Solid Waste management
Solid waste was already a problem long before water and air pollution issues attracted public attention. Historically the problem associated with solid waste can be dated back to prehistoric days. Due to the invention of new products, technologies and services the quantity and quality of the waste have changed over the years. Waste characteristics not only depend on income, culture and geography but also on a society's economy and, situations like disasters that affect that economy. There was tremendous industrial activity in Europe during the industrial revolution. The twentieth century is recognized as the American Century and the twenty-first century is recognized as the Asian Century in which everyone wants to earn ‘as much as possible’. After Asia the currently developing Africa could next take the center stage. With transitions in their economies many countries have also witnessed an explosion of waste quantities.
In this context solid waste has not remained an issue to be tackled by the local urban bodies alone. It has become a subject of importance for engineers as well as doctors, psychologist, economists, and climate scientists and any others. There are huge changes in waste management in different parts of the world at different times in history. To address these issues, an effort has been made by the authors to combine their experience and bring together a new text book on the theory and practice of the subject covering the important relevant literature at the same time.
- Includes history, psychology, economics of solid waste
- Discusses variation in approaches to tackle solid waste over time and region
- Deals with biomedical waste, hazardous waste, disaster waste, waste from electrical and electronic waste, safety issues, radioactive waste and lively hood.
Management of solid waste is very important in order to minimize the adverse effects of solid wastes.
Types of solid wastes:
1. Urban wastes:
- Domestic wastes – Food waste, Cloth, Waste paper.
- Commercial wastes – Packing material, cans, bottles, polythene.
- Construction Wastes – Wood, concrete debris.
- Bio medical wastes – Anatomical wastes, infectious wastes.
2. Industrial wastes:
- Nuclear power plants – generates radioactive wastes.
- Thermal power plants – produces fly ash in large quantities
3. Chemical industries:
- Produces large quantities of hazardous and toxic materials
- Steps involved in solid waste management:
- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle of materials – raw materials re usage should be reduced, reuse of waste materials should be reduced and recycling of the discarded materials into new useful products should also be reduced.
- Discarding wastes
- Land fill: Solid wastes are placed in sanitary landfill system in alternate layers of 80 cm thick refuse, covered with selected earth fill of 20cm thickness
- Incineration: It is a hygienic way of disposing the solid waste. It is a thermal process and is very effective for detoxification of all combustible pathogens
Role of an individual in prevention of pollution:
- Plant more trees
- Help more in pollution prevention than pollution control
- Use water, energy and other resources efficiently
- Purchase recyclable, recycled and environmentally safe products
- Reduce deforestation.