It took India a Bhopal Gas tragedy to implement the Environment Protection Act in 1986. The act saw a new turn in the Indian industrial sector. The waste that was so easily dumped at the nearest corner or flushed out into the rivers or sea, started being stored in the premises or partially unloaded at the landfills, until such companies came into existence to treat solid waste.
REEL is the largest waste management company in India undertaking industrial waste management projects, biomedical waste management projects and municipal waste management projects.
In keeping with the various Acts which were enacted from time to time, including Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 1989, the Bio-Medical Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules 1998, the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 and the Manufacture, Storage and Import of Haz. Chemicals Rules 1989, REEL operations provide various solutions to solid waste.
The pioneers in this field, REEL gives a scientific approach to hazardous waste (industrial waste), biomedical waste (hospital waste) and municipal waste. It has partnered with SembCorp Environmental Management, Singapore, and Alstom-ABB, USA, for the latest in waste treatment technology. “A hospital’s job is to take care of patients and that of an industry is to produce and not to treat waste,” said Ravi Kant. REEL is divided into three specialized operations to treat the three different kinds of wastes.
Strategic procedures, in keeping with international standards and operations, are followed by the company.
The waste is collected in trucks from the doorstep of factories at a stipulated time. It has an established system of transporting, treating and disposing of hazardous waste, including reuse/recovery wherever needed. Samples of all the waste are sent for comprehensive analysis and fingerprinting analysis. The finger printing parameters are physical state, phases, colour, texture, specific gravity, viscosity, flash point, LOI 105, LOI 550, paint filter test, liquid release test, pH, reactive cyanide and reactive sulphide. “We ensure that waste treatment and disposal are as per Hazardous Waste (M&H) Rules, 1989, as amended in 2003.
“While treating waste, we ensure professional operations with complete adherence to Safety, Health & Environment, and post closure environmental & safety compliance and strictly adhere to waste disposal guidelines laid down by environmental regime.”
Proper waste disposal is the demand of the day. It is not economically and logistically viable for any facility to set up a waste disposal facility inhouse. Hence, a common facility is imperative. Overall, it results in better cleaner environment.
REEL handles industrial waste management in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Haldia, Visakhapatnam, Indore, Udaipur, Kanpur, Chandigarh and Gummadipoondi in Tamil Nadu. In all these places it, has facility to collect, transport, store and then dispose off Common Hazardous Waste suitably.
Bio medical waste
The Bio-Medical Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1998, were notified under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and amended twice in the year 2000. This is the most hazardous waste and is disposed accordingly (refer table).
With biomedical waste there are three options of treating waste:
Bury, Burn or Return
- Direct Landfill (Secured Landfill) – [Bury]
- Landfill after Stabilization – [Bury]
- Direct Incineration – [Burn]
- Recycle – [Return]
Landfill is a containment system which separates the waste from the surrounding environment. The objective is to
- Reduce the possibility of contaminating surface and ground waters
- Mitigate the migration of leachate and minimise emissions
- Have control over gaseous emissions
- Ensure occupational health and safety
Once the landfill is capped, the waste is taken care of permanently.
Incineration is applied to certain biomedical wastes that cannot be safely deposited in a landfill or recycled. Incineration is high temperature, thermal oxidation process in which hazardous wastes are converted in presence of oxygen in the air into gases and incombustible solid residue. Gases are vented into atmosphere through gas cleaning system and solid residue goes to landfill. This method of disposal is expensive compared to the other treatments.