Waste management or Waste disposal is basically all the activities and actions that are required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. It also encompasses the legal and regulatory framework that relates to waste management encompassing guidance on recycling etc. The process of waste management involves treating solid as well as liquid waste. During the treatment, it also offers a variety of solutions for recycling items that are not categorized as trash.
Proper management of waste is important for sustainable living. For years, waste management has remained a challenge for developing countries. Most suitable way to manage waste is to sort it at the start, like into general, metallic, hazardous waste and put in separate bins. A major part of waste management practices deal with municipal solid waste (MSW) which is the bulk of the waste that is created by household, industrial, and commercial activities. Waste is majorly defined into two basic categories which are, non-hazardous waste and hazardous waste. Non-hazardous waste is not harmful usually and collected by municipal authorities and dumped into landfills most of the times. Hazardous waste includes all types of rubbish that are flammable, toxic, corrosive and reactive. Incineration, Pyrolysis and disposal in landfills are some of methods to manage hazardous waste.
Waste Hierarchy includes Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and it is followed for waste management. The main aim of the waste hierarchy is to gain maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of end waste. Life-cycle of any product consist of design manufacturing, distribution, primary use and then it goes through waste hierarchy's stages of reduce, reuse and recycle. At each stage, measures can be taken to change design or use of product so that minimum waste is produced.
There are various methods of waste management, some of which are landfills, recycling, incineration, composting, Plasma gasification, waste to energy, animal feeding and land application. Also, there are some waste types that are considered hazardous and cannot be disposed of without special handling which will prevent contamination from occurring. These include biomedical waste, radioactive waste etc.
The things needed for waste management include but not limited to:
Equipment: For waste collection and transportation
Chemicals: To remove waste odour for open landfill sites all-over the country
Waste to energy plants and equipment
Waste recycling plants
Bio hazard waste equipment
Industrial and municipal waste water treatment machineries
Waste management is necessary for sustainable living. There are various benefits of waste management. The first and foremost benefit is improvement in environment. There will be less debris on face of the earth, heaps of garbage with flies buzzing around will not be lying here and there. Disease spread will be minimized and pollution is reduced. When waste is managed in a proper way, it doesn’t simply eliminate the subsequent waste but also reduces the impact and the intensity of harmful greenhouse gases like carbon-di-oxide, carbon mono-oxide, and methane that are often exuded from accumulated wastes in landfills. Recycling saves a lot of energy. Besides waste management creates a lot of employment opportunities for public.