Composting an Emerging Technology for Solid Waste Management in India

Composting an Emerging Technology for Solid Waste Management in India

Mansi Rastogi (Maharshi Dayanand University, India) and Meenakshi Nandal (Maharshi Dayanand University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3540-9.ch006

Abstract

This chapter describes how “Solid waste” (SW) is a term usually applied to an assorted collection of wastes produced in urban areas, the nature, characteristics and quantity of which varies from region to region. Waste generation is influenced not only by lifestyle of the region's inhabitants, but also by copiousness and type of the region's natural resources. Composting of municipal solid waste is, therefore, a simple and cost-effective technology for treating the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. As the composting proceeds there occurs drastic change in microbial communities, and resemblance to the initial community is lost with process. Generally, three categories of microorganisms play a vital role in composting process: bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi. It is primarily the mesophilic (> 45 °C) and specifically the thermophilic bacteria (< 60 °C), that plays a major role by rising the temperature of the piles. This chapter mainly focused on composting process for Municipal waste stabilization and role of microbes in the process.
Chapter Preview
Top

Introduction

“Solid waste” (SW) is a term usually applied to an assorted collection of wastes produced in urban areas, the nature, characteristics and quantity of which varies from region to region. Waste generation is influenced not only by lifestyle of the region’s inhabitants, but also by copiousness and type of the region’s natural resources. Considering population India is the second largest nation in the world with a population of 1.21 billion, accounting for nearly 18% of world’s human population with inadequate resources and adequate systematic methodology to treat its solid wastes. Thus, enormous generation of solid waste is being caused by such a high population growth rate posing a serious threat to environmental quality and human health (Balasubramanian & Birundha, 2012). The urban population in India grew at a rate of 31.8% during the last decade to 377 million, which is greater than the entire population of US, the third largest country in the world according to population (Census of India, 2011). The improper disposal of this waste results in contamination of environment and spread of diseases. Management of these waste related problems has become a major problem and the impacts of these wastes on the economy cannot be ignored.

Solid waste management has evolved greatly since its early days and it is now considered an inter-related series of options that aim at waste reduction at source, recycling methods, treatment and final disposal methods. It is one of the most challenging issues in India than elsewhere at the global level and gigantic steps have to be taken to fill these gaps. Hence, approach for a system analysis has become necessary considering many options available and a system model that is desirable because of the interactions between many factors within a waste management system. As per MSW is concerned, it includes street sweeping, sanitation residues, household garbage and rubbish, trade and non-hazardous industrial refuse, construction and demolition debris. MSW management is of global concern for both the developed and under-developing countries. There is lack of proper municipal solid waste (MSW) disposal systems to tackle the ever-expanding quantity of wastes. The current SWM services are inept to sustain the heavy expenditure and could cause a potential threat to the environmental quality and public health. In India about 80-85% fraction of the solid waste is characterized to be organic. In India waste contains a large part of organic matter, composting looks as an attractive and feasible option for handling the degradable part of MSW.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book:
Reset