Increased municipal solid waste (MSW) generation (due to a growing population, rapid urbanisation, and changing consumption patterns associated with economic growth), an inadequate waste management infrastructure, and routine noncompliance with waste management rules are all contributing to India's urban waste management crisis. More than 90% of rubbish in India is estimated to be deposited in public locations rather than being taken to properly built disposal sites. This has a number of well-documented environmental and public health consequences, as well as increased pressure on local governments to provide remedies.
What are the Issues relating to the management of solid waste?
The unsightly appearance and foul odour are only surface issues. The massive rubbish heaps conceal dangers that can be quite harmful in the long run.
Climate change: In poor countries, solid waste dumps are wreaking havoc on the environment. The solid waste management situation is deteriorating day by day due to a lack of effective planning and finance. Infectious infections, land and water contamination, drain obstructions, and biodiversity loss are all possible consequences of an inadequate urban solid waste management system. Municipal dump yards are one of the greatest sources of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Garbage is also a source of other noxious gases including hydrogen sulphide and ammonia, which are responsible for the foul odour.
Public Health: Gases discharged into the atmosphere have a direct effect on the health of those who are exposed to them. Furthermore, rotting rubbish is a source of hazardous germs that can spread diseases, for example, accumulated garbage was the primary cause of the plague that shook Surat a few years ago.
Health of children: Despite the catastrophic impact of urban garbage on the lives of urban residents, particularly children, the topic of urban trash has not been studied as fully as other important causes of child death. Toxic waste is one of the main contributors to environmental pollution, which, together with pneumonia and diarrhoea, is a leading cause of child death in underdeveloped nations.
Toxins from untreated and illegally deposited garbage, such as lead, are one of the primary causes of environmental degradation, killing millions of children each year. Toxic waste contaminates the air, water, and soil, causing diseases to spread through the air and water. Poor children and women who live off the grid and work in the informal sector are the most susceptible population.
Air pollution: In addition to pollution caused by greenhouse gases, waste has a tendency to self-ignite owing to methane accumulation, resulting in dense smog and decreasing air quality.
Water Pollution: When water is contaminated by solid waste substances such as bacteria, poisonous chemicals, or medical waste, the chemical makeup of the water changes, making it unsafe to drink. Diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and leptospirosis have been reported to spread through contaminated water, resulting in catastrophic health epidemics in a population. Garbage piles tend to produce enormous amounts of leachate, which is exceedingly poisonous and brimming with microorganisms. The leachate percolates into the groundwater, rendering it useless.
Urban waste management is posing a serious threat to both society and the environment. Strict measures must be made to ensure proper management of solid urban garbage and to prevent environmental and illness hazards.
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