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Open Dumps

  • Open dumps refer to the uncovered areas that are used to dump solid waste of all kinds. The waste in these dumps is untreated, uncovered and unsegregated.
  • The waste in open dumps usually becomes a breeding place for flies, rats and insects which spread various diseases.
  • The rain water runoff from these dumps contaminates the nearby land and water bodies and thus, further creates health problems.


  • Landfills are usually low-lying areas. The garbage is dumped in these areas and the pit is regularly covered with soil to prevent breeding of flies and mosquitoes.
  • After the landfill is full, the area is covered with a thick layer of mud and the site is developed as a parking lot or a public park.
  • Landfills can cause certain environment problems. When water seeps through them, they gets contaminated and in turn pollutes the surrounding area.

Sanitary Landfills

  • Sanitary landfills overcome the problems associated with normal landfills.
  • These landfills are lined with materials such as plastics and clay which are impermeable. However, sanitary landfills are costlier to construct.


  • It is the process of burning waste. Burning waste produces toxic ash and pollutes the air.
  • At present, incineration is the preferred mode for the disposal of infectious wastes only.


  • It is the process of combustion in the absence of oxygen or due to lack of oxygen.                    TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE
  • The material (solid, liquid or gas) so obtained can be used as a fuel. For instance, pyrolysis of carbon matters such as firewood and cow dung yields charcoal.


  • It refers to the decomposition of organic waste into humus. Humus is rich in carbon and nitrogen and thus adds fertility to the soil.
  • It also increases the ability of the soil to hold more water.


  • It refers to the addition of worms such as earthworms to the compost.                TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE
  • Worms further break the compost particles and add excreta to the compost, making it very rich in nutrients.


  • Pelletisation involves the processes of segregating, crushing, mixing high and low heat value organic waste material and solidifying it to produce fuel pellets.
  • This is also referred to as Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF). The process is essentially a method that condenses the waste or changes its physical form and enriches its organic content through the removal of inorganic materials and moisture.                  TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE
  • The calorific value of raw Municipal Solid Wastes (MSW) is around 1000 kcal/kg while that of fuel pellets is 4000 kcal/kg.
  • On an average, about 15-20 tonnes of fuel pellets can be produced after treatment of 100 tonnes of raw garbage.
  • The emission characteristics of RDF are superior compared to that of coal with fewer emissions of pollutants like NOx, SOx, CO and CO2.

RDF is a fuel produced from various types of wastes such as MSW, industrial wastes or commercial wastes.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development provides the following definition:

  • Selected waste and byproducts with recoverable calorific value can be used as fuels in a cement kiln, replacing a portion of conventional fossil fuels like coal, if they meet strict specifications.
  • Sometimes, they can only be used after preprocessing to provide ‘tailor-made’ fuels for the cement process.            TREATMENT AND DISPOSAL OF SOLID WASTE


Environment & Biodiversity

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