Waste- Definition & Classification
• Any material which is not needed by the
owner, producer or processor.
• “Wastes are substances or objects which are
disposed of, or are required to be disposed of
by national law” (Basel Convention)
• Domestic waste
• Factory waste
• Waste from oil factory
• Construction waste
• Agricultural waste
• Food processing waste
• Bio-medical waste
• Nuclear waste
The majority goes to a landfill
What is a landfill?
• “In a landfill, the
waste is put on or in
the ground and is
covered with earth.
Because there is no
because each day’s
fill is covered with
at least six inches of
earth, air pollution
and population of
vermin are kept
• Landfills are a quick-fix solution. There is only a fixed volume of
garbage that can be accepted within a landfill.
• Existing Landfills create a slue of environmental problems.
• This is especially true for older landfills.
• Problems with landfills include
• Leaching: things like old batteries, household products, paint,
solvents, etc leak out of their containers and contaminate the
• Methane production – anaerobic decomposition of organic waste
generates methane gas, which is highly flammable. Flames
bolting out of landfills are not uncommon.
• Incomplete decomposition = some things just never breakdown.
Plastics for examples may be around forever.
• Settling = Buildings are sometimes constructed on old landfills.
For example the Inorbit Mall and other Raheja Commercial
Complex at Malad (West) Link Road. Building on landfills is not
as structurally sound as one might originally think.
• When all the refuse is collected and deposited in
one location, the concentrated garbage creates a
slue of environmental problems.
• Newer landfills must consider these
environmental consequences when being built.
The contamination of the groundwater is
especially important, and modern landfills are
required to be built 20’ above the existing water
• The following illustration diagrams some of these
• One solution to eliminating waste is to
• Incinerators burn garbage in a furnace at
very high temperatures, which dramatically
decreases the volume.
• The burning of garbage can be used to
generate electricity (Waste-to-Energy;
WTE), similar to coal-burning power
Benefits of Incinerators
• Incinerators have several advantages over landfill waste
• Can be used to generate electricity
• Garbage incinerators burn cleaner and generate less dioxins than
coal-burning power plants.
• Significantly reduces the volume of garbage
• Modern incinerators have “scrubbers” to purify the emissions and
the ash is tested routinely for hazardous waste.
• Medical waste and biohazard materials are sterilized and
pathogens are destroyed
• In densely populated areas, incinerators eliminate the need to
build new landfills, which are unsightly and generate a slue of
environmental problems of their own.
Arguments Against Incinerators
• From Wikipedia.org
• Waste from incinerators maybe a health hazard:
• Dioxins and furans
• Incinerators generate pollution
• Air pollutants include: hydrogen chloride, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide,
• Solid pollutants:
• Fly Ash = the ash from incinerators released to the air can be contaminated
with lead, cadmium, copper, and zinc.
• Bottom Ash = sundry toxic materials.
• The solid pollutants still need to be disposed of
• Incinerators are expensive to build (especially when you consider the
lower cost to build landfills)
• WTE incinerators require energy to “scrub” the emissions
• If paper and other flammables are recycled, the WTE plants may have
to be augmented with natural gas to continue generating power. This
might counter efforts to recycle.
• Incinerators generate odor.
Landfills and Incinerators:
Are they the only choices?
• Both landfills and incinerators are less than ideal. They
generate environmental, economic, and health concerns. What
then? What do we do with all the waste?
• Landfills and incinerators are couched within the philosophy
that we need better ways of eliminating or removing garbage.
• Reduce the amount of garbage that has to be disposed. By
reusing and recycling materials (and by encouraging and
supporting these behaviors), we may be able to reduce the
amount of waste.
• Buy products with less packaging-send a message to
manufacturers by supporting companies that package products
with minimal packaging. The cost of packaging is passed on
to the consumer by existing garbage taxes and new taxes to
pay for new landfills or incinerators.
• We may also need to curb our spending habits.
Waste is a strategic issue
• Companies are facing intense competition which
leads to strategies that seek to reduce costs
through minimising all types of waste
• National and international regulation and
legislation is increasing
• Customers are increasing concerned with the
environmental impact of products and services
Recycling: Processing of a waste item into usable forms.
Benefits of recycling:
-Reduce environmental degradation
-Making money out of waste
-Save energy that would have gone into waste handling &
Saving through recycling:
-When Al is resmelted- considerable saving in cost
-Making paper from waste saves 50% energy
-Every tonne of recycled glass saves energy equivalent to
100 litres of oil
Recycling not a solution to all problems!
Recycling is not a solution to managing every
kind of waste material
For many items recycling technologies are
unavailable or unsafe
In some cases, cost of recycling is too high.
The Waste Management Hierarchy
The 5 R’s of Waste Management
Refuse – Do not use non bio-degradable materials is the
process in the first place
Eg. No Plastic bags as packaging for consumer
Reduce – don’t manufacture goods that will be
discarded in the first place.
Eg. Reduced packaging for consumer products.
Re-use – use materials over again for the original
intended purpose or for a new purpose.
Eg. Plastic grocery bags can be reused for
groceries or you can use them as a lunch bag or
Recycle – break down materials and reform them into
new products. Requires much less energy than
manufacturing products from raw materials.
Eg. Pop cans. Aluminum is melted down
and made into new pop cans, storm doors,etc.
Recover – recover as much energy as possible before a
material is discarded.
Eg. Some places will burn garbage, then
use the heat to generate electricity
before disposing of the ash.
Waste Management Hierarchy Methods
Prevent •Clean Design
•Design for: manufacture, assembly, maintenance, dismantling,
•Extend product life expectancy
•Manufacturing technology e.g. near net-shape forming.
•Lean Manufacturing, Just-in-Time Manufacturing
•Total Quality Management
•Process monitoring and control
•Environmental management systems (EMS)
Reuse (no physical or chemical changes
•Primary / secondary function
Recycle (changing the physical or chemical
•Reclamation of materials
Energy recovery Incineration to produce energy
Safe disposal •Incineration without energy recovery
• Typically, e-waste or Waste Electrical and
Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is waste consisting
of any broken or unwanted electrical or electronic
appliance that has been disposed off either after its
usable life ends, or as unwanted byproducts
generated during manufacturing.
• It includes electrical and electronic devices like
entertainment electronics, computers, mobile
phones, refrigerators, lamps and their components.
• A preliminary investigation by the WEEE taskforce
has estimated that the total WEEE generation in
India is approximately 1,46,000 tones per year.
WEEE management challenges in India
• Rapidly increasing e-waste volumes include domestically
generated as well imports that are disguised as second-hand
computer donations towards bridging the digital divide or simply
as metal scrap.
• There are no accurate estimates of the quantity of e-waste
generated and recycled.
• Awareness amongst manufacturers and consumers regarding the
hazards of incorrect e-waste disposal is low.
• Widespread e-waste recycling in the informal sector using
rudimentary techniques such as acid leaching and open air
burning is resulting in severe environmental damage.
• E-waste workers have little or no knowledge of toxins in e-waste
and are exposed to serious health hazards.
• Inefficient recycling processes result in substantial losses of
• ‘Cherry-picking’ by recyclers who recover precious metals and
improperly dispose of the rest is a cause for concern.
Some Solutions to e-Wastes
• Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). EPR is seen as a useful policy as it
internalized the end-of-life costs and provided a competitive incentive for
companies to design equipment with less costs and liabilities when it reached
• There is no expressed legislation in India that is taking care of E-waste in
India. The Government of India has reiterated its commitment to Waste
Minimization & Control of Hazardous Wastes, both nationally and
internationally. The general environmental laws are indirectly touching the
aspects of E-waste.
• The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of
Hazardous Wastes & Disposal was signed by India on 15th March 1990,
ratified and acceded to in 1992, and amended in 2003. A ratification of this
convention obliges India to address the problem of trans-boundary movement
and disposal of dangerous hazardous wastes through international
cooperation. As per the Basel Convention, India cannot export hazardous
wastes listed in Annex VIII of the Convention from the countries that have
ratified the ban agreement. However, the convention agreement does not
restrict the import of such wastes from countries that have not ratified the
Basel Convention. It is through the orders of the Hon. Supreme Court that the
import of such wastes is now banned in the country. The legal basis,
therefore, is regulated in the Hazardous Waste Management & Handling
Rules (1989 / 2000 / 2003 amended).
• Despite being the largest producer of E-waste, the US has refused to sign the
international Basel Convention to prevent the transfer of hazardous waste
from developed to developing countries.
WHAT IS BIOMEDICAL WASTE?
BIOMEDICAL WASTES are wastes, which
are generated during the diagnosis, treatment
or immunization of human beings or animals
or in research activities pertaining thereto or in
the production or testing of biological. Bio-
medical wastes are infectious and hazardous -
need to be managed carefully.
BIOMEDICAL WASTES REGULATIONS
• BIOMEDICAL WASTES (M&H) RULES 1998 - E(P) ACT
1986 as amended in 2000, 2003
• MOE&F- NODAL AGENCY
• PRESCRIBED AUTHORITY-IMPLEMENTATION
These rules provide a system for regulating handling BMW
which includes collection, segregation at source, norms for
packaging labeling and options for treatment and disposal
along with the standard for treatment technologies.
• For proper management & Handling of Bio-Medical
• Applicable to all persons who generate, collect, receive,
store, transport, treat, dispose or handle bio-medical waste
in any form.
Bio-Medical Waste (Management &
As per Rule 8 , Every Occupier of an
institution generating, collecting, receiving,
storing, transporting, treating, disposing
and /or handling bio-medical waste in any
other manner, except such occupier of
clinics, dispensaries, pathological
laboratories, blood banks providing
treatment / service to less than 1000 (one
thousand) patients per month, shall make an
application in Form I to the prescribed
authority for grant of authorization.
DEADLINES FOR SETTING UP BIOMEDICAL
WASTE TREATMENT FACILITIES
According to BMW Rules 1998 deadline for setting up of
Metros with population >30 lakhs -30.06.2000
Cities with population < 30 lakhs
Hospitals and Nursing Homes >500 beds -30.06.2000
Hospitals and Nursing Homes 200-500 beds -31.12.2000
Hospitals and Nursing Homes 50-200 beds -31.12.2001
Hospitals and Nursing Homes <50 beds -31.12.2002
All others -31.12.2002
COLOUR CODING AND TYPE OF
CONTAINER FOR DISPOSAL OF
Type of Container
Yellow Plastic Bag
Categories 1, 2,
3 & 6.
Incineration deep burial Red.
Categories 3, 6,
Autoclaving/Micro-waving Chemical Treatment
Plastic Bag /punctproof
Cat. 4, Cat. 7
Autoclaving/Micro-waving/ Chemical Treatment
& Destruction / shredding
Black Plastic Bag
Categories 5, 9,
Disposal in secured landfill.
NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard
During the 1980s, developed
countries witnessed the rapid
growth of a powerful
environmental movement. One
key international issue was the
transport of hazardous waste
from developed to developing
countries. Economists argued
that developing countries should
have the freedom to seek
economic development in ways
that they considered
and individual citizens decried
the ethical implications of these
• The Basel Convention (Basel Convention on the Control of
Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their
Disposal) is an international treaty that was designed to reduce
the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and
specifically to prevent transfer of hazardous waste from
developed to less developed countries (LDCs). It does not,
however, address the movement of radioactive waste. The
Convention is also intended to minimize the amount and toxicity
of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound
management as closely as possible to the source of generation,
and to assist LDCs in environmentally sound management of the
hazardous and other wastes they generate.
• The Convention was opened for signature on March 22, 1989,
and entered into force on May 5, 1992. Of the 170 parties to the
Convention, Afghanistan, Haiti, and the United States have
signed the Convention but have not yet ratified it.
DEFINITION OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
• In India it was first defined as “Hazardous Waste
(Management and Handling) Rules 1989” which
contained a schedule list of 13 categories
• India signed Basel Convention on 15.03.1990
• Ratified on 24.06.1992
• Acceded on 22.09.1992
• Basel Convention defines Hazardous Waste in Article 2
• “Waste are substances or objects which are disposed of or are
intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed by
provisions of National Law”
DEFINITION OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
Supreme Court regarded Hazardous Waste as:
Any substances, whether in solid, liquid or gaseous form,
which has no foreseeable use and which by reason of any
physical, chemical, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive,
corrosive, radioactive or infectious characteristics causes
danger or is likely to cause danger to health or environment,
whether alone or when in contact with other wastes or
environment whether alone or when in contact with other
wastes and environment and should be considered as such
when generated, handled, stored, transported, treated and
disposed of. This definition includes any product that releases
hazardous substance at the end of its life, if indiscriminately
HAZARDOUS WASTE CLASSIFICATION
• Hazardous Waste classification in Indian mainly
classified in two categories as follows:
• Organic Waste : 57%
• Acid/Alkali, Slurry Waste : 13%
• Waste containing Water soluble
Compounds of Heavy Metals : 8%
• Off spec. discarded products : 6%
• Waste Oil inclusion : 5%
Types of Hazardous Materials
(HAZMAT)• Why do we have hazardous materials?
• HAZMAT can be byproducts created from the production of other substances
• HAZMAT are used to perform certain tasks:
• Cleaning electronic equipment
• Building products
• Enhance gasoline
• Insulating electronics
• Laboratory chemicals for analyses and testing
• HAZMAT are classified into substances that are
• Ignitable (gasoline, alcohol)
• Corrosive (acids)
• Reactive (may explode or produce fumes
• Toxic or carcinogenic
• The following slide shows placards used to transport various toxic
Types of Hazardous
French aircraft carrier Clemenceau
French aircraft carrier Clemenceau
• December 12, 2005, Clemenceau, Ghost ship nobody wants
• 27,000-ton warship full of asbestos, PCBs, lead, mercury, and
other toxic chemicals
• Indian scrapyard of Alang (Bhavnagar district, Gujarat) , a place
where environmental regulations are lax and workers' rights are
• In most shipbreaking nations proper waste management is
absent. There are no rules and regulations. And where rules
exist, they're unlikely to be enforced.
• Basel Convention (1989) is an international treaty which
prohibits the export of hazardous waste from rich to poor
• Greenpeace raised awareness campaigned against the ship in
India as well as in France
• French President Chirac has announced a dramatic recall of the
asbestos-laden warship Clemenceau