The quantity and composition of waste generated depends on various factors such as land use, characteristics living habits, climatic condition etc. Thus, solid waste management is to be treated as an integrated activity involving in generation, transfer, storage, collection, transport processing disposal etc. which are environmentally compatible and requires involvement of multidisciplinary specialists.
Taking into consideration these factors, an integrated solid waste management is done by following methods: (I) Hospital waste management: Big hospitals have effective incinerators, but a large number of hospitals and nursing homes, have to go either for a co-operative incinerating or have to find out an alternative method.
The waste mostly consists of biodegradable paper, infected cotton, guaze, blades, nails, plaster of paris, amputated limbs and non-degradable intravenous bottles, glass or plastics, syringes, viols and phials. They are all collected in large buckets every day and then dumped in a large ditch. Every few days it is covered with a thin layer of cow dung and soil. The process is continued till the ditch is full up to the brim when a thick layer of cow dung and soil is obtained.
The whole dust is converted in to (I) good manure with calcium and phosphorus and (II) non-degradable glass and plastics etc. which is utilized for land fill after compaction and compression.
(II) Sanitary land fills:
Land fill stands as the only waste disposal method that can deal with all materials in the solid waste stream. Other options such as biological or thermal treatments produce. Waste residues which are to be land filled. Land fill is considered as the so fast, simplest and cheapest of all the disposal methods.
Major design considerations of the land fill method are concerned with (I) site selection (II) quantity of land fill gas. (Ill) quantity of Inchoate likely to be generated
(IV) Approximate inputs to the land fill organic biodegradable and inert material
(V) Settlement of land fills
(VI) Inchoate collection, disposal options of Inchoate and land fill gas.
(III) Vermicomposting method:
If the urban waste material is converted into a valuable compost detrimental effect of refuse may be overcome. The concept of sericulture biotechnology gives hope for healthy ecology and acts as a versatile natural bioreactor.
Earthworm is not only the biofertilising agent and composting element but also aerator, moisture retainer and crushing biological agent. Sericulture technology is used for processing of various solid and liquid wastes and converts them into valuable resources and cleaning up the environment with cost effective waste management technology.
Inoculation of earthworms considerable reduces carbon: nitrogen ratio in solid organic waste. Analysis of gut enzymes of various species of earthworm has shown presence of enzyme cellulose. This makes these worms capable of degrading cellulose materials like paper, cotton, husk leaf, vegetable skin etc. The cellulosic materials therefore are highly suitable for culture of earthworms.
Earthworm’s capacity to biodegradable organic waste is also significant for agriculture sector because the product of degradation is highly useful as manure also. Use of organic solid waste degraded by earthworms can be successfully utilized for cultivating an edible mushroom.
Vermitechnology, is therefore is more suitable for managing solid waste because it is not only results in faster degradation of waste but the products thus formed have various uses. The technology is cost effective and can easily be applied in rural India. India is presently, having 500 species of earthworms of which about 10 species have been successfully tested for managing solid waste.