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Role of Various Organizations in Solid Waste Management

by | Feb 26, 2022 | Solid Waste Management, Waste Management

Introduction

Organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, play an essential role in managing a city’s waste. Active participation of NGOs and municipal bodies in waste management helps raise awareness among the public about sustainable waste practices. The role of various organizations in solid waste management is also instrumental in identifying critical issues in waste management systems and finding solutions to them.

Now, let us see one by one the role of various organizations in solid waste management.

Governmental

It is the primary responsibility of municipal governmental organizations to ensure safe waste disposal methods. They make sure of the implementation of appropriate waste management practices. Waste management rules make it mandatory for municipal bodies to compost biodegradable waste. The regulations prohibit the disposal of organic matter at landfills and permit only the dumping of inert material. The policies of governmental bodies regarding waste management focus on:

  1. The restoration of water quality in rivers contaminated with wastewater.
  2. Monitoring degradation of land.
  3. Monitoring a waste management project’s impact on the environment by conducting regular environmental impact assessments.
  4. Enacting laws that protect the environment and penalizing perpetrators for violating these laws.

Though it is their primary responsibility, municipal bodies very poorly perform these services. The inefficiencies in waste management have resulted in the spread of diseases and immense damage to the environment. With rapid urbanization, these issues become more critical day by day.

Municipalities must interact with industries and commercial units to increase the number of wastes recycled. They must set standards for the efficient separation, compaction, and disposal of waste.

Non – Governmental

NGOs depend on voluntary service and function according to the number of donations received. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can be valuable assets in waste management systems. In India, around 1.5 million NGOs are supporting different causes. Municipal bodies and other governmental bodies are sometimes inefficient in their management of waste due to a lack of financing. Therefore, there is a growing need for NGOs and communities to participate in waste management processes. NGOs contribute to waste management by increasing the number of people involved in waste management practices. They also help spread awareness about sustainable waste practices. The major undertakings of NGOs in the waste management sector are:

  1. Ensuring that people participate in waste segregation, composting organic waste, and recycling waste.
  2. Creating mass awareness about the effects of uncontrolled and indiscriminate waste dumping in landfills.
  3. Creating employment opportunities through the organized collection of waste.
  4. Establishing community participation in community-based waste collection systems.
  5. Encouraging society to minimize waste generation through the composting of organic waste and biogas production.
  6. Creating awareness among communities about their responsibility towards the Earth and environment.

Non-governmental Organization solid waste management

Citizen Forums

A forum is a medium for participants to talk and argue over public and social matters. Citizenship Forums play a fundamental role in improving socio-environmental standards in an area. Forums allow waste/rag pickers to be actively involved in implementing waste management practices at the local level. Citizenship forums contribute to the eradication of social issues that surround waste picking. It empowers associations to uphold waste workers’ right to earn a living and right to clean and safe living conditions.

In the traditional planning of waste management systems, there has been participation only among engineers, administrators, and other professionals. Forums allow the urban poor to be involved in the decision-making of policies designed for their betterment. A UNICEF study estimated that 45,000 children in each developing country work in waste picking.

Urban waste management is a complex issue, and it is challenging to tackle it via a municipal agency alone. Therefore, forums are vital since they involve coordination between the private sector, local government, NGOs, and waste pickers’ associations.

Forums enable:

  1. The eradication of child labour at landfills. It also encourages them to enroll at schools.
  2. Forums enable local government bodies and waste pickers’ associations to partner together to improve recycling programs.
  3. The eradication of indiscriminate and open dumping. It helps in remediating degraded areas. It also promotes the development of sanitary and secure landfills.

Cost Economics of Solid Waste Management

Accounting for costs in solid waste management systems involves identifying, summing, and reporting costs associated with waste management. Knowing the costs associated with waste management helps make better decisions about waste programs. It also helps improve the efficiency of services and make plans for the future. Accounting for costs helps in:

  1. Identifying what and how much waste management services cost. Learning the costs leads to better control over waste management services.
  2. Explaining the costs to citizens. Collecting and compiling information about the costs associated with waste management helps explain the charges to citizens more clearly. Explaining costs is vital since citizens pay taxes that fund waste management services.
  3. Adopting a business-like approach to solid waste management. Businesses depend on a careful balance between quality and cost of service. Assessing costs helps identify areas where the quality of services needs to be improved.
  4. Cost analysis helps implement programs where people are charged based on how much waste they generate. Charging communities for generating over-permissible amounts of waste enables the cost of providing waste collection services to be covered.

Role of Various Organizations in Solid Waste Management

Source

Understanding the economics of waste management is essential to communities and municipalities. Calculating the cost of a waste management system involves using many variables. They include the number of collection points, the frequency of weekly collections, the type of area, the routes taken by collection vehicles, the types of collection vehicles, etc. By knowing the cost economics, societies and municipalities can determine the cost of solid waste management. They can also identify areas where waste diversion into composting centres and recycling stations needs to happen.

 

Author

  • The author has done a master's in Environmental science and is currently working as chief Environmental Advisor with New Delhi State Government.

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