Types of Waste, Sources and Their Solutions: A Glimpse of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan

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Waste- one word, but it encompasses a whole range of various materials. Generally, waste refers to unwanted materials and things but it can be anything from household garbage to industrial effluents, electronics, and more. There are multiple sources of waste; households and industries are primary. While industrial waste cannot be compared with household trash, but the quantity of the garbage that is thrown out of the houses is huge. Every industry contributes to environmental waste that gets added to the soil and landfills on the planet. The combined efforts of population explosion and changing modern living standards had a cumulative effect on the production of a large number of various kinds of wastes.

There are three kinds of wastes:

  • Solid Waste: Solid wastes are the unwanted things discarded by human society.
  • Liquid Waste: Wastes produced from washing, flushing, or manufacturing processes of industries are called liquid wastes.
  • Gaseous Wastes: Gaseous wastes are released in the form of gases from automobiles, factories, burning of fossil fuels, etc.

Sources of Waste

Wastes generated from different sources are classified as follow:

  • Domestic Wastes
  • Industrial Wastes
  • Agricultural Wastes
  • Commercial Wastes

Domestic Wastes

Domestic wastes are generally used to describe most non-hazardous solid waste that needs routine collection, and transport to a processing or disposal site. Also known as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), sources of domestic wastes include garbage and waste materials discarded from the households.

It contains a wide variety of materials like food waste, paper, plastic, plastic cans, newspaper, glass bottles, wood pieces, etc, which is classified as dry garbage. Domestic wastes do not include wastes from an industrial process, construction, and demolition debris, or agriculture wastes.

Solution: Domestic waste management includes four components- recycling, composting, land-filling, and waste-to-energy via incineration.

Industrial Wastes

Industrial wastes are released from chemical plants, paint industries, power plants, mining operations, thermal power plants, etc. These industrial solids wastes can be classified into two groups. Non-hazardous wastes- these wastes are produced from processing plants, paper mills, sugar mills, cotton mills, and textile industries. Hazardous wastes- these wastes are generated by nearly every industry. Chemicals, drugs, dye, pulp, electroplating, dye, rubber are some major examples.

Solution: To control industrial waste, there is a need for the minimization of technologies. Source reduction, recycling, and reuse of materials need to be practiced. Hazardous waste should not be mixed up with general waste. Source reduction includes altering the design, manufacture, and use of products and materials to decrease the number of materials that get thrown away.

Agricultural Wastes

These wastes mainly include plants and animals wastes. Excess use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals used in agriculture and the wastes formed from these causes land and water pollution and also contaminate the soil. Other agricultural wastes are produced from tobacco processing units, sugar factories, livestock, etc.

Solution: There is a need for a circular economy, where all outputs have another use and supply chains are fully integrated. Also, waste created during the manufacturing process can be reused and reintroduced as an input into the production cycle. Decreasing waste from agriculture also includes changing the practices of framers, with some regulations.

Commercial Wastes

In this advanced era, a huge amount of waste is generated from commercial places. These include markets, roads, buildings, commercial complexes, hotels, printing press, etc. Hospitals and other health institutions also release a tremendous amount of wastes that is hazardous and much toxic in nature. Many chemicals and disposable items are also produced from these units. These wastes are generally put in an inhabited area that has the potential to affect human health and life and cause different infectious diseases. 

Solution: The management of commercial wastes begins from tracking and assessing the waste levels; now focus on reducing the waste. Try to reuse the old products or donate the unused products or perishable foods.

Waste management needs time and effort before, during, and after implementation. People from all backgrounds need to continue to stress upon the importance of waste reduction and to guarantee the longevity and continued success of the waste management initiatives.

An Initiative by the Indian Government Focused on Cleaning– Swachh Bharat Abhiyan 

On 2nd October 2014, present Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ambitious ‘SWACHH BHARAT ABHIYAN’. This is a massive mass movement, launched on the occasion of the 145th birth anniversary of the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi Ji always put the emphasis on swachhta as swachhta leads to a healthy and happy life. Keeping this in mind, the Indian government has decided to launch the swachh Bharat mission. The mission covers all rural and urban areas. The urban component of the mission is led by the Ministry of Urban Development, and the rural component by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation.

The Swachh Bharat Mission for Urban Areas

focuses on the elimination of open defecation, conversion of unsanitary toilets to pour flush toilets, eradication of manual scavenging, and municipal solid waste management. It also aims to bring a behavioral change in people about healthy sanitation practices. Presently, the mission for Urban Areas aims to cover 1.04 crore households, build 2.6 lakh public toilets, 2.5 lakh community toilets, and a solid waste management facility in each town.

Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin)

Ensures cleanliness in India and make it Open Defecation Free (ODF) in Five Years. It is focused on improving the levels of cleanliness in rural areas by involving people in Solid and Liquid Waste Management activities. It also works to make Gram Panchayats Open Defecation Free (ODF), clean, and sanitized. The Phase-II of the SBM (G) mainly focuses on the sustainability of ODF status and Solid and Liquid Waste Management.

Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan

It has launched by The Ministry of Human Resource Development under SBM with an objective to provide separate toilets for boys and girls in all government schools within one year.

The Swachh Bharat Kosh

It has been set up to facilitate and channelize individual philanthropic contributions and CSR funds to achieve the objective of Clean India. The Kosh is used to accomplish the goals of improving cleanliness levels in rural and urban areas, including schools.

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