Prioritizing eliminating landfills- Why it should be at the core of civic municipal waste management strategy?
See the pic of Ahmedabad, 6th largest city of India has a 140 ft high (landfill) of garbage. It is getting higher by the day and is going nowhere. Most people of Ahmedabad call it the “Garbage Mountain”. This is a common sight across the globe where large human populations reside in urban areas.
Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. These are the best and top 3 ways to eliminate 70% trash that go in the landfill sites across the world. Municipalities across the world are trying to grapple with the situation where the landfill sites are rapidly growing tall. It’s a scary situation.
To eliminate Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) landfill sites, significant investment in technology and a considerable amount of time on planning is required. Municipalities are searching for ways and techniques to generate energy from waste generated by citizens.
Why prioritize the elimination of landfill sites?
With the government of India launching an index of cleanest cities to get great rewards, municipalities are rushing to cash in the benefits. One of the most effective trackers of the city’s cleanliness is the landfill sites. But that is not all, there are many other reasons why eliminating landfills should be prioritized.
Health Hazard: Not only landfill sites are an eyesore, they are biggest health hazards for people of the city. The black tar, a contaminated cocktail of super toxins it generates by seepage of chemicals and other heavy minerals causes cancer and other skin diseases.
Polluter: It has the potential to engulf the entire town with deadly smog in winters and a fire hazard that can cover miles of areas around it chocking thousands. It also generates carcinogens that are potentially lethal for the young generation.
Energy: With modern incinerator technology, municipalities are generating energy from various types of waste collected from different centers. It is both viable and best alternative as even its by-products are utilized to the maximum as defined in many case studies of Power Generation.
Economics: Government grants are a great lure but also is the revenue generation from waste disposal techniques. Waste is a potential Gold as it can be monetized with organic and scientific disposal techniques.
Employment: The massive workforce required for sorting, segregating and collection of waste disposal in a scientific way generates hundreds of jobs across the city both directly and indirectly.
Waste can be converted into black gold. Megapolis like New York is understanding the importance of waste management in sustainable energy projects for modern cities to take it to the next level.
Which techniques are used for landfill elimination?
There are many technologies that mitigate complex challenges posed by increasing waste generation by the masses. The techniques like segregation, biotechnology, pits and many other techniques are on the rise but the best of them is Waste to Energy generation. As this is the most sustainable alternative till date to deal with this behemoth of problem.
Why Are Municipalities utilizing Gasification?
This technique has been developed in utmost scientific ways with models that can vouch for its efficiency both in reducing waste dumps and generating electricity and by-products that add value. It uses Poultry litter EFBs, Tires, Agriculture waste, papers, plastic and many other items and creates charcoal that is high combustion material to generate energy. In the end, the residue can be reutilized for many other purposes from construction to fabrication. In fact, nothing goes to waste with this technique. It is said that Gasification is the way forward for MSW management techniques for all the cities across the world.
At the End:
Getting rid of gargantuan landfill sites is not the responsibility of civic municipalities alone. We as citizens should also pitch in with our efforts for segregation of waste and reduce the waste generation. With more than 70% of waste generated by us going to landfill sites, the problem will worsen. Future technologies like Gasification for Energy generation can eliminate the landfill sites scientifically and a non-polluting way that helps municipalities and people to breathe a relief.