Waste Management Critical Essay

Introduction: Rapid urbanisation and industrial diversification has led to generation of considerable amount of municipal, plastic, hazardous and biomedical waste. Improper disposal of wastes often leads to spread of diseases and contamination of water bodies and soil. The impact of these wastes cannot be ignored and managing them has become a major problem. The objective and scope of this research project: In this project we have tried to gain an insight on the term waste management.

The objective of the project was to seek an overview of waste management in large cities especially in supermarkets and predominantly the waste disposal system of large fast food outlets in Bangalore. The scope was (due to time constraint) limited to two major food chains. We have as an initial investigation tried to bring out the very nature of major sources of waste in our cities, the present waste disposal system in Bangalore and measures to effectively dispose off the waste generated in supermarkets.

Municipal solid waste: On an average 40-50% of the total municipal waste is generated in the six municipal corporations of Karnataka and more than 70 percent of municipal waste is generated in the residential and market areas. The domestic waste generated by the households comprises mainly of organic, plastic and paper waste. Problems of municipal solid waste: The major problems of municipal solid waste are: •Collection and storage of waste. Mixing and segregation of waste. •Transportation of waste. •Indiscriminate burning of waste •Illegal disposal of waste. 1. Collection and storage of waste: waste collection and disposal lies at the core of municipal waste management. Waste management happens to be the major source of expenditure in municipal budgets. Failure to effectively manage waste generated in the cities leads to overflowing bins and foul odour in the city streets.

It also poses as a potential threat to the hygiene and health of the public. 2. Mixing and segregation of waste: with no clear instruction and procedures to the contrary the household waste generated are very heterogeneous in nature due to no or very limited segregation of waste during disposal process. It also is witnessed in industrial wastes. Where lack of government regulation leads to uncontrolled disposal without proper segregation. 3.

Transportation of waste: the rapid expansion of cities coupled with high population growth rates and limited control on procedures to dispose municipal wastes resulted in mismatch on guidelines and actual waste transport. The transporters of municipal wastes are normally private contractors who with the aim of profit maximisation tend to dispose waste in the nearest vacant plots just on the outskirts of the city. Though dumping zones have been identified around the city yet the transporters often resort to dumping on plots near main roads leading to the city. 4.

Indiscriminate burning of wastes: often as discussed above the transporters do not dump the wastes on designated land fills earmarked by municiapal bodies but on the roads leading to the cities or vacant plots on the outskirts of the city they also resort to burning of wastes to reduce the heap for future dumping. As the waste dumped are unsorted and contain many hazardous substances eg plastics bottles and polythene bags. The gas generated are toxic in nature and a common sight are the rag pickers who roam around such dump sites to collect materials of some worth.

They are effected by the smoke and the gas generated. 5. Illegal disposal of waste: in absence of strict guidelines and enforcement of proper disposal of wastes in major cities in India the transporters mainly the private contractors resort to dumping of wastes in vacant plots instead of disposing them to proper dumping sites. This results over a period of time a major ecological threat. E. g a recent study found that in Bangalore around 600 Tons of municipal wastes are illegally dumped on vacant plots on daily basis.

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