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Toxic smoke from Bhalswa landfill chokes city- Suhas Dixit Review

Huge plumes of white smoke covered an otherwise clear blue sky in North Delhi on Wednesday, as fires fed by garbage at the Bhalswa landfill raged on. Read Suhas Dixit review to know more about the hazards and precautions.

Small fires at North Delhi Municipal Corporation’s Bhalswa landfill turned into a blaze earlier this week and fire tenders had to be called in. On Wednesday, apart from many smaller fires that can be seen throughout the year, a large cloud of smoke was emanating from the landfill.

At a time that Delhi is embarking on round two of the odd-even scheme and the government is focusing on reducing air pollution, the landfill fires pose not only a direct health hazard, but a challenge to reducing air pollution. Read more

Moving beyond waste management towards a green economy

Our current resource use is not sustainable and is putting pressure on our planet. We need to facilitate a transition towards a circular, green economy by moving beyond waste policies and focusing on eco-design, innovation and investments. Research can foster not only innovation in production, but also in business models and financing mechanisms.

The European Commission proposed on 2 December 2015 a new legislative package on circular economy. The package covers different stages of a product’s extended lifecycle from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. The proposed actions are designed to benefit both the environment and the economy, and extract the maximum value and use from all raw materials, products and waste, fostering energy savings and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

Recycling Prospects in Saudi Arabia

The concept of waste recycling has been getting increasing attention in Saudi Arabia in recent years. The country produces around 15 million tons of municipal solid waste each year with an average daily rate of 1.4 kg per person. This rate is projected to double (30 million tons per year) by 2033 with current annual population growth rate of 3.4%. The major ingredients of Saudi Arabian municipal solid waste are food waste (40-51%), paper (12-28%), cardboard (7%), plastics (5-17%), glass (3-5%), wood (2-8%), textile (2-6%), metals (2-8%) etc. depending on the urban activities and population density of studied region. Read more

Washing-up liquid bottle made from ocean plastic aims to clean up seas

Plastic rubbish washed up on a beach. Fish in the northern Pacific Ocean ingest as much as 24,000 tonnes of plastic each year – the equivalent of 480m two-litre plastic bottles. Photograph: AP

The world’s first washing-up liquid bottle made from reclaimed ocean plastic is to go on sale in UK supermarkets later this month. Read more

Peeping into the Future of Waste

Waste management is an important tool for curbing climate change and for keeping our environment clean and healthy. Methane generated from biodegradable wastes is a powerful greenhouse gas, and when it’s not captured and used as a fuel it contributes to rapid warming of the atmosphere. Estimates suggest that biodegradable waste in dump sites and uncapped landfill sites are contributing far more methane to the atmosphere than previously thought. What’s more, urban food waste is predicted to increase by 44% from 2005 to 2025, and with no proper management in place, will significantly add to global greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

Cabinet likely to approve policy for producing more compost from municipal garbage

NEW DELHI: In its bid to push production of compost from municipal solid waste, the Cabinet on Wednesday is likely to approve the proposal to provide subsidy to cities that will take up this task vigorously. As per the proposal, the fertilizer ministry will provide Rs 1,500 subsidy to city administration and municipal bodies for selling every tonne of such compost.

The proposal also includes making it mandatory for the urea marketing companies to sell compost from municipal waste. Sources said the norm is likely to mandate selling of 3-4 bags of compost for every 6-7 bags of urea. Read more

The Menace of Marine Litter

Marine litter, long a neglected topic, has started to garner some attention. Marine litter is composed of a diverse mix of items from various sources and so a one-size fits all solution is unlikely to be effective. Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), plastic packaging (bottles, caps, bags, etc.) and plastic manufacturing pellets are amongst the most common and persistent items found. Comparing the feasibility and the financial case for recovery versus prevention for each of these groups reveals a worrying gap in our attempts to deal with the problem. Read more

The top 5 waste management stories in 2015

The crucial role of government policies in sustainable waste management grabbed the limelight this year.

More cities and companies recognise that landfills and oceans are not the righful place for waste, and that they should be circulating waste back into the economy as new products – in the form of biogas, fertiliser or a new pair of shoes. Read more

Recycling of EPS Foam

EPS foam is a highly popular plastic packaging material which finds wide application in packaging of food items, electronic goods, electrical appliances, furniture etc due to its excellent insulating and protective properties. EPS foam (or Polystyrene) is also used to make useful products such as disposable cups, trays, cutlery, cartons, cases etc. Despite the attractiveness of polystyrene, municipalities and organisations are facing a growing problem in disposal of polystyrene packaging and products. Being large and bulky, polystyrene take up significant space in rubbish bins which means that bins becomes full more quickly and therefore needs to be emptied more often. Polystyrene is lightweight compared to its volume so it occupies lots of precious landfill space and can be blown around and cause a nuisance in the surrounding areas. Although some companies have a recycling policy, most of the polystyrene still find its way into landfill sites around the world. Read more

An Investment Opportunity In Trash

As incredible as it might seem, processing trash may represent a future unique investment opportunity. Consider the new technologies that will operate on the micro scale, breaking the bonds of molecules through bio-mechanical means, which could be applied to recycling trash completely. It is quite possible that many of these innovations may emerge from our efforts to explore and live in space.

Since the dawn of the Industrial Age, we have polluted our streams, rivers, lakes and oceans with pesticide and fertilizer runoff, mining and oil wastes, petrochemical products and thousands of other dangerous products.

Pollution has reached the point where a cleanup of our environment — on a macro scale with heavy equipment — is impractical. Despite present efforts, humanity is losing the fight to manage trash. Read more