Waste Management : A Comparison Between The UK And India

There is a huge difference in relation to the standards of waste disposal methods used both here in the UK and India. Even though India has recently grown as a nation in terms of power and stature, sewage and waste infrastructure has failed to improve and in some cases has worsened. On the contrary, waste management and infrastructure in the UK is exceptionally efficient and economical.

Waste Management Issues in India

The most well known cause for bad sewages and waste management in India recently is due to a large influx of people from rural areas that have flocked to the cities of India. This means that the infrastructure of waste management as it is now, cannot cope with the extra people and therefore, has created havoc within India in terms of environmental cleanliness or in this case, a lack of.

Recently, a report conducted by officials provided an estimation of waste generation figures expected by 2047 that waste generation in India's cities will increase by five times in comparison with today’s figures. This could be catastrophic for the residents of India and the Government, as we all know that germs can cause deadly diseases and if the situation gets that far, could be very difficult to contain.

Currently, bad waste management and infrastructure has reported to be so severe that wildlife species often found in marshlands, have died out. Wildlife such as frogs, have been amongst those affected by waste and sewage. This is how bad it is now for wildlife, which makes it a severe issue for India to solve and manage effectively.

The official report also suggests that the investigation carried out in the city of Bangalore has exposed that more than half of the waste produced in the city is un-treated. Quite a revelation in such an up and coming country and is one which could seriously jeopardise the future of the country in several different ways.

Moreover, because of the inadequate waste management in India, water within lakes and so forth are being polluted. Again, this isn’t a problem of the future that India faces, it’s happening now and presents a whole host of serious problems, including not having enough clean water to go around and as a consequence have to pump fresh water across long distances for people. At one point the fresh water will dry up if the problem is not rectified.

So, why is waste management in the UK, successful?

In UK, many effective actions have been put in place to deal with the issue of waste generation. The Waste Prevention Programme for England is designed to help businesses and people understand how to reduce waste, use resources efficiently and save money. They have also produced laws which make businesses responsible for what they produce. A range of actions are also being taken to improve recycling and waste collection from households. Reducing the amount of hazardous waste – potentially harmful to environment or human health – is also being taken into account. They are also continuously working to get the right infrastructure in place to deal with waste. A range of measures are being taken to deal with waste crime- which includes the operation of illegal waste-management sites and illegal export of waste.

Looking at the systems in place for both the countries, it is evident that UK has more advanced infrastructure in place and is constantly working to improve it. However, India needs to work a lot more to sort out its escalating problem of waste disposal, without using urban expansion and population growth as an excuse.

Finding the Right Strategy

Finding the right waste management strategies for your business is difficult. You need to firstly ensure that your waste management solution(s) meet the full legislation laws and CSR. Secondly, you need to ensure that the strategy isn’t costing the business too much.

The environment comes first in regards to waste management and your plan should reflect this. Below are some of the services that you should consider to carry out effective waste management:

  • Waste recycling services.
  • Hazardous waste services.
  • Hazardous goods training.
  • Hazardous waste registration.
  • Packaging waste services.
  • Battery collection and recycling.

Not all of the above waste management strategies will be relevant to all businesses i.e. packaging waste services may not be applicable for businesses that do not produce much package wastage.


Tim is the author of this article and is an expert in both construction site cleaning and construction site catering as well.

Image courtesy of Flickr.

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