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Solid Waste
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  • According to World Health Organization, waste is defined as any substance or object arising from human or animal activities that has to be discarded as ‘unwanted’.
  • Solid waste consists of the discarded portion of household material, dead animal remains, trade, commercial, agriculture & industrial waste and other large waste like debris from construction site, furniture etc.
  • Solid wastes are generally categorized as:

o    Municipal Solid Waste

o    Hazardous Solid Waste

o    Biomedical Solid Waste

  • In Punjab, growth of population, industrialization and urbanization has resulted in generation of large volumes of solid waste. The total amount of collected solid waste from 22 districts includes 1486128 MT of Municipal Waste, 18750.923 MT of Hazardous Waste and 3966.385 MT of bio-medical waste (Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2014). The total waste generation in the state is continuously increasing with growth in population,urbanization, high per capita income, increase in construction and commercial activities, increase in slaughter houses and shift towards western lifestyles. However, urbanization is the key driving factor amongst all.

  • MSW Generated and Treated in Punjab

(Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2014)

  • BMW Generated and Treated in Punjab

(Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2014)

  • HW Generated and Treated in Punjab

(Source: Punjab Pollution Control Board, 2014)

Factors contributing to the generation of solid waste
  • The state has registered 45% increase in its population during the last decades.
  • The state is the 7th most urbanized state in the country with urban population increasing to 33.95% against a national average of 27.8%.
  • The state has two (Ludhiana & Amritsar) cities with more than 1 million population.
  • The state supports a large number of floating population from other states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Most of the solid waste is presently disposed of on land and remains uncovered resulting in environmental pollution of surrounding area.
  • The change in life style towards” consume and discard’ culture is responsible for adding to municipal solid waste and changing waste composition. It also adds pressure on the existing municipal solid waste handling infrastructure, as well as, disposal sites.

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