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Biology > Environmental Issues > Waste Management and Related Issues
Environmental Issues

Waste Management and Related Issues

You have heard the national campaign of “Swatch Bharat”. It has been taken up in India with full gusto. In short, the main aim of Swatch Bharat or Clean India campaign is to solve the sanitation problem and waste management in India. In our country managing waste and other related issues is a big bottleneck for the development of our country. Let us learn more about waste management.

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What is Waste Management?

Waste management

Managing the waste generated out of households, schools, offices, hospitals, etc. is called as waste management. The waste generated by the above-mentioned sources is called as the solid waste. It is the responsibility of a municipality to dispose of the solid waste in a correct manner. But citizens have a huge role to play in this too, as they are the main generators of this kind of waste.

Solid waste mostly includes all types of paper waste, plastic waste, food waste, glass, metals, cloth and textiles, rubber, leather etc. Industrial waste, hospital waste, and e-waste also form part of the solid waste.

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How is Waste Management Done?

The disposal of the different types of solid waste is done in different ways. One of the most common ways to dispose of the solid waste is to burn. But burning only reduces the volume of the waste and is not an effective method to dispose of. It also gives rise to gases which pollute the environment. Any unburnt waste again piles up and acts as a breeding ground for insects and rats.

Landfills are another method used to dispose of the solid waste. Here wastes are dumped in a huge pit and then covered with dirt. Even though this is seen as an alternative to open garbage dumping and burning, landfills are not an effective solution. There is a huge possibility of seepage of chemicals into the groundwater as well as polluting the land.

Waste Management

Hospital waste is generally disposed of by the incineration method. E-waste is also generated in huge numbers and has to be disposed of effectively. Any part that can be recycled to extract the metals from the e-waste is generally done. The rest of the e-waste is either incinerated or goes into a landfill.

The Three R’s of Waste Management

The three R’s of waste management are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. All the waste that is generated by humans can be classified as biodegradable waste, non-biodegradable waste, and recyclable waste. Here sorting out the waste is the first step in efficient waste management.

Once this is done, disposing of the waste becomes quite an easy process. Segregation of waste hence is an important aspect of managing wastes. And, segregation starts at the source, right from the point where it is generated. This segregation helps in sorting out materials that can be recycled or reused. With this, we can also achieve reduced waste production.

Waste Management

Apart from the clearly known sources of pollution, recent times have also seen the negative effects of chemicals, pesticides, radioactive wastes. There are growing concerns about Ozone depletion, global warming, greenhouse effect and climate change. All these issues have to be addressed effectively so as to reduce their harmful effects on our environment.

Solved Questions For You

Q: What is global warming? Explain in a few lines.

Ans: A long-term rise in the earth’s temperatures is called global warming. The extensive burning of fossil fuels is a major cause of global warming. The gases that arise from this kind of burning accumulate in higher concentrations. This accumulation does not allow the heat to escape out of the earth’s atmosphere, resulting in heating up of the earth’s surface.

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