Waste management is the management of waste by disposal and recycling of it. Moreover, waste management needs proper techniques keeping in mind the environmental situations. For instance, there are various methods and techniques by which the waste is disposed of. Some of them are Landfills, Recycling, Composting, etc. Furthermore, these methods are very useful in disposing of the waste without causing any harm to the environment. Day by day there is a surge in population as a result the generation of waste is growing at an unprecedented rate. Thus effective management of waste has become the need of the hour.
If we look into the present scenario of the urban area, we see that most of the dumpsites have reached way beyond their capacity and permissible height limit of 20 meters. This is quite evident if you visit the Gazipur area of Delhi the mountains of garbage which is expected to rise by 10 meters a year will soon rise above the height of Qutub Minar. These present day facts indicate why it is necessary to develop efficient waste management techniques in urban areas.
India faces a seemingly insurmountable challenge of treating and getting rid of the legacy waste, with simultaneous and continuous accumulation of fresh everyday waste. Drains and water bodies are emptying out into the Indian Rivers making rivers not less than a drain such as the river Yamuna. In India, less than 60% of waste is collected from households of which only 15% of the urban waste is processed. Hyper consumption has become a curse in modern times. On a daily basis tons of waste including microplastics are not treated and they end up going into oceans. In Spite of several legislations made for waste management , no progress has been seen so far. If cities continue to dump the waste at present rate without treatment, it will need 1240 hectares of land per year and with a projected generation of 165 million tons of waste by 2031, the requirement of setting up a landfill for 20 years of 10 meters height will require 66,000 hectares of land.
There is a need to build up a robust and comprehensive policy for waste management in urban areas along with required vigilence. The method of recycling and composting should be made efficiently available in the high waste generation areas. This waste management should not be offered free of cost to the residents. Only if residents pay will they realize the importance of waste management. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs instead of financing compactors should emphasize on increasing funds for municipalities for more sustainable waste management. If this is not taken care of today then mountains of garbage will soon become a tourist spot of India!
By Anurag, Volunteer Haritima