is Solid Waste ?
generates garbage or waste day in and day out. Items that we no
longer need or do not have any further use for fall in the category
of waste, and we tend to throw them away. These items are called
Solid Waste. At the household-level proper segregation of waste has
to be done and it should be ensured that all organic matter is kept
aside for composting...
Categories of Solid Waste
waste, vegetables, flowers, leaves, fruits.
medicines, paints, chemicals, bulbs, spray cans, fertilizer
and pesticide containers, batteries, shoe polish.
glass, metals, plastics.
waste such as cloth soiled with blood and other body fluids
The type of litter we generate and the
approximate time it takes to degenerate
Type of litter
Approximate time it takes to degenerate the
|Organic waste such as vegetable and fruit
peels, leftover foodstuff, etc.
||a week or two.
aluminium, and other metal items such
Types of solid waste
Solid waste can be classified into different types depending on
Municipal solid waste (Household Waste)
Municipal solid waste consists of household waste, construction
and demolition debris, sanitation residue, and waste from streets.
This garbage is generated mainly from residential and commercial
complexes. In 1947 cities and towns in India generated an estimated 6
million tonnes of solid waste, in 1997 it was about 48 million tonnes.
More than 25% of the municipal solid waste is not collected at all.
Hazardous wastes (Industrial and hospital waste)
Industrial and hospital waste is considered hazardous as they may
contain toxic substances. India generates around 7 million tonnes of
hazardous wastes every year, most of which is concentrated in four
states: Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu.
Household wastes that can be categorized as hazardous waste include
old batteries, shoe polish, paint tins, old medicines, and medicine
Hospital waste (Biomedical waste )
Hospital waste is generated during the diagnosis, treatment, or
immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities in
these fields or in the production or testing of biologicals. This
waste is highly infectious and can be a serious threat to human health
if not managed in a scientific and discriminate manner.
Health impacts of solid waste
- Exposure to hazardous waste can affect human health, children
being more vulnerable to these pollutants. Many studies have
been carried out in various parts of the world to establish a
connection between health and hazardous waste.
- Waste from agriculture and industries can also cause serious
health risks. Waste dumped near a water source also causes
contamination of the water body or the ground water source.
- Disposal of hospital and other medical waste requires special
attention since this can create major health hazards.
- Waste treatment and disposal sites can also create health
hazards for the neighbourhood. Improperly operated incineration
plants cause air pollution and improperly managed and designed
landfills attract all types of insects and rodents that spread
- Recycling too carries health risks if proper precautions are
- Direct handling of solid waste can result in various types of
infectious and chronic diseases with the waste workers and the
rag pickers being the most vulnerable.
At the household-level proper segregation of waste has to be
done and it should be ensured that all organic matter is kept aside
for composting, which is undoubtedly the best method for the correct
disposal of this segment of the waste.
What you can do to reduce solid waste ?
- Carry your own cloth or jute bag when you go shopping.
- Say no to all plastic bags as far as possible.
- Reduce the use of paper bags also.
- Reuse the soft drinks polybottles for storing water.
- Segregate the waste in the house -keep two garbage bins and
see to it that the biodegradable and the nonbiodegradable is put
into separate bins and dispose off separately.
- Dig a compost pit in your garden and put all the
biodegradables into it.
- See to it that all garbage is thrown into the municipal bin as
the collection is generally done from there.
- When you go out do not throw paper and other wrappings or even
leftover food here and there, make sure that it is put in the
correct place, that is into a dustbin
- As far as possible try to sell all the recyclable items that
are not required to the Kabariwala (person who trades in waste)