Solid Waste Management in Mumbai

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Solid Waste Management (pg1) Introduction: -
Civilization began & developed around river banks. Things were manageable at those times as people lived in harmony with nature. Industrialization changed everything. At the end of the 19th century the industrial revolution saw the rise of the world of consumers. Concentrated population packets developed at and around industrial area. Rapid Urbanization process posed many challenges before planning authorities. Government, local administration tried & is trying their level best to provide all basic amenities to this population. While doing so, one difficult challenge before administration is to manage waste generated by this large population. Solid waste generation is a continually growing problem at global, regional and local levels. Solid wastes are those organic and inorganic waste materials produced by various activities of the society, which have lost their value to the first user. Improper disposal of solid wastes pollutes all the vital components of the living environment (i.e., air, land and water) at local and global levels. The problem is more acute in developing nations than in developed nations, as their economic growth as well as urbanization is more rapid. There has been a significant increase in MSW (municipal solid waste) generation in India in the last few decades. This is largely because of rapid population growth and economic development in the country. Due to rapid growth of urban population, as well as constraint in resources, the management of solid waste poses a difficult and complex problem for the society and its improper management gravely affects the public health and degrades environment. The population of Mumbai grew from around 8.2 million in 1981 to 12.3 million in 1991, registering a growth of around 49%. On the other hand, MSW generated in the city increased from 3200 tonnes per day to 5355 tonnes per day in the same period registering a growth of around 67% (CPCB 2000). This clearly indicates that the growth in MSW in our urban centers has outpaced the population growth in recent years. This trend can be ascribed to our changing lifestyles, food habits, and change in living standards.

Waste referred as rubbish, trash, garbage, or junk is unwanted or unusable material. According to European councils’ directive “Waste is any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard." Waste if it is hazardous or toxic, it could even be a harbinger of disease and death, not just for living beings, but for all that sustains life, for example, water, air, soil and food.

Solid waste can be defined as any solid or semi-solid substance or object resulting from human or animal activities, discarded as useless or unwanted. It is an extremely mixed mass of wastes, which may originate from household, commercial, industrial or agricultural activities. Solid waste is a broad term, which encompasses all kinds of waste such as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Industrial Waste (IW), Hazardous Waste (HW), Bio-Medical Waste (BMW) and Electronic waste (E-waste) depending on their source & composition. It consists of organic and inorganic constituents which may or may not be biodegradable. On one hand, the recyclable components of solid waste could be useful as secondary resource for production processes. On the other hand, some of its toxic and harmful constituents may pose a danger if not handled properly. Source reduction, recycling and composting, waste-to-energy conversion facilities, and land filling are the four basic approaches to waste management.

Law Provision
1. Municipal Solid Waste (Management & Handling) Rule, 2000: Processing of Municipal Solid Wastes
Municipal authorities shall adopt suitable technology or combination of such technologies to make use of wastes so as to minimize burden on land fill. Following criteria...
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