of how to properly dispose of their waste products. 

To understand how to eliminate the various types of waste, we first need to know the differences between them and what makes them unique. Only when a person has this knowledge will they grasp why it is essential to dispose of each separately in the best possible way.

Below are some of the most common types of waste that people should be aware of when thinking green for a sustainable environment:

Solid waste is classified into several different types depending on its 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 waste including TVs, refrigerators, and computer waste

Considering these for sustainability and environmental management will deliver the best solutions. A more detailed description below will help everyone reading here to see what this entails and how they can do their share to help the environment.

Hazardous Waste

It includes the traces of toxic chemicals that when disposed affects the drinking water supplies, groundwater sources, etc. The disposal of hazardous waste needs utmost attention. In India, the concern for the disposal of hazardous waste was generated in the late eighties after the occurrence of the Bhopal gas tragedy. Attention was drawn to environmental damage and the casualties caused by such substances. The Environment (Protection) Act 1986 was enacted by the MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forests) in order to prevent the disposal of hazardous waste in the environment. Due to the liberalized policy, the pace of industrialization has seen a rapid acceleration. This has definitely resulted in accelerated growth but has resulted in increasing amounts of hazardous waste 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. The 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 compared to the global numbers. Currently, due to the lack of sanitary landfills, most of the MSW in the country is disposed of scientifically and some areas may even lack waste management services altogether. This has shown an 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 the creation of unhygienic conditions like odor, the release of airborne pathogens, etc. Plastic wastes picked up by the rag pickers are recycled mostly in factories that lack adequate technologies for safe processing. This leads to the emission of toxic fumes and unhygienic conditions for the workers and surroundings. Rag picking sector is not organized and thus not all the recyclables are picked up. This led to littering of waste everywhere reaching the drains and water bodies ultimately and choking them.

Biomedical Waste

Waste generated by hospitals during the diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals or research activities is 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. is disposed of 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 were enacted in 1998 which outline the process of waste segregation, collection, treatment, and disposal.

Even with these strict rules in place, some medical waste is still mismanaged and ends up in landfills or other areas where it causes harm. Still, authorities will issue heavy fines to any facility not following the guidelines.


Electronic waste or E-waste is a collective term for the entire stream of electronic waste which includes used TVs, refrigerators, telephones, air conditioners, computers, mobile phones, etc. Recycling e-waste is a complex process and involves many hazardous materials which pose significant environmental and health hazards.  E-Waste in India has grown by more than 500% in the last 7 years. E-waste is a concern in 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 for environmental sustainability and take proper steps to fight the problem of environmental degradation. It is now the need of the 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. In other words, leading by example is the best route to take when it comes to waste management. 

Companies and individuals who wish to influence others need only to look into themselves and start changing their routines and how they approach waste daily.


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