Solid Waste can be classified into biodegradable waste (such as food and kitchen waste); recyclable materials (such as paper, glass, bottles, metals and certain plastics) and domestic hazardous waste (such as medication, chemicals, light bulbs and batteries).
Solid waste management is one of the major challenges in India. The segregation of waste is almost negligible. Municipal Solid Waste is dumped in a mixed form in an unscientific manner on open waste land or low lying areas even near creeks, forests, rivers, ponds and other ecological sensitive regions. This practice is commonly known as ‘Open dumping’.
Inefficient collection, recycling/treatment and uncontrolled disposal of waste can lead to health risks, environmental pollution, contamination of ground water and the breeding of insects and attracting rodents. The dump sites often become a source for all kinds of diseases. Besides this, it leads to formation of secondary pollutants like Hydrogen sulfide, methanethiol and other Hydro sulfurous pollutants. Methane, which is one of the gases produced, causes fires and toxic smoke.
The task of solid-waste management presents complex technical challenges. It also poses a wide variety of administrative, economic, and social problems that must be managed and solved.