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Call to integrate waste management, promote scientific recycling for sustainable future

An integrated approach to the management of solid, hazardous and e-waste, the  environmental damage cost of which is estimated to be over five per cent of India’s GDP ( $32 billion), and focus on promoting organised and scientific recycling of wastes  have become indispensable for a sustainable utilisation of natural resources and their protection from toxic releases.
“The integrated waste management approach, possible only with the active participation of government authorities and all stakeholders would  provide a holistic and viable solution to industries and communities for maximizing recovery of valuable end-products from wastes and minimizing effluents for disposal,” said Ram N Agnihotri, National Head, Hazardous Waste Management & Biomedical Waste  Management, Ramky Enviro Engineers Ltd.Addressing the third `Waste management summit 2012’, with the theme `Waste management – solutions for sustainable future’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said, “The lack of technical and financial resources and of regulatory control for the management of wastes in the past have led to the unscientific disposal of wastes in India. They posed serious risks to human, animal and plant life.”
 “There is an urgent need for a detailed assessment of the current and future scenario of waste management and recycling,  including  quantification, characteristics, existing disposal practices, environmental impacts etc’’, he adds.He also highlighted that only 10-12 per cent of this was treated or recycled, though almost the entire E-waste could be recycled if done scientifically. “The business potential of e-waste is estimated to be Rs. 700 crore,’’ he said.Mr. Agnihotri said, It was possible to produce 1700 mw from the estimated 55 million tonnes of urban solid waste and 6000 million cubic meters of liquid waste generated annually. Power production potential from industrial waste was estimated to be 1300 mw. So far only 50 projects with a total capacity of about 73.66 MWeq have been awarded for power generation, utilizing only 2.4 per cent of the total potential.”
Prof Dr. Asit Baran Mandal, Director, Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), stressing the conceptual aspect of waste management, said, “There were infinite possibilities to tackle problems emerging from the change in time and space. `But we have to take right decisions in the right pale at the right time.’ He called for a change in mindset to move away from conventional practices and adopt new technologies to reduce waste in any industry, including leather. (Source: CII)

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