• Rajashree Das

What is Solid Waste Management? What are the effects of poor solid waste management?

Updated: Apr 30

Solid Waste Management refers to the process of disposing of, collecting, and processing solid waste material that is no longer useful or required.



Solid waste can be categorized into many types. The most common ones are,


  1. Kitchen waste/ Food waste: Food waste is leftover waste generated from the preparation of food and the remains after consumption. Typical content is vegetables, fruit, grains, tea, eggshells, meat etc. Households, as well as commercial establishments such as restaurants, hotels, vegetable markets, are the major generators of food waste.

  2. Plastic waste: Household plastic waste consist of plastic wrappers of FMCG goods such as plastic bottles of drinks, cola, shampoo, lotions, biscuits, chips, soaps etc. At a commercial scale, several more items contribute to plastic waste, such as plastic film rolls, bubble wraps, boxes, plastic cutlery etc.

  3. Bulky rubbish: Paper, cardboard boxes, cartons, rags, bedding, wood, rubber, leather, shoes, metal cans, etc.

  4. Construction debris: containing rock, concrete cement, glass, wood, brick, metal etc.

The different categories of solid waste generated require appropriate waste handling and disposal. Improper methods of waste handling and disposal cause several issues to health, the environment, and society. Poor solid waste management is a common practice and is a much bigger issue in countries with a high population.


When solid waste is not disposed of properly, they end up on the streets and pollute the soil, air, and water. Polluted soil, air, and water cause adverse and long-term impact on humans and society. Additionally, littered solid waste is an unpleasant sight to see and cause a nuisance to people living in the neighbouring areas.



Poisonous material can enter the human body through contaminated food grown on such soil, through contaminated food or by breathing in toxic air. Some disease-causing pests such as cockroaches, rats, and insects etc., infest garbage littered in open spaces and cause a foul smell and become a breeding ground for infectious diseases which get transmitted to other animals and humans.


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