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Upscaling the waste- The way of waste management/ Recycling of Non-biodegradable waste

The over-consumption of natural resources by humankind has led to the generation of byproducts that have caused more damage than anticipated to the Earth’s varied ecosystems. The damage is more devastating than one can imagine, disrupting the delicate balance of the food chain. These byproducts include non-biodegradable waste. 

In short, the unplanned disposal of non-biodegradable waste is causing a problem. 

When we talk about the problem in India, we suffer from a major issue when it comes to the dumping of non-biodegradable waste in landfills. Citing a 2014 report by the Planning Commission in India (2014):

“… If the current 62 million tonnes annual generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) continues to be dumped without treatment, it will need 340,000 cubic meters of landfill space every day (1,240 hectares per year). Considering the projected waste generation of 165 million tonnes by 2031, the requirement of land for setting up landfill for 20 years (considering 10-meter-high waste pile) could be as high as 66,000 hectares of precious land, which our country cannot afford to waste.”

Our waste is increasing, but the land remains limited. Thus need for proper disposal of non-biodegradable waste is urgent.

Before we step into waste planning management, let’s understand what exactly is non-biodegradable waste. By definition, any waste that does not decompose, decay, or dissolve by microorganisms in the soil or by natural means is considered non-biodegradable waste.

Types of non-biodegradable waste: 

1) Plastics 

2) Metal 

3) Glass 

4) Nuclear Waste 

5) Cans 

6) Man-Made Polymer 

7) Pharmaceutical/Medical waste 

8) Chemical waste: Paints/Pigments 

Consequences of improper disposal of non-biodegradable waste lead to: 

  • Blockage of sewer pipes etc. leading to unhygienic conditions due to plastics. 
  • Consumption of plastic/medical/chemical waste by land and seas animals, thereby affecting them and the food chain. 
  • Contamination of groundwater.
  • Injuries to people handling discarded medical waste such as syringes, scalpels, etc. 
  • Overfilled dumpsites with waste. 

In short, if non-biodegradable waste is not handled well, it is a cause of grave concern. How can we stop this nuisance? In short, by implementing waste management planning

Well, here are some solutions that are a part of waste management planning: 

1) Recycling – This is the best way to handle non-biodegradable waste as it not only helps in re-using materials but also helps reduce the need to produce more of it. 

Advantages of recycling:

  • Saves space in landfills
  • Reduces the number of virgin materials to be mined
  • Reduces the amount of production of new non-biodegradable products
  • Saves energy
  • Helps to reduce climate change

2) Incineration with energy recovery: 

This method of disposing of waste leads to incinerating plastic, rubber, or any other form of biodegradable wastes and generating energy such as electricity. 

Advantages of incineration:

  • Reduces the demand for non-renewable resources like coal and petroleum.
  • Reduces the volumes of trash.
  • Saves space in landfills
  • Provides new sources of energy

3) Efficient disposal of Hazardous Waste: 

Medical waste, petroleum, oil, pesticides, batteries, paint, and many others are considered hazardous waste and need an efficient way of disposal. That is why this category of waste needs to be managed in an isolated facility where they are treated under proper conditions. It is important to separate them and dispose of them off carefully without causing soil or water contamination. 

4) Landfills: 

They should be the last resort for non-biodegradable waste. As much as possible, we want to reduce the amount of non-biodegradable waste that ends up in landfills.

We do not want to pollute the soil with non-decaying materials. Unless there are no other ways to dispose of this trash, there is no choice but to use a landfill.

5) At a personal level: 

  • Learn about local waste management regulations and laws.
  • Practice recycling and upcycling waste at home. 
  • Reduce. usage of single-use plastics or any other products. 
  • Carry reusable bottles that you can refill whenever you feel like drinking water. 
  • Use a reusable mug when making a coffee run.
  • Invest in a tote bag for food and grocery shopping.
  • Using bamboo or metal straws and utensils while eating in fast-food restaurants to avoid using single-use plastic utensils and plastic straws that they provide.
  • Be a conscious consumer 
    • Make conscious decisions when buying products. Choose manufacturers that are environment-conscious.

Why is waste management planning important? 

Waste management planning plays a crucial role in achieving sustainable waste management. The purpose of the waste management plan is to ensure effective procedures are implemented while handling, storage, transportation, and final disposal of non-biodegradable waste. 

Thus a waste management plan paves an efficient path for collection, temporary storage, and safe disposal of the waste, while also implementing strategies such as recovery, re-use, and recycling of waste. 

Effective ways to implement a waste management plan: 

  • Understand waste streams 
  • Measure current waste generation
  • Assess waste and recycling within the community/organization
  • Develop strategic action plans for improvement
  • Ensure regulations/compliances are in place for all waste streams 
  • Adoption of waste management policies 
  • Track, measure, and report waste
  • Train and educate teams in waste management 

To implement an effective waste management plan, it is important to turn to professional waste management planners. 

HPG Consulting has the best team of waste management planners and consultants who take a strategic approach to waste management planning and recycling. The team does a thorough analysis of waste generation along with waste composition is done to gauge the waste flow and devise strategies around it. 

They are equipped with knowledge and experience to understand waste collection practices, transportation systems, materials recovery facilities, composting facilities, waste-to-energy plants, and landfills. 

While drafting a waste management plan, the team takes into consideration the present and future requirements of their clients while complying with all government regulations. Their expertise also lies in the beneficial reuse and redevelopment of waste management plants and landfills.

Reasons to trust HPG with waste management planning

  • A team of professionals who understand industry practices. 
  • Equipped with the latest trends of waste management
  • An effective and quick problem-solving approach
  • Competitive pricing when it comes to their plans
  • Collaborative approach while using comprehensive expertise. 

Connect with a waste management consultant at HPG today. 

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