Why Effective Solid Waste Management Is Essential During Coronavirus

Now more than ever before, due to the Coronavirus, management of waste is critical to creating a better future for individuals as well as society. The pandemic has stressed on the urgent need for clean surroundings, maintaining good physical hygiene and effective solid waste management.

Currently, there is no evidence about the ability of COVID-19 virus to survive in waste. But following waste management best practices is the perfect way to move forward. Avoiding additional health risks due to improper waste management and maintaining good body immunity is essential. Thus, waste management during these unprecedented times is an essential service during COVID-19 with the sole objective of protecting public health.

While the large population in India is indoors due to lockdown, the waste generation is swelling causing undue stress on waste management. Due to social distancing being the key tool to control the spread of the virus, there are temporary interruptions which are delaying collection of waste. At some places, it is taking almost 72 hours to collect the waste from households. The problems like staff shortage at municipalities are being felt across the country. The safety measures are reducing efficiency as well.

There is an urgent need to tackle waste management challenges by including municipal waste management practises, considering the safety and health of workers, better waste treatment requirements, disinfection and training. The collective effort of the national government, municipal authorities, district and city level waste management officials, workers and common people together can only help to beat the crisis. This will include the management of medical and household waste properly and effectively.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has already issued guidelines for proper handling and management of medical waste generated by COVID-19 patients. The use of double-layered bags is necessary. It is thereafter required to be safely disposed of or treated. 

According to WHO guidelines for the safe management of wastes in health-care activities, PPE kits (boots, apron, long-sleeved gown, thick gloves, mask, and goggles) should be worn by the healthcare workers and must follow hand hygiene after removing it.

While people are staying in the comfort of their homes due to lockdown, waste collectors and sanitation workers are risking their lives to collect wastes and contributing to the fight against the spread of coronavirus. People can take responsibility and do their part to reduce the workload on them.

Segregation and proper disposal of household waste have always been an issue in India. This is a great opportunity to change the mindset and approach towards waste management by individuals and take responsibility for the same. If we segregate waste into dry and wet waste, it will greatly reduce the work stress of the waste collectors. If one is producing medical waste it must be put in a double-layered bag for safety and given to the waste management workers for disposal.

See Also: India’s Gigantic Problem Of Solid Waste

It is highly important to segregate medical waste as well as the household and hazardous waste at the source itself. Everyone, irrespective of being healthy, quarantined or infected must collect infected masks, gloves, tissues, disposable cloths separately because safe handling and proper disposal of such waste are highly important. The proper treatment will reduce secondary impacts upon individual health and the environment as a whole.

Also, it is suggested by experts that dry waste can be quarantined for an appropriate time period before disposal, causing the virus to die. This ensures the safety of municipal waste workers as well.

A large amount of food waste is generated. Home composting can be used to decompose organic waste. It is one of the best ways to use waste for your own advantage. The right home composting of waste can take the burden off not only the workers but the environment itself. Moreover, the resulting compost can be used as fertilizer.

You can use Organica Biotech’s SoilMate for effective and fast composting. It decomposes the solid waste aggressively and in quick time. One of the highlights is that the rapidly acting bacteria can decompose a variety of organic waste. It further helps in community composting and curbs noxious odour, repels pathogens, flies and insects. Follow home composting using SoilMate and support solid waste management to combat COVID-19 successfully.

See Also: Is your city marred with colossal volumes of solid waste?

Post by Rohan Bhansali