Solid waste management (SWM) has risen to be one of the biggest developmental challenges in India. Several research studies point out that the practices of careless disposal of unsafe waste produce harmful gases, because of microbial decomposition, climate conditions, refuse characteristics, and land-filling operations.
The growing population has emerged to become a gigantic production of solid waste. Despite efficient development in social and economic sectors, solid waste management (SWM) systems in India could not handle the challenge and have, therefore, be relative to the action. Because of this, almost 90 percent of the waste, including solid waste, is being dumped currently rather than adequately landfilling it.
Another significant factor playing a role in this: India produces almost over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) each day. What’s remarkable is that only 83% of this waste is accumulated and less than 30% of it is treated. According to the World Bank, India’s daily solid waste production will reach 377,000 tonnes by the year 2025. Blame it on urbanization and industrialization, but the ghastly results of India’s megacities producing tonnes of waste are worrying and should not be neglected.
India’s solid waste problem poses several social and environmental difficulties for urban local bodies (ULBs), whose authority includes MSW management. Solid waste has dangerous effects on the health of humans. One massive example is the dreadful scene at the Ghazipur landfill site in Delhi, where the burning of solid wastes like plastic is the prime factor contributing to the air pollution crisis.
In recent times, plastics have turned into a monstrous threat worldwide which comes under highly harmful and non-biodegradable wastes. In cities, the massive production of excess plastic waste can cause drainage choking, especially in the monsoons, resulting in flooding and water supply damage. Recent studies showed that micro-plastic causes disturbances in the food chain of aquatic life, ultimately leading to global warming.
Another problem related to Solid Waste Management in India is the generation of hazardous chemical wastes by hospitals and industries in cities, which cause breathing problems and premature deaths. Not just that, in recent years, India has emerged as a recycling market. Sadly, recycling is not conducted as per the prescribed standards. Improper management of solid waste can lead to harmful consequences. We must learn to manage, treat, recycle and dispose of solid waste to deal with solid waste management efficiently.