Hazardous wastes in India mounting at the rate of 2-5 percent year: ASSOCHAM-PwC

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As per the joint study conducted by ASSOCHAM and PwC, in India, about 10 to 15 percent of wastes produced by industries are hazardous and the generation of hazardous wastes is increasing at the rate of two to five percent per year.

As per the estimates, annually around 7.46 mn metric tonnes (MT) of hazardous waste is generated from 43,936 industries in the country, of which land fillable waste is 3.41 mn MT (46 percent), incinerable 0.69 mn MT (nine percent) and recyclable hazardous waste is 3.35 mn MT (45 percent), according to a study on 'Waste Management in India-Shiting Gears', jointly conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India ( ASSOCHAM) and PwC.

Hazardous wastes (HW) produced from various industries in India. The major HW generating industries in India include petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paint and dye, petroleum, fertilisers, asbestos, caustic soda, inorganic chemicals and general engineering industries. HW from these industrial sectors contains heavy metals, cyanides, pesticides, complex aromatic compounds and other chemicals, which are toxic, flammable, reactive, and corrosive or have explosive properties, adds the study.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) along with the Ministry of Environment and Forests ( MoEF) are the two nodal central ministries influencing the Waste to Energy Programme legislation and incentives.

The program on Recovery of Energy from Waste is a part of the National Master Plan for Development of Waste-to- Energy in India. The key objectives of the program are as follows are to accelerate the installation of energy recovery projects from industrial wastes with a view to harness the available potential by 2017.

To assess and upgrade various conversion technologies; create a conducive environment for the development of the sector in the country.

The Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016, have recently been notified by the Government of India considering the factors of Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) and Sustainability/Conservation of Environment.

The rules recognise hazardous waste and other waste, categorising that other waste can be considered as resource and must be used for recycling and reuse, supplementing industrial processes and reducing the load on the virgin resources in the country.

The suggested methods to manage hazardous waste Collection and Transportation (C&T): Hazardous waste transporters are individuals or entities that move hazardous waste from one site to another usually from the source of generation to its storage and disposal predominantly by road, rail, or water.

Transporters accepting hazardous waste from a generator or another transporter may need to hold waste temporarily during the normal course of transportation; hence they require the necessary infrastructure to manage the waste. The C&T activity entails the generator to handover waste in a specified fashion having necessary authorisation, packaging, and labelling to transport waste.

Responsibility of transportation lies with waste generator, the coprocessor, who utilises the waste (in case of coprocessing) and transporter, who transport the waste from generator to coprocessor. The waste generator should ensure that waste is packaged avoiding handling related accident during transport.

The waste and the transport vehicle needs to be adequately labelled with necessary clearances from the State Pollution Control Board during interstate transport.

A lot of effort is now being made to recover value out of the hazardous waste generated in the industries.

While the conventional management method of land filling and incineration are still the preferred ones, methods by co-processing of compatible hazardous waste in cement kilns is slowly picking pace. The method is being researched adequately by the Central Pollution Control Board and is recommended as one of the safest ways to manage the hazardous waste. (ANI)
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