Health & Wellbeing

Jul 14, 2023 9 min read

Solid Waste Management -A dire necessity

Author has the experience of converting a disorganized waste disposal system to a full flagged waste free township/society by proper management of the generated household wastes, making complete use of rejected household materials/wastes through recycling, thereby no dumping in landfills for protection of mother earth

The concept of the three golden rules of sustainability i.e., Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, and its benefits both to us humans and to the environment is well proven. Refuse is the fourth “R” which is a valuable addition to it. Since, the last 3 decades, people are more comfortable with single-use items, and hence, the generation of household waste (?) has gone up uncontrollably. We have very clear responsibilities to protect our environment from the damage being done by these household-used items. So, the concept of “4R” has been given prime importance by environmentalists worldwide. Dumping of generated household waste at designated landfills has become the biggest threat to our environment.

What is solid waste management?

It is the process of managing our household wastes/rejects in such a way that our generated wastes do not harm our mother earth. Solid Waste Management is a very well-desired functionality in our society to adopt all 4Rs’. Though, lots of persuasions on this requirement have already gone into our society, Recycling of generated household rejects (not waste) is far behind in India. Here, it is very clear that any items which have a useful life in any other form should be referred to as rejects and not wastes. Wastes have no useful life. However, solid waste generation can be reduced to a considerable scale by incorporating stringent policies where recycling needs more emphasis with prime importance.      

As our society is more or less familiar with the “3Rs”: Refuse, Reduce & Reuse, however, by adopting these “3Rs” only, we can minimize the generation of household wastes of both bio-degradable &non-biodegradable but we can’t resolve the issues cropped up by a generation of household waste and its harmful effects on mother earth unless we opt for Recycling of resources (household Wastes, rejects: Resources). A dire necessity.

What is the recycling of household wastes: 

Recycling is the process of separating, collecting, and remanufacturing or converting used or waste products into new materials. But if we want to truly focus on recycling, it’s important to change the way we address it both on a personal and on a societal level. Even as we live in a consumer-driven world, with a growing appetite for new things, if we begin to look at the waste created by this level of consumption in a different light, we might turn our problem into an opportunity. Whether it’s plastic, paper, or aluminum, the products, and materials that can be used after they fulfill their original purpose are far from worthless. In fact, most materials have great recycling value. It is estimated that up to 75% of all the waste can be recycled or repurposed, a figure that how impactful the process can be if done right. Almost everything we see around us can be recycled, although different materials require different techniques when they are recycled. Most of the commonly recyclable materials include batteries, biodegradable waste, clothing, electronics, garments, glass, metals, paper, plastics, and a lot more. Recycling is much more than just reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill, with a long list of benefits that aren’t limited to the environment. Recycling helps extend the life and usefulness of something that has already served its initial purpose by returning it to its raw materials and then using those materials to produce something that is usable. Virtually all of the planet is impacted by how much we recycle. However, in this write-up, we limit ourselves to household-generated wastes only and their secondary treatments as an activity for environmental sustainability. Improving recycling behavior within the household can reduce environmental problems by significantly cutting down on waste being sent to the landfill, the key to successfully transitioning to comply with this new ordinance is residents' participation in recycling programs, to change residents’ current recycling behavior and encourage more recycling in the household, it is necessary to have a thorough understanding of what motivates residents to recycle and segregate the household waste in its own, it’s our own responsibility not to harm our mother earth, a small contribution means a lot.

Why is the recycling of household waste necessary? 

 Why it is important for the environment?  

What actions are required to promote recycling?

  • Recycling keeps trash out of the landfill and prevents waste from pollution.

  • Recycling reduces our need for new raw materials.

  • Recycling creates opportunities for the unemployed.

  • Enhances economic growth

  • One person can make a big difference-Waste segregation at the source.

Impact of non-segregation, Non-recycling of household wastes:

Lack of proper segregation, collection, and transportation of unsegregated mixed waste to landfills has an impact on the environment. When we segregate waste, it reduces the amount of waste that reaches landfills, thereby taking up less space. Not properly segregating the waste can additionally lead to difficulty in recycling. Separation of hazardous and non-hazardous waste is important as hazardous waste requires special handling. Pollution of air and water can be considerably reduced when hazardous waste is separated and treated separately. It is essential that waste is put in separate bins so that it can be appropriately dealt with, for recycling. Waste poses a threat to public health and the environment if it is not stored, collected, and disposed of properly. It's high time we change the perception of ‘waste as an unwanted material with no intrinsic value’ to ‘waste/rejects as a useful resource’ with proper management/ through recycling.

Way forward :

Mass awareness of the “Need for waste segregation and its recycling” should be generated in society, especially among schoolchildren and homemakers. Entrepreneurs should be encouraged to do more and more recycling businesses. Various entrepreneurship/startup programs should be sponsored by organizations. Need to explore scopes in CSR, and CER activities.


Seeing the earth sinking by the generated wastes and deteriorating environment, made us think differently and contribute to making this world a better place.


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