14.5 Industrial Waste

Industrial solid wastes are also sorted out as biodegradable and non-degradable wastes. Biodegradable wastes are generated by cotton mills, food processing units, paper mills, and textile factories.

Non-biodegradable wastes are generated by thermal power plants which produce fly ash; integrated iron and steel plants which produce blast furnace slag and steel melting slag.

Industries manufacturing aluminium, zinc and copper produce mud and tailings. Fertilizer industries produce gypsum. Hazardous wastes such as inflammables, composite explosives or highly reactive substances are produced by industries dealing in metals, chemicals, drugs, pharmaceuticals, dyes, pesticides, rubber goods etc.

The disposal of non-degradable industrial solid wastes, if not done by a proper and suitable method, may cause serious threat to the environment. New innovations have led to different uses of waste material. Nowadays, fly ash and slag from the steel industry are utilised by the cement industry.

Large quantities of toxic wastes are usually destroyed by controlled incineration, whereas small quantities are burnt along with factory garbage in open bins. Moreover, solid wastes if not managed effectively, affect the components of the environment.


Do you know about waste recycling?

Fuel obtained from plastic waste has high octane rating. It contains no lead and is known as “green fuel”.

Due to recent developments made in chemical and textile industries, clothes will be made from recycled plastic waste. These will be available soon in the global textile market.

In India, our cities and towns face endless hours of power cut. We can also see piles of rotting garbage here and there. There is a good news that we can get rid from both these problems simultaneously. Technology has now been developed to produce electricity from the garbage.

A pilot plant has been set up, where after removing ferrous metals, plastic, glass, paper etc. from garbage, it is mixed with water. It is then cultured with bacterial species for producing methane, commonly known as biogas. The remaining product is used as manure and biogas is used to produce electricity.

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