Alternative Ideas for Waste Management in Developing Countries

Decentralized Waste Management

Many smart cities and hubs in India have seen rapid economic development and population growth which generates thousands of tons of municipal solid waste. There is an urgent need to manage the waste daily. There are several factors that are responsible for the improper treatment of solid waste: low collection coverage and improper disposal facilities. This leads to the spread of diseases in the land, water, and air which in turn puts the life of the people in danger and environment at risk. There are many waste management companies in Delhi that help in converting organic waste into useful resources.

Management of solid waste is one of the major challenges worldwide. Inadequate collection, recycling or treatment and uncontrolled disposal of waste in dumps lead to severe hazards, such as health risks and environmental pollution. Sometimes these situations become even worse in developing countries. The typical municipal solid waste stream contains general wastes, special wastes, and construction waste.

Impacts of Improper Waste Management

There have been negative impacts due to inappropriate settings, designs, operations or maintenance of dumps and landfills which lead to problems in the collection of wastes. Here are several harmful effects that improper management of waste can lead to:

Increase disease transmission: Rotten organic materials start to emit foul smell leading to several health risks. The waste ground serves as a breeding ground for disease vectors. Waste handlers and waste pickers are also vulnerable to many poisonous diseases such as cancer, birth defects, and many other ailments.
Contaminate the surroundings: Waste dumped in landfills can contaminate the groundwater depending on the drainage system and composition of underlying soils. Toxic materials once placed in the solid waste stream can be treated or removed with advanced technologies. The stream remains harmful even after treatment and is poisonous to health.

Emit Greenhouse Gases: When the organic wastes are dumped off in landfills, they start to emit a foul smell and greenhouse gases after they undergo anaerobic degradation. They become a significant source of poisonous gases. Sometimes garbage is burnt in landfills and residential areas to reduce the volume which creates carbon monoxide, soot and nitrogen oxides which degrade air quality.
Waste Management Techniques in Developing Countries

In developing countries, open uncontrolled dumping is still the most common method of solid waste disposal in developing countries and emergency situations. Dumped and Degrading waste emits greenhouse gases and pollutes air, water and enhances the risks of disease transmission to nearby residents.

According to the World Bank report, there are approximately 2% of the population in developing countries are considered scavengers who earn a livelihood by collecting and selling recyclable materials.

Here are several ways that people/countries have found out in managing the waste:

Waste Picking: Due to high poverty rates, unemployment rates and extensive demand for user-friendly materials, the waste picking has become a waste picking business. Waste picking scavengers recover from recyclables from the streets, bins, open dumps, and even at the disposal sites where the collected materials unloaded. There are few materials like paper, cardboard, plastic, glass and a few metals which are recovered and sold to larger distributors or directly to recycling companies. They often suffer from health problems due to bad living conditions and exposure to waste.

Sanitary Landfills: These landfills are engineered disposal sites in which wastes are spread in layers, compacted and covered with soil or other materials to minimize air and water pollution. Modern sanitary landfills are set up on the opposite of open dumping, collect and treat leachate and methane gas.

Burning: It is another widespread and inappropriate method used in developing countries and reduce the volume or odors of dumped or uncollected solid waste. Open burning is the major source of toxic gas emissions such as carbon dioxide and furans.

Incineration: It is just another solution to waste disposal in developing countries. It is located away from the settlement. Incineration systems should be built on concrete systems. High-tech incinerators, in opposite to open burning, are engineered to prevent toxic emissions and make use of the excess heat to generate steam for power production or for residential heating.

These are some ways that are used in developing countries to manage waste. Officials in developing countries usually acknowledge the need for better waste management. However, very little is done to improve the situation and these changes take time in developing countries. Waste management is not given high priority among governmental duties and decision-makers don’t have the necessary skills or techniques to resolve the challenges of the locality. Some of the waste management companies in Delhi like Clean India Ventures are contributing to the environment by developing technologies such as Green Waste Reprocessor to convert waste into organic compost and liquid fuel. They help in the temple waste management, garden waste management, kitchen waste management through organic waste converter.