Waste is defined as any material that is not useful and does not represent any economic value and that are discarded as useless or unwanted. Depending on the physical state of waste, wastes are categorized into solid, liquid and gaseous.

    Categorization of Municipal Solid Waste :-

    General Sources of municipal solid waste :-

The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 :-

The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 is notified by the Ministry of environment and Forests for management of Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW). According to the Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2000, solid waste management is one of the important obligatory functions of the municipal authorities. Except a few large cities, by-and-large, local bodies of medium and smaller towns have not undertaken regular exercise on quantification, characterization and disposal of municipal solid wastes. The waste characterization showed that municipal solid wastes typically contains about 50% of organic waste, 17% recyclables, 11% hazardous and 21% inert. However, about 40% of all MSW is not collected at all and hence lies littered in the city/town and finds its way to nearby open areas /drains and water bodies, causing clogging of water percolation, choking of drains and pollution of surface water. Un-segregated waste collection and transportation leads to dumping in open, which generates leachate and gaseous emissions besides causing nuisance in the surrounding environment. Leachate contaminates the groundwater as well as surface water in the vicinity: gaseous emissions contribute to global warming.

Quantification of Municipal Solid Waste :-

The activities associated with the management of MSW from the start of waste generation to final disposal can be grouped into the six functional elements:-

   =>  waste generation
   =>  waste storage at source
   =>  waste segregation
   =>  collection (primary and secondary)
   =>  transportation
   =>  processing and recycling
   =>  disposal of reject material
   =>  rehabilitation of the existing dumpsites to mitigate the pollution potential

Status of Municipal Solid Waste in Uttarakhand:-

In the State of Uttarakhand, the Urban Local Bodies are mainly governed by the Directorate of Urban Development and financial as well as infrastructural assistance are issued by through the Directorate. However, in case of Municipal Solid Waste Rules-2000, the State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) is responsible for implementation of provisions of said rules through the concerned ULBs. It seems that there is lack of co-ordination between the Directorate of Urban Development and the SPCB. ULBs are more or less concerned about sweeping and dumping of partial waste of the town. (CLICK here for more)

Waste Management 4 R's Concept:-

Four R’s (Refuse, Reuse, Recycle & Reduce) should be followed for waste management.

Refuse:- Do not through away the soft drinks, cans or the bottles, cover them with homemade paper or paint on them & use them as pencil stands or small vases.

Reuse/ Recycle:- Use shopping bags made of cloth or jute, which can be used over & over again.

  1.   Reduce the generation of unnecessary waste, eg. take your own bag or basket to the grocery and market.
  2.   Choose products wrapped in the least unnecessary packaging.
  3.   Buy everything you can in bulk (large economy sizes) rather than small packages that use much more wasteful packaging.
  4.   Try using concentrated products (e.g. soap) which need less packaging.
  5.   Buy vegetables loose rather than in plastic bags.
  6.   Compost vegetable scraps and garden waste. This can account for up to three-quarters of the waste you produce.
  7.   Maintain and repair items (e.g. clothes, appliances) so they last longer.
  8.   Sell or donate things you don't want instead of throwing them out (e.g. clothes, books can be sold at garage sales or handed down to younger ones).
  9.   Borrow, rent or share things you don't use often (e.g. tools).
  10. Use low-energy fluorescent bulbs that last longer than the regular incandescent bulbs.

Problems faced by Municipal Bodies:-

  1.   The local bodies which are responsible for proper disposal of urban waste are over-burdened with other responsibilities of much higher priorities such as street          sweeping, maintenance of existing roads, street lights, immunization etc. and waste disposal is downgraded to the end of the list.
  2.   Manual collection and disposal of wastes is the most widely practiced system of waste disposal. Lack of an established system for collection, transportation,          treatment, disposal and complete networking of the system is the major drawback in the proper management of wastes.
  3.   Waste management is least priority subject to ULBs.
  4.   Inadequate financial support;
  5.   Inadequate training of personnel;
  6.   Lack of performance monitoring;
  7.   Inadequate emphasis on preventive maintenance;

ENVIS Cell, Uttarakhand Environment Protection & Pollution Control Board,
29/20, Nemi Road, Dalanwala, Dehradun-248001 (Uttarakhand).