Waste Management Amid Covid 19 Pandemic

-By KI News Team | Sept. 25, 2020, 11:22 a.m.

In a global pandemic under which the world is endeavoring to contain and lead a path to normal life again, crooked waste management can be categorized as an impediment in achieving this goal. A video conference held on 13th May among Brijesh Bhatt (Narad Sanchar founder), Ashish Jain (Founder of Indian Pollution Control Association), Pramod Jha (IANS), and Sanjay Chaturvedi (Freelance),  on waste management which was organized by Narad Sanchar (a digital revolution for the exchange of information related to public welfare and monitoring of news broadcast by media) and Brijesh Bhatt who is founder of Narad Sanchar to bring in light this issue. How is the government dealing with waste management policies and why is segregated waste not being ferried to recycling industries was conferred in the conference.   

Ashish Jain elucidated, what the 'New Normal' will be like and How is the waste management sector being struck in this unprecedented situation. "Lots of behavioral changes will be seen in the foreseen future, from normal gatherings to celebrations. Generation of waste per capita has been significantly reduced to 30-40% which can be assumed to be wicked for our environmental health without any efforts", he said. On the contrary he also highlighted solemn problems like labor shortage amid the fear of getting infected from disposed waste and reverse migration. He also spoke about proper disposal of infectious waste from homes such as used masks and gloves and the government can play a pivotal role by replicating the promotion of social distancing. "Laborers had stopped working in this situation with fear of being dragged into the list of infected persons and reverse migration. As in it's our responsibility to properly sanitize waste before dumping it to the municipality, it will virtually reduce the risk of spreading infection if masks are completely sanitized before disposing", he said. As a consequence of lockdown segregation of waste is not an option anymore to recycling waste industries. Recycling waste sector revenue has retaliated to zero, in the midst of nationwide lockdown and apprehensions being confronted as waste disposal can lead to infectious rate to get higher if not disposed properly. "Many recycling waste industries were not in function and it's getting more difficult for industries to acquire segregated waste, and major sectors like newspaper production are being severely affected. Centralized AC mechanism also results in spread of virus so the government must compensate in functioning of AC trains and buses compartments and must follow ASHRAE guidelines", he said.

Sanjay Chaturvedi was vocal about the relief package announced by Prime Minister on 12th May, how much Finance ministry will allude to respective sectors and how much migrant laborers will attribute will be acknowledged in coming days. He also spoke about the infrastructure in rural areas which still holds competence to feed labors, "With reverse migration it can clearly be assumed that our rural areas are still capable to sustain a living, as many laborers are ready to migrate to their villages and this may result in shortfall of laborers in metropolitan cities as a consequence", he said. He also said that body governing waste management must advocate government in proper disposal as no accurate policy exists for hazardous and e-waste.

Ashish jain emphasized about Extended Producer Responsibility Rule 2016, and  established guidelines are mandatory to follow. "Bulk producers of e-waste and hazardous waste must inform state government and CPCB of how their waste is being generated and treated or else they would have to sacrifice with their license, and voluntarily every waste generator must audit their waste management", he said.

Answering to apprehensions that Laborers working in waste disposal management from hospitals and quarantine centre  face a very high risk of getting infected and further leading to form a chain, Ashish Jain shed light on that laborers are properly equipped with PPEs, protective eyewear and separate vehicles are arranged for such wastes. "No recycling of such waste is allowed under the guidelines and laborers working are meticulously advised to follow guidelines and Bio Medical Approved agencies are only eligible to treat this waste and make sure to not mix with normal waste", he said.

Apart from hospitals he put stress on stickered homes that are under quarantine and municipality is observed to arrange different arrangements for those, and bonafide waste management apparatus must be accompanied with social distancing or else there will be no benefit gained from such practices.