How India is wasting it's precious waste...vikrant hiwase
Food, Clothing, and shelter are the basic necessities of Human being. With the increased technology use by a human being; nowadays, the human being is been addicted to technology as a most basic necessity of life. While the use of technology was/is a choice; fast increasing urbanization is dragging all human being to adopt 'Waste Management' as one of the most basic necessities of life and beware...this is no choice...this is forced by nature on us. Either we manage our waste in time and in a real scientific way or else nature will manage us, in a way that, we may feel is very fictitious or non-real.
India as an example is fast climbing the ladder of being a fastest growing economy and having the largest population in a country as well. Both factors significantly contribute to the waste generation and waste treatment methods.
To critically acclaim the Indian government (For that matter all those Government/s which was in Power for last 15 years) for drawing and implementing such policies for waste generators, waste transporters and waste management companies as well; Government is doing what they can do but the problem lies within mentality and attitude of all related stakeholders.
To start with; Solid waste treatment facility (at least for wet waste) and STP- Sewage Treatment Plant, is the basic necessities of any area which has more than 50 number of households located in close vicinity.
India outnumbered any other country in the world for having a number of small villages in a single country and we should start waste management from these grass root villages by having small scale wet waste treatment plant which can serve the purpose of replacement of Wood for cooking/ LPG for cooking as well thus generating useful energy from the waste and utilizing that energy in the same vicinity, this arrangement can also help to reduce drudgery of women in villages as traditional Indian chulhas will go out of picture and health upliftment can also be achieved.
Having toilets in villages is welcome to move but connecting those toilets through sewerage line and treatment of sewerage in common treatment plant, slightly far from the community can generate renewable energy and serve the purpose of Village electrification and also can be useful to avoid groundwater contamination.
By not having substantiated, compulsive and full proof plan or policies, for waste management in village levels, though India is missing out on very small chunk waste management; it also needs to be understood that, we are also missing out on a large chunk of renewable energy generation. Thus we should not be skeptical about implementing various policies in this area and need to give more attention, at least within the next 5-year cycle, though not on an immediate basis.
At city level; charging waste generator is a welcome move, which is been lately adopted by various municipal corporation, but supporting those stakeholders like Societies/ Hotels/ Townships who wish to implement their own waste management practices in their own backyard, with tangible or intangible benefits such as CAPEX subsidy on the waste management project/ OPEX subsidy/ Diversion of CSR funding to these areas, application of CER at such micro level, can make these plants commercially viable for these small establishment/s.
Government shall also need to be careful in making sure that, any waste management technology which is qualified for any of above-mentioned government benefits, shall be bound to unparalleled, technically achievable but significantly strict parameters which may differ in small & large sector but by and large shall constitute the core deciding factors to decide actual beneficiaries.
The moment waste treatment becomes a Profit center to these enthusiastic stakeholders, the number of this kind of stakeholders will multifold in the very negligible time frame and thus load on common treatment facility will reduce drastically. Today such facilities in India are liability or cost center to such stakeholders mainly because of the following factors,
1/ Waste management industry becoming a targeted industry to dump or try any new or unproven or untested technology with assured profits to a vendor with no process guarantee checks at any level,
2/ Lenient parameters set by government authorities so as to avail whatever subsidies available, thus anyone with smallest of knowledge of technology can claim to implement the process plant,
3/ Less efficient technologies with practically low capital investment but no technical as well as the commercial feasibility of process,
If we set our standards right for above parameters; then, even with the same amount of waste, we will be able to generate more amount of energy; in other words, we shall proactively concentrate on not wasting our precious waste!!!