Solid waste management refers to collecting, treating and disposing of the solid waste majorly sanitary waste, glass, metals, plastic waste etc. Mismanagement of solid waste leads to severe health hazards like vector borne diseases and is responsible for climate change.
There are various types of solid wastes depending upon their origin, for example industrial waste, kitchen waste, electronic waste etc. One of the most important steps of solid waste management includes SEGREGATION of the waste, i.e., segregation wastes based on their decomposition where plastic wastes can be recycled, and kitchen wastes can be decomposed.
Every year, an estimated 11.2 billion tons of solid waste is collected worldwide and decay of the organic proportion of solid waste is contributing about 5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Mismanagement of solid waste may pollute the land and water bodies at global level, diseases like pneumonia, cancer, low birth weight, musculoskeletal problems might increase.
Thus, there is an urgent need for managing the solid waste, few ways by which it can be controlled are:
Landfilling– It is a system of waste management in which waste is buried in the layers of earth. This requires a huge area, so it should be well planned and well-engineered.
Composting– It is a method which uses the microbial organisms to degrade the solid waste and convert it into compost or organic manure which can further be used to increase the soil’s fertility.
Incineration– Incineration is the high-temperature burning (rapid oxidation) of a waste. It is also known as controlled–flame combustion or calcination and is a technology that destroys organic constituents in waste materials.
Recycling– It is the process in which waste or useless substances are collected and they are converted into new useful products, these days plastics are used to make items like exam boards, eco-bricks, even clothes are made from plastic.
By Diya Bhatt, Volunteer Research & Development Wing