Hazardous waste means any waste, which by reason of characteristics, such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, causes danger to health, or environment. It comprises the waste generated during the manufacturing processes of the commercial products such as petroleum refining, production of pharmaceuticals, petroleum, paint, aluminum, electronic products etc.

The hazardous wastes have short-term as well as long-term impact on environment.  The hazardous waste, when come in contact with the water body makes it unsafe for drinking and agricultural purposes. Animals and plants sicken and die when they drink from these waters, and human health in areas downstream may be affected. However, in the long term, the hazardous waste go far ahead in causing genetic mutations, physiological malfunctions (e.g., reproductive impairment, kidney failure, etc.), physical deformations, birth defects, cancer & other diseases in humans and the destruction of many natural resources.

Status of Hazardous Waste Management

The State Government is implementing the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management and Trans-boundary Movement) Rules, 2016 notified by Ministry of Environment and Forests, GOI for the scientific disposal of hazardous and other waste. PPCB has identified 3284 hazardous waste generating units. These industries are being monitored periodically for proper storage and disposal of hazardous waste generated by them. The recyclers / re-processor / co-processors are also being monitored by the Board from time to time.

PPCB has facilitated a Common Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility (CTSDF) at Village Nimbuan, Tehsil Dera Bassi, Distt. SAS Nagar constructed by M/s Nimbuan Green Field Punjab Limited (NGPL) and commissioned in October, 2007. The facility has been designed for 15 years capacity considering the generation of storable quantity of hazardous waste as 36,000 MTA with total capacity as 5,40,000 MT. The capacity to store hazardous waste in the existing CTSDF is sufficient upto year 2030 at the present rate of generation. The vehicles used by the common facility operator for transportation of hazardous waste are equipped with GPS system. Further, Eighteen major industries generating incinerable hazardous waste have also installed captive incinerators in their premises for disposal of incinerable waste.

(Source: “Action plan for monitoring of waste management in the state” Directorate of Environment & Climate Change, Punjab as cited on 17.06.2021)