With the increase in population, there is tremendous pressure on natural resources. Along with many other issues, waste disposal management becomes a big nuisance, especially, in urban areas and metro cities.
Since there is huge migration from rural areas to big cities and metros due to various reasons, urban infrastructure is facing bigger issues. The limited capacity of solid waste management in cities leads to huge piles of waste in the outskirts.
Still, in India, a small percentage of solid waste goes through the proper disposal path. Most is either burnt or dumped in the trenching grounds. A considerable amount of waste goes into water streams and causes pollution and contamination.
Uncontrolled use of plastic, polythene bags and other non-degradable material also causes blocking of water drainage channels. There have been various incidents when flood-like situations happened in towns and cities due to clogging.
It is high time to seek systematic solid waste management in India
In the light of severe flood situations in Mumbai and other cities, it is high time to derive and develop methods for waste collection, transportation and waste disposal that can handle huge loads.
It is needless to say that such initiatives are not possible unless they are recognized, supported and financed by the urban authorities.
Also, the efforts need to be localised, and every town and city should do it to manage the solid waste generated in the respective place.
Infrastructural challenges for Waste Disposal
Almost all municipal corporations, big or small, face infrastructural challenges that hinder prompt waste collection and disposal. In most of the cases, the resources deployed are quite less than the actual requirement. Hence, quality of waste collection, enforcement and supervision gets hampered.
In bigger cities, trenching grounds are shifted to the outskirts. Since there is great nuisance caused by these trenching grounds, it causes unrest among local people.
Experts say that unless systematic planning is not done to segregate, separate and dispose of various types of waste in the proper manner, it is impossible to get rid of the problem.
Reuse and recycle are critically important
Among the three R’s of waste management, ‘Reduce’ looks quite difficult because of the changing habits of people.
However, it is very much possible to use the other two R’s, i.e. Reuse and Recycle effectively. It will bring a significant improvement in the situation. The 4th ‘R’ is very important i.e. to Recover.The major issues seen today are waste collection since the separation of material is not done carefully by the users .This affects the recovery of the materials that can be recycled.
- Awareness: If everybody develops the habit of segregating bio-degradable and non-degradable wastes in separate bins, then it will make the task incredibly easy. The non-degradable waste can be further segregated and sent to recycling units. Bio-degradable stuff can be sent straight away to compost bins.
- Door-to-door collection: In a few cities where garbage collection has been tested. Skilled people are appointed to the task and they do the segregation work at the source.
It should become a inherent habit, imbibed in mindset to use resources in limited quantity, just enough not excess and reduce the resources. Disposing should be an activity as a sequence in use of a resource.When we start practicing these habits ,the recovery will be simpler .
It is sure that structured and systematic efforts will improve the situation and we will have a cleaner and better India in the coming years.