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Acute and Chronic Diseases emanating from Improper Waste Management In India

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The problem of waste management is exponential in India. A country with a growing population and rising industrialization generates an ample amount of waste and a lack of proper management of this waste could lead to acute and chronic diseases in the future. The concept of open landfills is a major concern in our country with landfills around major cities already exceeding their slated capacities. Now, these mounds have grown into mountains heaping with city waste.


Garbage excretes hazardous liquids and gases that go directly into groundwater and the environment. A lot of leachate is produced, along with many carcinogenic gasses such as Hydrogen Sulfide and Methane. Not only do these affect the health of people living in the neighboring areas but also pollute the environment as many of these gases have huge global warming potential. Though proper treatment of waste is a major concern in a huge country like India, segregation of waste should be a “must” at all levels – be it homes, offices, industries, or any other commercial establishment. People are not realizing the ill effects of the lack of interest in segregating their waste right now. IT IS NO LONGER AN OPTION. If we continue at this rate, nothing of this beautiful earth, our natural habitat will be left for future generations. On the one hand, we talk about innovations, advancement of technology, and sophistication at all levels, and on the other, we fail to deliver on such a basic responsibility.

India generates about 62 million tonnes of waste every year. About 70% or 43 million tonnes of waste are collected. From the collected waste, 12 million tonnes of waste is treated, and about 31 million tonnes of waste reaches the landfill sites.

Source: India Today

Even in residential societies, rules about waste segregation and proper treatment should be implemented very strictly. Also, read about the pros of domestic waste management at home. If we start from Level I, the problem will not take the shape of a garbage mound as we progress. Waste-to-energy plants could be a better way to utilize the huge amounts of waste generated by societies. Until and unless we create a natural cycle to use what we generate all that will be left is stinky and disease-prone earth for future generations. The concepts of recycling and reusing should be enforced at all levels and be a part of civic education for students and citizens alike.

There is a lack of the right set of policies pertaining to the collection, disposal, and recycling of waste. Even modern and advanced Indian cities house piles and piles of waste in prominent city areas, forget about the rural or less prominent areas. I agree a lot has to be done at the individual and citizen levels, but I think the municipal corporations should sit up and take heed at least to clean these heaps and mounds lying openly everywhere in cities. Also, the involvement of the private sector is a must in areas of innovations in waste management and promoting a circular economy in India. There is another option of turning to Solar power for cleaner waste management. All these efforts could make the world a better place. Together we can, and we should!


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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