Increasing urbanization & industrialization has to
led to mass consumption and over-exploitation of
With the increasing incomes, rising standard of
life, and mass production the amount of waste
generation has also increased tremendously.
Unfortunately the rapid growth in urban
infrastructural development is not in sync with
scientific progress in methods of waste recycling
and waste treatment.
We all produce waste nearly everything we do. A
variety of wastes in early are produced as we
perform our activities such as cooking, farming,
maintaining our home or school, running a shop,
business, industry, or office in our day to day life.
Materials that are discarded, unused & rejected as
worthless or unwanted are knowns as WASTE. It is
also referred to as rubbish, trash, garbage or junk
depending upon the types of materials and the
It is infact difficult t define specifically what a
waste is. Item that some people discard have
value to others. It is widely recognised that waste
materials are a valuable resource, whilst there is a
debate as to how this value is realised.
Government need to define what waste is in order
to ensure the safe & legal disposal of the waste
Waste exists in three forms such as Solid,
Liquid and Gaseous. Solid waste is easily
visible. It is generated from various activities
like construction, industries, mining,
commerce, offices and domestic use. Liquid
and Gaseous waste is also generated from
these sources in various quantities. In our
homes also we produced all three forms of
waste materials. Waste can be either wet or
a) Hazardous waste.
b) Non-hazardous waste.
Hazardous waste :
Hazardous waste materials
which are highly toxic to humans, animals
and plants. These materials react when
exposed to certain things, for e.g. gases.
Some of the hazardous waste can cause
genetic disorder. Certain types of hospital
waste and industrial wastes are considered
hazardous waste as they contain toxic
Non-Hazardous waste :
Non-hazardous waste include
municipal and household waste,
construction and domestic waste etc. It may
further be classified into “Biodegradable”
and “Non-biodegradable” waste.
1) Biodegradable waste :
Biodegradable waste is also
known as organic waste. For e.g. Vegetable
peels, remains of fruits, vegetables, bones,
meat, and etc. Biodegradable wastes are
decomposed by earthworms, ants, fungi
and microbes. The degraded materials
again enter the biogeochemical cycles.
Non-biodegradable waste consists
of synthetic materials like plastics,
thermocol, rayon, nylon aluminium foil,
rubber etc. Some of non-biodegradable
waste materials contain recyclable
components. They include paper, plastic,
metal, glass etc.
Another way of classification of
waste is Toxic waste and Non-Toxic waste.
Toxic waste includes waste from
mines, industries, car exhaust fumes, lead,
mercury, radioactive wastes etc.
Non-toxic waste includes paper,
rags, vegetables, fruits, meat etc.
Plastic have become an indispensable part of our
daily life but repeated reprocessing of plastic
waste, and its disposal cause environmental
problems, pose health hazards, in addition to
being a public nuisance. Packing is the major
application accounting for nearly 52%of plastic
Plastic carry bags made from virgin plastics are
accepted as user friendly. The problem arises
when plastics are recycled for repeated use. Carry
bags manufactured using third and low grade
recycled materials are acceptable and are the
main environmental culprits.
The government of Himachal Pradesh was
one of the earliest to introduce legislation
prohibiting the throwing and disposing of
plastic articles in public places.
recycling of plastic waste is a major activity
in India through which thousands families
earn livelihood. Any decision to suddenly
restrict this sector will have serious economic
and social repurcussion. At the same time
environmental issues involved need to be
addressed. The challenge for environmental
administrators lies in reconciling these two
MYTH:- Plastic bags are harmful as they clog
FACT:- Plastic bags are lighter(less dense) than
water; hence they float. This why they
accumulate when thrown indiscriminately.
MYTH:- Paper bags should be used instead of
FACT:- Paper is made from wood and hence
would require forest cover to be cut.
Also, manufacturing paper bags require two &
a half times the energy, compared to the
manufacture of plastic bags of the same size.
The manufacture of paper produces
significantly higher air pollutants too.