Thursday, April 29, 2010

The world's dump yard ?

Recently several scrap metal dealers were hospitalized due to radiation exposure at Delhi. One of them lost his life due to multiple organ failure and another person is still critically ill.

And more lives will be claimed, because this business of importing hazardous waste from Developed countries, runs into hundreds of crores. It's a roaring business for both the importers as well as the exporters. It is sadly at the cost of the local population and their health.

For the so-called developed countries, it becomes very convenient, because they do not have to do the tough job at hand of recycling, and their backyards remain clean and healthy. More and more hazardous scrap parts get dumped in third world countries like India.

Having said that, recycling is a profitable business, like recycling of aluminium or stainless steel waste, which is environmentally advantageous, mainly because it can be recycled indefinitely and consumes lesser energy. However the problem with this scenario is that, the whole process becomes a facade for dumping of hazardous radio-active substances or even more infectious medical waste, mostly syringes and needles.

While India is on the one hand, the second fastest growing source of greenhouse emissions it is also being projected as a promising market for solid waste management. Therefore huge quantities of waste, be it titanium scrap or battery waste or pharmaceutical waste is imported from abroad. Unmindful of the fact that just the four metropolitan cities themselves produce around 4000 tonnes of waste every single day.!

While recycling is important, while there is a lot of scope for developing state of the art technologies for waste management and for becoming the one-stop shop for solving the world's ecological problems, we have to be as citizens aware and conscious of the fact that it should never be at the cost of our health, environment and that in the process of importing waste and scrap from abroad, we do not conveniently become the world's dump yard.

10 comments:

Priya said...

I think its happening for years othr' countries dump their waste ther and its not good at all. For money, ppl's lives are taken.

starry said...

I think it is very wrong and I know it is very easy for other countries to use India as a dumpyard, I think the Indian govt has to step up and put a stop to this especially since a lot of radio active material is being dumped.It is totally wrong.

Srijith Unni said...

@Priya : True. These issues are often swept under the carpet, mainly because there is a lot of money involved, jobs get lost etc.. but @ what cost ?

@Starry : As far as the Indian government is concerned, Starry this is becoming increasingly a profitable business, so no action will be taken unless say there's a mass tragedy. After that happens and media steps in and creates all hype and hoopla over it. Then some commission will be appointed and some amendments made. These days every change has to open like this, in front of cameras. It's a Media-Run Democracy.

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IrmaOrbison said...

很喜歡你的blog哦...加油唷 ........................................

嘉宏 said...

量力而為,別勉強了,Cut your coat according to your cloth..............................................

Vinod Narayan said...

Though we often know from common sense that some things are bad, we need to know the magnitude to realize the real problem.

Thanks for sharing

Priya Shankar said...

Hi I just stumbled upon your blog, and as a fellow Tamilian felt I should comment. I really enjoyed reading your post and it's a shame that this is what happens as a result of power imbalances.

VincenzoJ詩婷 said...

All roads lead to Rome. 堅持自己所選!.............................................

Life is beautiful said...

I came across and just read this posting of ur blog.I am research associate in an university of USA.Here for each science student of university and educational institutions, hazardous
lab safety training is a must and throwing chemical in lab basin is like a crime(university has to pay a lot of fine if it checked).
in india i finished my PhD from a so-called premiere research institute where i never across such kind of safety training and no body bothered where we damped our reaction waste.do u indian really bother about our wastes? no.still now we never have taken a initiative step to stop controlling our own waste management.the pollution control board is there but have they ever checked how much these first world countries damping wastages on our backyards? no.i think we should take a step to stop this. in USA huge trend of recycling is there.very recently i came to know that in the name of recyle they are damping those in third world(chennaii is openly named).u know wht i stopped recycling.i know thats not a solution.but i was unable to put more waste on my home.
with regards