Waste management methods and sustainablity

Document Type

Book Chapter

Source of Publication

Advances in Bioprocess Technology

Publication Date



© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015. Waste in its different forms is a significant environmental issue that receives a great deal of attention worldwide. Waste is generated as a result of production and consumption (domestic and industrial) activities and tends to increase with the level of prosperity and economic development of the country. Cost efficient, technology-based and sustainable management of both solid and liquid waste is crucial to economic growth and development of a healthy society in any given region. This chapter reviews traditional as well as modern approaches to solid waste management (SWM) and wastewater treatment. Sustainable methods of waste reduction, waste reuse and recycling are the preferred options when managing waste. There are many environmental benefits that can be derived from the use of these methods. They reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, lessen the release of pollutants, conserve resources, save energy and minimise the demand for waste treatment technology and space. Establishment of sanitary landfills that meet standard hygienic requirements is the most widely adopted method of disposing of solid waste in developed countries. Vermicomposting and biogas technology produce reusable manure and combustible gas respectively from organic solid waste while waste-to-energy (incineration of waste) has quickly emerged as one of the most attractive renewable energy options. Wastewater if not properly disposed of, could be hazardous to human health and environment. Natural aquatic and terrestrial treatment systems with the environment-friendly designs and low-cost sanitation provide benefits for the reuse of water. Wise uses of aquatic and terrestrial plants are a means of several natural wastewater treatment methods. A decentralized wastewater treatment is being considered for most communities because of its economic and environmental advantages. Apart from natural treatment methods, membrane technology, nanotechnology, microbial fuel cells and electrocoagulation offer newer approaches to handling wastewater in a sustainable manner. The overall sustainable development ensures the path of reconciliation for society, environment, and economy in the long-term. People who generate waste, institutions who handle it and the local governance are key partners in an efficient waste management system. Need for education to create awareness on the importance of waste treatment and the sustainability aspects of the emerging technologies remains critical at all societal and governmental levels. Applications of information and communication technologies offer ingenious solutions to the problem of waste management.




Springer International Publishing

First Page


Last Page



Business | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Economic and social effects, Economics, Fertilizers, Gas emissions, Greenhouse gases, Incineration, Land fill, Membrane technology, Microbial fuel cells, Reclamation, Sanitation, Solid wastes, Sustainable development, Waste incineration, Waste treatment, Wastewater treatment, Water conservation, Water recycling, Decentralized wastewater, Environment-friendly designs, Environmental benefits, Information and Communication Technologies, Natural wastewater treatments, Production and consumption, Treatment technologies, Waste management systems, Waste management

Scopus ID


Indexed in Scopus


Open Access