Some of the products used in our modern society are too toxic to be disposed of without particular treatment. Not only the industry generates such kind of poisonous and hazardous waste but also many household products fall under this category. If not disposed of correctly, some cleaners, solvents, pesticides, paints, etc. can contaminate a landfill, leak into the ground water or contaminate the ocean resulting in tremendous risks for the safety and health of human beings. For the respect of our environment, the basic 3Râ„¢s rule (reduce, reuse, recycle) should prevail as a prevention instead of curing. As good as it can be applied, this principle cannot totally avoid the generation of hazardous waste and long term solutions must be developed. Today treatment of hazardous waste includes biological treatment, chemical oxidation and reduction, neutralisation, stabilisation, incineration and energy recovery prior to landfill. It is imperative that Government declare and take steps to ensure that expansion of existing hazardous waste generating industries and new industries of this nature follow the basic parameters of Clean Production. ÃƒËœ New industries must be subjected to stringent public disclosure rules regarding emissions, processes, raw materials and hazard potential, and mitigation scenarios. Such industries must prove that the processes used are the most energy-efficient and environmentally safe technologies when submitting their proposals for seeking consent to establish. ÃƒËœ They must not be permitted to employ technologies or processes that intentionally or unintentionally generate endocrine disrupting chemicals or persistent organic pollutants. Nor should they be permitted to generate products whose final disposal would poison the environment with such chemicals or pollutants; in such cases, they must have a cradle to grave responsibility. No new industry should be permitted without a toxic input use reduction plan and an overall waste reduction plan. ÃƒËœ A Clean Production Centre should be set up to assist and guide Indian industries on an environmentally sustainable path in the near and foreseeable future. Environmental surveillance squads, already existing, may be encouraged to focus on hazardous waste. SPCBs should involve NGOs and local citizensâ„¢ groups and committees in this regard. Illegal waste dumping by unscrupulous licensed contractors, liability of the waste generator and growing importance of a green image, etc. push the industry to rethink its waste disposal strategy. One solution for addressing waste management issues would be for each factory to have its own facility and be able to treat its own hazardous waste. For smaller industries, it would be however too expensive. The call for centralised treatment plants, taking advantage of the economy of scale by collecting wastes from throughout a region, is in full development and supported by both government and private sector. In conjunction with on-site treatment and waste minimazation programs, a centralised treatment plant offers industry an overall low cost means of meeting its environmental responsibilities.
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