How do you manage waste on a construction site?
Solid waste management is in crisis in India, particularly in cities.
According to the World Bank, India's daily waste generation will reach 377000 tonnes by 2025. Every year, Indian cities generate 62 million tonnes of garbage, accounting for the vast majority of this solid waste. Furthermore, our cities lack effective solid waste management solutions. Most of the solid waste we generate is simply dumped at landfills, where it degrades into massive waste structures while leeching pollutants into groundwater and air, posing a health, hygiene, and safety hazard to everyone.
Civic bodies are attempting to effect change!
They have to. Our landfills are far beyond capacity and simply cannot handle the ever-increasing amounts of waste we generate. Some of the changes include simply sending waste to different locations, which was recently done to relieve pressure on the Deonar landfill. A more fundamental shift, however, is the shifting of responsibility to individuals and housing societies. This is not a popular change, but it is one that is desperately needed. Individuals must alter their lifestyles in order to assist governments in ensuring that our waste management infrastructure can cope, as well as ensuring that waste generation becomes a conscious and conscientious discipline for people.
All housing societies, office complexes, business parks, and the like must treat waste on-site! This not only relieves strain on an already overburdened (and in many places antiquated) sewerage system, but it also benefits the environment by reducing air and water pollution.
Waste treatment on-site is also an excellent way to ensure recyclable waste is recycled. Another benefit is the ability to produce compost that can be used in gardens and parks, and the treated wastewater can also be used to water these gardens.
Using wet waste to make compost is beneficial on many levels for housing societies across India. Aside from the obvious reduction in waste management stress on municipal governments and the obvious environmental benefits, there is also a fiscal benefit.
-The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has already approved policies mandating the installation of organic waste composters on the premises of larger housing societies.
-Last year, Delhi's civic agencies also piloted a project to get housing societies started with on-site composting.
With solid waste management becoming an ever-increasing crisis in India, it is only a matter of time before all housing societies and houses in the country are required to treat organic waste on-site. And, with new solid waste management rules being developed across the country, it is long past time for housing societies and individuals to contribute to a more efficient waste management solution.
But first, it's critical to understand the distinction between compostable and biodegradable materials. Manufacturers of all kinds of products interchange their terms, sometimes out of ignorance, but more often than not with the intent of greenwashing their products. They are not, however, the same.
The ability of a substance to degrade into parts small enough for microorganisms to consume is referred to as biodegradability. As a result, most products are biodegradable.
Compostable, on the other hand, refers to the ability of microbes to break down all materials while leaving no residue. When compostable products are treated, they do not pollute the air, soil, or water and are actually beneficial to soil nutrition. In general, all compostable products are biodegradable, but the opposite is not always true.
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