Status of Waste Management in Urban & Rural Areas

Waste generation is an integral part of ecological cycle. Every element of ecosystem directly or indirectly produces waste. With the advancement in human activities, inventions and discoveries, the quantum of waste generation has gone high. It has not only increased in volume but also has become more and more complex in composition which cannot be decomposed completely through natural processes. Hence waste management becomes an important responsibility of all the stakeholders generating waste and authorities managing human habitat and environment.  This section aims at presenting the scenario of waste management in Gujarat. It covers all broad classifications of wastes, their status of generation, collection, treatment and disposal, likely impacts and response mechanism of various stakeholders. “Wastes” are materials which are discarded after use at the end of their intended life-span. (MoEF, Report of the Committee to Evolve Road Map on Management of Wastes in India, 2010) Waste can be categorized in various ways depending on their source of generation, physical state and composition to name a few. For the purpose of this study, waste has been classified based on source of generation i.e. mainly waste generated by domestic and allied activities both in Urban and rural areas and Industrial activities. Biomedical and E-waste is generated in any of these locations i.e Urban, rural or industrial but they have been dealt with separately as there are separate rules that govern its management and separate infrastructure exists in the state to manage these.   The waste can be classified on the bases of their physical state and composition into liquid waste and solid waste;  1. Liquid Waste: Liquid waste means sludge resulting from, but not limited to, waste treatment works, air pollution control facility, domestic, commercial, mining, institutional, agricultural, or governmental operations; or other waste materials, including materials to be recycled or otherwise beneficially reused; or septic tank, grease trap, sediment trap, portable toilet, or oil and grease separator pump-outs; or solvents, sewage, industrial waste, hazardous waste, semisolid waste, or potentially infectious waste; or any similar materials which would cause a nuisance if discharged to the ground waters. (Center of Excellence for Environmental Education, GoI)  The solid by-products of sewage treatment are classified as sewage wastes or liquid waste. They are mostly organic and derive from the treatment of organic sludge from both the raw and treated sewage. The inorganic fraction of raw sewage such as grit is separated at the preliminary stage of treatment, but because it entrains putrescible organic matter which may contain pathogens, must be buried/disposed off without delay. The bulk of treated, dewatered sludge is useful as a soil conditioner but invariably its use for this purpose is uneconomical. The solid sludge therefore enters the stream of municipal wastes unless special arrangements are made for its disposal. (CPHEEO) 2. Solid Waste:  Solid wastes are all the wastes arising from human and animal activities that are normally solid and are discarded as useless or unwanted. (Center of Excellence for Environmental Education, GoI)   Solid waste includes all types of waste in municipal waste category arising from human and animal activity and all residential, commercial and institutional buildings.Various categories of wastes discussed in the following sections can be defined as follows: "Municipal solid waste"(MSW) includes commercial and residential wastes generated in municipal or notified areas in either solid or semi-solid form excluding industrial hazardous wastes but including treated bio-medical wastes. (MoEF, Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000)   MSW also includes construction and demolition waste which is often mixed with the domestic waste. This waste has high potential for reuse and recycling and so need to be handled separately  
Source : State of Environment Report Gujarat 2012

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