Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hierarchy of Sustainable Waste Management - Clean India Journal

In this two page article, Clean India Journal writes about WTERT's Hierarchy of Sustainable Waste Management, which is an excerpt from WTERT's publication Sustainable Solid Waste Management in India.
The original hierarchy of waste management addresses Reducing, Reusing, Recycling of waste, Aerobic and Anaerobic Composting, Waste-to-Energy and Sanitary Landfilling. For the specific purpose of this study, “Unsanitary Landfilling and Open Burning” has been added to represent the indiscriminate dumping and burning of MSW and the general situation of SWM in India and other developing countries.
The hierarchy of waste management recognises that source reduction begins with reducing the amount of waste generated and reusing materials to prevent them from entering the waste stream. Thus, waste is not generated until the end of “reuse” phase. Once the waste is generated, it needs to be collected. Material recovery from waste in the form of recycling and composting is recognised to be the most effective way of handling wastes. Due to technical and economic limitations of recycling, product design, inadequate source separation and lack of sufficient markets that can use all sorted materials, most of the MSW generated in India ends up in landfills.

Waste Management in India: A Nice Report and an Important Blog

In this Article on Global View of Waste Management, the Author Antonis Mavropoulos, STC Chair of ISWA writes about WTERT's research

Source:  (Daniel Berehulak - AFP/Getty Images)
I am sure that all of you are familiar with the new role and the importance of India in the current global landscape.
I would say that from a sustainability point of view, the future of waste management in India is an issue with global importance and impacts, rather than a typical national or local aspect. The same is also true about China, but this is an issue for a next post.
I found some very interesting figures which I would like to share with you.

50% is the increase in MSW generated within a decade since 2001. In a “business as usual scenario”, urban India will generate 160.5 million tons per year or 440.000 tons per day by 2041!

Within next ten years India will generate

Waste to Energy for Integrated Waste Management in India

This Article on Waste Management World Magazine writes about WTERT's Research
Role for Waste to Energy in Integrated Indian Waste ManagementIf the Indian Waste to Energy industry can exhibit self-responsibility in emissions control, it could established itself as a solution to a crisis and lead the way for reforms in implementation of regulations across all other industries, according to a recent study.

The study - sponsored by the Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WTERT), and conducted by Ranjith Kharvel Annepu - examined the present status of waste management in India, its effects on public health and the environment, and the prospects of introducing improved means of disposing Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in India.
The research investigated

What lies beneath – Digging in the World’s Trash Cans: Part 1

In this Article on blog.krya.in, the Author Preethi Sukumaran thanks WTERT's Research.
A graphic photo in The Hindu recently inspired this two part blog post.
As we walk around Chennai, we often have to navigate mounds of garbage. Garbage has a mysterious way of reappearing in double its size after it has been hauled away just a night before, and I cannot help being intrigued by the contents of trash.
Even protected areas like the bio-diverse IIT Madras campus suffer from the garbage problem. A week back on one of our now frequent walks in the IIT campus, Srini and I came across a couple of beautiful spotted deer busily nosing around old discarded containers of junk food. As we gently chased away the deer (who looked most grieved) and safely disposed the junk food container; we began talking about Chennai’s trash cans, and what ails them.
burning of solid waste in Hyderabaqd
Some digging (this time on the internet) threw up very interesting facts and figures.
There are many ways to look at the trash data. The simplest – how much trash (or solid waste) does each country generate on an average?
It comes as no surprise that the average US citizen is nearly at the head of the pack; trashing nearly 2 Kg of solid waste every day compared to urban Indians who generate 600 grams of waste every day.
Before we begin to pat ourselves on the back, consider this:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sustainable Solid Waste Management in India

This study examined the present status of waste management in India, its effects on public health and the environment, and the prospects of introducing improved means of disposing municipal solid waste (MSW) in India. The systems and techniques discussed are Informal and Formal Recycling, Aerobic Composting and Mechanical Biological Treatment, Small Scale Biomethanation, Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), Waste-to-Energy Combustion (WTE), and Landfill Mining (or Bioremediation).
Recyclables from waste pickers reach here, for secondary separation, Musheerabad, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Photo Credits: Ranjith Annepu

The main objective of the study was to find ways in which the enormous quantity of solid wastes currently disposed off on land can be reduced by recovering materials and energy from wastes, in a cost effective and environmental friendly manner. The guiding principle of this study is that “responsible management of wastes must be based on science and best available technology and not on ideology and economics that exclude environmental costs and seem to be inexpensive now, but can be very costly in the future”. (Annexure 1)

Friday, March 16, 2012

U.S. Dioxin and Furan standards for WTE Plants

Response to query by construction and buildings organization:
The US emission standards for municipal waste combustion plants (WTE plants) are the same as in E.U, Japan, Singapore, etc. With regard to dioxin/furans, there is some confusion because EPA expressed the standard as TOTAL nanograms of dioxins per standard cubic meter of stack gas while the rest of the world express it as TOXIC EQUIVALENT (TEQ) nanograms. In the 2003 thesis of P. Deriziotis (www.wtert.org, Publications, Theses) you can read that there are 200 dioxin compounds but only a few are toxic. The WHO and also EPA have developed the same toxic factors so that TOTAL ng can be converted to TEQ ng. For WTE plants, the conversion factor is about 100 so that the 13 ng total standard of EPA corresponds to 0.13 ng TEQ of other OECD nations, where the standard is 0.1 ng TEQ.
WTERT have been monitoring the US WTEs and current dioxin emissions are less than 0.1 ng TEQ which for the 28 million tons of MSW combusted in the US correspond to less than 10 grams TEQ of dioxins per year. EPA now reports that the major source of dioxins is "backyard barrel burning" estimated at over 500 TEQ grams per year. Other major sources are forest fires and the 4th of July fireworks. It is a real pity that some environmental groups perpetuate the "high dioxins" myth, thus contributing to the fact that the U.S. is the world's No. 1 landfiller.