Urban solid waste management has remained one of the neglected areas in urban management in India. Over the years there has been a progressive decline in the level of services in respect of collection and disposal of household, hospital, and industrial wastes as well as measures for environmental sanitation and public hygiene. In most cities nearly one-half of solid waste generated remains unattended that gives rise to insanitary conditions, especially in densely populated slums. This has also resulted in higher mortality and morbidity due to infections among the urban slum dwellers, handlers of wastes being the worst affected. It is, therefore, imperative that steps to improve solid waste management, environment health hygiene and sanitation be initiated immediately to minimise the health hazards arising from environmental consequences and rapid urbanisation.
The Sulabh International Academy of Environmental Sanitation has developed a new technology – which requires only 8 to 10 days to make compost from any biodegradable waste, without any manual handling during composting. It is based on the thermophilic aerobic method. The technology does not require recurring expenditure. The plant is fabricated from G.I. sheets having double walls filled with glass wool, and partitioned with perforated sheets into three chambers. After biodegradation, the liquid is collected in the bottom chamber and can be removed and used for agricultural / horticultural purposes. Manure which contains 30- 35% moisture, can be directly used for agriculture / land filling purposes or dried, granulated and stored until further use. The benefits of this technology are:
- organic solid waste can be efficiently converted into manure and soil conditioner, giving economic return,
- it can control diseases transmitted from waste; as at high temperature pathogens are eliminated from it,
- due to a reduction in volume, cartage costs of waste to disposal sites or for land filling will be greatly reduced, and
- spread of weeds from waste will also be controlled.
The technology is suited for the rural areas as its byproducts (compost) can readily be used for agricultural purposes, and it reduces health hazards.