Towards Effective Municipal Solid Waste Management

December 7, 2010
School of Engineering, Amritapuri

Third-year students of B.Tech. (Mechanical & ECE) at the School of Engineering in Amritapuri recently prepared a report on Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSW) in India.

ECE-Mech Students

Intended to help any municipality that wishes to undertake an effective waste management program, the report is a veritable guide to achieving the target of zero-waste.

“The students wrote this report as their humble contribution to Chancellor Amma’s Amala Bharatam campaign,” stated Prof. Prasanna, who teaches Environmental Studies to these students. The work was undertaken by the students as part of their curriculum.

Outlining MSW management practices in general, the report included a description of different types of trash generated in municipalities.

“Most municipal solid waste consists of everyday items such as plastic bags, food scraps, paper, discarded bottles, etc.,” the students wrote. They recommended that waste be separated at source.

Waste Management

“Only by proper waste separation, can recycling and composting become possible,” they wrote.

The students recommended that paper, glass, plastic and metal items be recycled, so as to divert them from the waste stream.

They described the practice of composting, and how the decomposition of organic waste such as food scraps and fallen leaves could be converted for use as a rich, natural fertilizer.

The students didn’t forget to address the problem of e-waste. They explained how outdated computer equipment, no longer useful, ends up in landfills, contaminating the environment.

Proposing the addition of a tax or surcharge to the purchase of all new electronic items, the students suggested that these additional funds could be used towards e-waste collection programs.

Waste Management

“In earlier times, managing waste was hardly a problem,” they noted. “With the arrival of urbanization and industrialization, individual life styles began to change. In India today, there is a huge problem in managing waste.”

The students quoted Chancellor Amma in their report.

“It is said that India is growing, that it is developing. However, in matters of environmental cleanliness and hygiene, we are lagging behind by centuries.”

“The standard of cleanliness on Indian roads and in public toilets is appalling. We should consider the daily task of keeping our environment and public places clean as a sacred duty.”

“Chancellor Amma’s vision includes a clean, healthy and prosperous India,” the students emphasized. “The Amala Bharatam project will continue, through collective effort of youth from across the nation.”

Waste Management

Doubtlessly it will. Amala Bharatam has caught the attention of the public and the media because of its noble mission and disciplined execution. Now this report prepared by Amrita students may similarly inspire municipal officers all across the country. We hope that they are motivated to implement effective MSW management practices in their zones.

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