Various industrial processes generates hazardous waste in plants and factories. This waste generally has chemical, reactive and toxic characteristics. Due to this reason, it may cause danger to the environment. Hence, the Hazardous Waste Management Rules of 2016 classify them as hazardous waste and regulate for safe and sound management. These rules prescribe the ways we can adapt to transport, store, recycle and dispose of or utilise this hazardous waste. If such measures are taken and rules implemented efficiently then we can save the environment from the harmful effects of these hazardous substances by setting up Hazardous Waste Recycling Plants.
What is Hazardous Waste?
Hazardous Waste is defined under sub-rule 17 of rule 3 of the Hazardous Waste Management Rules of 2016. It prescribes,
“Hazardous Waste means any waste which by reason of characteristics such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, cause’s danger or is likely to cause danger to health or the environment, whether alone or in contact with other wastes or substances.”
These wastes are further classified and mentioned in Schedule I, Schedule II and Schedule III of these rules. Schedule I specifies the waste and the processes from where they are generated, Schedule II specifies the waste constituents and their concentration, and Schedule III defines the characteristics of hazardous waste.
Classification of Hazardous Waste
The sources of hazardous waste are the industrial processes that generate it as a by-product. There are 128 listed hazardous wastes and these are divided into thirty-eight categories based on the source process. These categories include petrochemical processes, natural gas production, production of resources like lead, zinc and copper, production of acids, metal processing, production of textiles, leather tanneries, electronic industry, pulp and paper industry, chemical processing, hazardous waste processing etc. The hazardous waste mostly includes sludge’s, chemicals, residues and other harmful substances originating from these processes.