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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Maharashtra: Now, transportation services for hazardous waste must be registered with MPCB

The majority of waste is handled by the informal sector, which is illegal and dangerous if not handled properly. Through the new guidelines, the MPCB aims to include the informal sector in the process.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
April 15, 2021 7:34:00 pm
Maharashtra Now, transportation services for hazardous waste must be registered with MPCBThrough this, MPCB aims to track the waste generated, transported by industries and processed and recycled. Currently, MPCB has no mechanism in place for such assessment. (Express File)

IN ORDER to track and audit hazardous waste generation, and its transportation and recycling across the state, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has made it mandatory for industries and recyclers to register transportation services used by them with the MPCB.

As per the public notice by the board, after May 31, only those empanelled with MPCB will be permitted to transport hazardous waste.

Through this, MPCB aims to track the waste generated, transported by industries and processed and recycled. Currently, MPCB has no mechanism in place for such assessment.

The majority of waste is handled by the informal sector, which is illegal and dangerous if not handled properly. Through the new guidelines, the MPCB aims to include the informal sector in the process.

“It is not possible for each industry to have their transport system or adequate vehicles. As per our latest guideline, generators or recyclers need to reach out to us, obtain an MoU for their transport system, or identify verified third-party transporters who will sign an MoU with them (generators and recyclers), and a copy of that is shared with us. Only then such transporters will be authorised and we will be able to identify from which industries they collect hazardous waste,” said Nandkumar Gaurav, Regional Officer (Headquarters), MPCB in charge of waste management.

As per data with MPCB, there are 7116 industries in the state generating hazardous waste. Of the total waste generated last year, 63 per cent was recycled while 37 per cent goes to dumping sites without proper treatment.

The Central Pollution Control Board defines hazardous waste as any waste which, because of characteristics such as physical, chemical, biological, reactive, toxic, flammable, explosive or corrosive, causes danger or is likely to cause danger to health or environment, whether alone or in contact with other wastes or substances. The central board has listed 38 industrial processes that generate hazardous wastes namely, chemical residues, oily sludge residues, acid from used batteries among others.

The MPCB now aims to cover the 37 per cent hazardous waste that is not scientifically handled.

These actions are being expedited after the recent Majhi Vasundhara Town Hall, where the MPCB listed several action points based on recommendations from experts, which will be implemented from time to time to ensure adequate waste management across Maharashtra. Majhi Vasundhara (My Earth) campaign is launched by the Environment and Climate Change Department of the state government.

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