Solid Waste Management

For centuries, human activities have been generating wastes, but industrialisation, urbanization, and population explosion together led to a dramatic increase in the volume and quality of waste. Mismanagement of waste has led to the contamination of soil, surface and ground water, apart from air pollution and human health risks. There is a growing awareness that many of the environmental problems including the urban waste accumulation are an outcome of consumerism. The new generation is so much obsessed with and possessed of consumerism that our ecosystem has undergone many changes and diversification. The Urban waste management continues to remain one of the most neglected areas despite the fact that there are numerous technologies available to handle it.

The strategy for effective management of solid waste should entail with three R's. Reduction, Reuse and Recycling of the waste and to achieve this objective action programme should include a package of Preventive, Promotional and mitigative approach. Institutionalised mechanism network working concerned associations to carry out the action programme for implementation of the strategy should cover the components.

Tonnes & tonnes of waste & no place to dump, this is present scenario of Delhi regarding the solid waste generation. The entire identified landfill site will be able to accommodate not more than 5 years. If effectively managed using appropriate technologies, the burden of the landfill sites can be reduced ľ of the present condition. Compost able organic waste forms the major component that enters the landfills and causes air, water and soil pollution apart from spoiling the aesthetics of the surroundings. There is a need to provide an affordable and acceptable technology in a view to promote and encourage waste management in a much organised and sustainable manner. Only a constructive and combined effort in this manner could save the environment.

"Composting" is the technique by which organic waste like kitchen waste, rotten fruits, vegetables, leaves, garden and field waste is decomposed to produce a rich product - compost, which is natural fertiliser having no side effects on either plants or human beings. In "vermi-culture" decomposing is carried out with the help of Earthworms (E. foetida). In vermi-culture the earthworms can be further marketed to the needy, which is again an income generative programme.

The use of earthworms in farming has been known for centuries as earthworms are called friends of farmers. Earthworms eat up vegetable matter, soil etc. and excrete small beads called casts, this cast is very rich in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium (NPK) which are essential nutrients for the plants. In this process, they also upturn the soil, thus providing much needed air to the microorganisms and the roots of plants. Thus they speed up decomposition of vegetable matter and generate conditions that are conducive for all kinds of plant life to flourish in the soil.

The process through which earthworms are reproduced is called Vermi-culture and their subsequent use for preparation of compost is called Vermi-composting. Vermi-compost is a good quality bio-fertilizer made from organic waste using earthworms which contains average 1.5% more nitrogen, 2% more phosphates and 0.6% more potassium in comparison to ordinary manure. It also contains enzymes like auxins and cytokinins, vitamins and useful organisms like bacteria, actinimycetes, protozoans fungi etc.

The process involves breeding earthworms in a prepared mixture of cow-dung, household bio-degradable wastes, garden waste and agricultural residues till the whole mass is converted into casts. These casts are then harvested to make Vermi-compost. Although both indigenous and exotic varieties of earthworms can be used in making vermin-compost, exotic varieties are preferred, as they are 8 times faster in converting waste into manure. Organic manure like Vermi-composting are also getting popular today because of the ill-effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, which ruin soil fertility in the long run. Thus Vermi-compost has the dual benefit of being a bio-friendly fertilizer, as well as better and optimum use of wastes. It also saves money by being a cheap and cost effective fertilizer. To manage the plant and gardenís waste in the schools, some times gardeners burn the waste but using this waste they are capable to make good type of vermicompost which has big market value. This process is very cost effective process. Using this method management of zero garbage is possible. Again Schools as a demonstration site of vermi-composting trenches is an ideal place, as from schools dissemination of technology among the people is very easy. So in this way technology will be popularized.

Experience of the SED in the field of Solid Waste Management

The main focus of SED on Management of House-hold waste and has been working since last 12 years and undertaken number of programmes with different agencies. Following are brief of activities related to waste management.

Projects Agencies/partners Achievements
An integrated approach in waste management through peopleís participation in selected resettlement colonies of east-Delhi. Department of Environment, NCT Of Delhi

Year- 2001-2002
1) Data base was created regarding waste status in three resettlement colonies of Kalyanpuri, Geeta colony and Trilokpuri is available.
2) 180 waste retrievers were provided training in collection system, hygiene and handling of waste in scientific way.
3) Socio-economic and health conditions in the project area improved.
4) Popularity of cloth bags increased in the area as an alternative to polybag.
All India co-ordinated programme on waste management

Development of sustainable role model for urban waste management
Department of Science & technology, GOI
Year- 2002- continuing
1) Pilot study conducted to study the need based collection system.
2) Action plan was chalked out and Collection system of waste in the segregated form is established.
3) Designed rickshaw and collection center so that the waste collection and transportation is easy & hygienic.
4) Trained scavengers in making compost from B.W and making novelty products from polybags and established a chain of marketing.
Development of Community Vermi-culture Technique and its Demonstration for Waste Management. Department of Environment, NCT of Delhi.

Year- 2002- 2003
1) Established vermicomposting trenches at 40 different locations of Delhi.
2) Motivated and the established the chain of collection of segregated waste from localities and adopting latest waste management technologies of composting & vermicomposting.
Establishing the chain for recycling unit for recycling of PET bottles VPEPSI Foods India Ltd

Year- 2003
Initiated the collection mechanism of PET bottles and Established the collection mechanism of pet bottles
Total solid waste management at selected RWA. Department of Environment, NCT of Delhi.

Year- 2006- 2007
1) Motivate and the establish the chain of collection of segregated waste from households.
2) Establishment of vermicomposting trenches for waste management.
Development & demonstration of Vermi-technology at 185 schools Department of Environment, NCT of Delhi.

Year- 2007- 2008 to 2013- 2014
1) Establishment of vermicomposting pits for waste management.
2) Make schools zero garbage
3) Inculcate habit of cleanliness among children