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Mar 26, 2013

Water Pollution Due to Improper Waste Management

Real life examples of the impact of waste management on water pollution mentioned in this article are provided in my latest report Observations from India's Waste Crisis (February, 2013).

Unsanitary landfills, which are more commonly referred to as open dumpsites can contaminate ground and surface water resources when the leachate produced percolates through the soil strata into the groundwater underneath or is washed as runoff during rains. Leachate is generally a strong reducing liquid formed under methanogenic (anaerobic) conditions. The characteristics of leachate depend on the content of various constituents in the dumped waste (4).
Studies on Environmental Quality in and around Municipal Solid Waste Dumpsite” in Kolkata, by Biswas A.K., et al. found moderately high concentrations of heavy metal in groundwater surround the dumpsite. The study found out that the groundwater quality has been significantly affected by leachate percolation.
Leachate generally contains organic chemicals formed by anaerobic digestion of organic wastes and heavy metals leached from inorganic wastes.
Percolation of leachate in to the ground from a dumpsite like this can effect the quality of ground water used by the nearby community - Pimpri Chinchwad, Maharashtra, India (Ranjith Annepu)

Mar 4, 2013

Research Requirements in Solid Waste Management in Transitional Countries

Rapid urbanization is increasing the pressure on the limited waste and sanitation infrastructure in cities of the developing world. The rate of urbanization in today’s world, driven mainly by these cities is unprecedented and therefore the challenges it presents are much larger in scale and different in scope compared to those experienced in the past by developed countries. To be able to address these challenges, we need new research which can use latest technological tools in understanding changing life styles, public expectations and infrastructural needs, and also to design innovative solutions.

Research in waste management in transitional countries should mainly focus on facilitating decision making. It should be targeted at national policy makers and at municipality level decision makers.


CH4 Methane
Carbon Dioxide
Government of India
INR Indian Rupee
JnNURM Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission
LFG Landfill Gas
Mechanical Biological Treatment
MSW Municipal Solid Waste
NEERI National Environmental Engineering Research Institute
Refuse Derived Fuel
SLF Sanitary Landfill
SWM Solid Waste Management
USD United States Dollar
WPs Waste Pickers
WTE Waste-to-Energy
WTERT Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council