solid waste and management

Not everybody knows that the trash lying in our dustbin is a potential source of energy. Biodegradable wastes can be decomposed and can be made reusable.

Solid waste management is one of the most neglected areas of municipal services and infrastructure. Most of the developing cities face the immense challenge of managing high volumes of solid waste. Problems often include poor waste collection and processing, insufficient landfill infrastructure, lack of technical skills and regulation etc. When solid waste management is lacking there are significant consequences for human health and environmental sustainability.

Hence, Solid Waste Management or simply Waste Management is all about how solid waste can be processed and used as a valuable resource. Solid waste management should be embraced by every household at individual level including all sectors of the economy to control the production, disposal, collection, processing, transferring of the solid waste items in the best possible manner with due focus on people's health and the environmental considerations.

Types/Categories of wastes

Waste can be material based, such as plastic, paper, glass, metal, and organic waste. It may be based on hazardous nature, including radioactive, flammable, infectious, toxic. Categories may also be based on the origin of waste, such as industrial, domestic, commercial, institutional or construction and demolition.


1. Residential

Food wastes, paper, textiles, yard wastes, garden wastes, kitchen wastes glass, metals, wood, batteries, oil etc

2. Industrial (construction sites, power and chemical plants, manufacturing, fabrication)

Housekeeping waste, packaging, food wastes, construction and demolitions, hazardous wastes etc

3. Commercial (stores, hotels, office buildings)

Paper, plyboards, plastics, boxes, food wastes, metals, glass, etc

4. Institutional (school, hospitals, prisons, government centres)

Paper, plyboards, plastics, boxes, food wastes, metals, glass, etc

5. Municipal services (Streets, parks, beaches, other recreational areas, water sources)

street sweeping, landscape and tree trimming, general wastes from park and beaches, sludge in water source etc)

6. Agricultural (Crops, orchards, vineyard, dairies, farm)

Spoilt food waste, agricultural waste, hazardous wastes as pesticides etc

why solid waste management?

The most important reason for waste management is the protection of the environment and the health of the population. Mismanagement and unsystematic dumping of solid waste hampers the personal, environmental and the economical health of a nation. Unsanitary practices lead to pollution of the environment which results in the outbreak of serious vulnerable health hazards. Rotten garbage and waste produce foul smell that can cause nausea among people. It can also be a source for waterborne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea and abdominal discomfort. It can also produce harmful gases that mix with the air and can cause breathing problems in people. Landscapes can be deteriorated through haphazard dumping and littering which destroys the beauty and serenity of tourist places. Natural beauty is a legacy and our future generation has a full right on it. Hence, it is our responsibility today to take measures for conserving it, so that the upcoming generation enjoys the aesthetic appeal of our planet.

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