Importance of Waste in an Urban Society

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Importance of Waste in an Urban Society

Wednesday, 11 July 2018 | Agencies

Cities worldwide are generating more than 1.3 billion tons of solid waste every year. As bustling sectors of economic activity combined with the influx of rural migrants every year, cities are expected to witness the number swell to 2.2 billion tons annually by 2025- which is the equivalent weight of the Great Pyramid of Giza, in terms of trash, every day.

This stunning amount of waste damages the environment, public health and the economic prosperity of the nation’s citizens and their overall quality of life.  There are ways to manage it but paying for it is the critical issue. In many lower-income countries, municipalities already spend 20% to 50% of their budgets on solid waste management, yet only are able to provide services for less than half their citizens.

Waste management and recycling companies are also feeling an extra pressure to perform their role in the most eco-friendly way.  In the UK, the resources and landfill sites are scarce and this affects, to a large extent, how waste is managed there.

Some of the possible solutions to urban waste could be by improving waste service delivery and free collection. It’s ideal for lower income groups and third world countries where service delivery is poor or non-existent and waste collection and disposal are a critical pain area. It would also be beneficial for sensitive, politically charged places to avail such improvements like cities in Nepal and the West Bank. For middle-income group companies like China, Malaysia or Indonesia, the municipal waste collection quantities are already hefty and the government should focus on improving the financial infrastructure and environmental sustainability and further promote waste source separation and recycling methods. There is also the need to equip waste collection and transportation in under-serviced cities in nations of Tanzania, Jamaica, and Mali. A full-scale slum upgrading and community welfare programs are needed.

Proper waste collection and garbage disposal play a critical role in the environmental sustainability of not just cities, but the planet as a whole, with protecting people’s health and resource conservation being every government’s duty. There are many private companies and organizations that also play a major role in easing the government’s responsibility of handling waste and recycling drives.  One such company is 4NEW. Varun Datta, an Indian-expat residing in the UK founded 4NEW, a Waste to Energy Company focused on production and provision of electricity to power the mining of popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, in September 2017. The business model focuses on revenue generation from free energy, produced by processing waste. It’s modern, disruptive in a space where the conservative view is to produce the cheapest possible currency for usage. By enabling this model Varun has opened doors for users who seek renewable production along with an unparalleled competitive advantage, compared to all other players in the cryptocurrency mining industry.

Most wastes generated in urban cities percolate into land and water bodies without proper treatment, causing severe water pollution. They also emit greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide and add to air pollution. Any organic waste from urban and rural areas and industries is a resource due to its ability to get degraded, resulting in energy generation. The problems of waste can be significantly mitigated through the adoption of environment-friendly waste-to-energy technologies that will allow treatment and processing of wastes before their disposal. These measures would reduce the amount of waste, generate a substantial quantity of energy from them, and greatly reduce environmental pollution. The growing energy deficit is making governments across the world become keen on alternative and renewable energy sources. Waste to energy is one of these, and it is garnering increasing attention from international governments. 4NEW’s dynamic and far-reaching vision combined with the rapidly increasing profligacy of crypto in future is going to take the financial world by storm. Their long-term objective is to spread greater literacy, more awareness, better ways and a long-term sustainable approach. With the mammoth tons of waste urban cities are consistently doling out, it seems to be the call of the hour, which has long-term potential alongside other renewable solutions like Thermal conversion, Thermo-chemical, Biochemical and electrochemical conversion to solve the waste crisis.

Every year, India generates a staggeringly obscene 55 million tons of Municipal solid waste along with 38billion liters of sewage waste predominantly from its urban pockets. This is multiplied critically by additional solid and liquid wastes churned out by the rapidly scaling industries. With more people expected to move from rural to urban areas in the future combined with rising wages and energy consumption, the waste proportions are likely to expand exponentially. The estimate of the amount of waste generated in India is expected to soar rapidly at a per capita income of approximately 1-1.33% annually. This will have a dramatic impact on the land used for disposal, costs of collecting and transporting waste and environmental degradation as a result of expanding waste generation levels.  It will take a lot more visionaries like Varun Datta, to spot opportunities and leverage technologies to fulfill India’s vision of being a leader in global cleanliness and waste re-utilization and make for a better, healthier and prosperous country. Varun Datta is building and pioneering a clean, green and renewable currency abroad with intentions of introducing his expertise and learning into India by 2019-2020.

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