India, April 24, 2023: To celebrate World Earth Day, Re Sustainability (ReSL), the leading provider of comprehensive environmental management services in Asia, collaborated with the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to organize a seminar on April 21 that focused on the challenges and opportunities associated with hazardous waste management. The seminar took place at the Engineering Staff College of India, Gachibowli, Hyderabad where experts and stakeholders from across the country discussed the pressing issue of hazardous waste management and shared their insights and experiences on the latest advancements in waste management practices, including hazardous waste management, resource recovery, circular economy initiatives, and more.
The keynote speakers included Mr. M. Goutham Reddy (MD, ReSL), Prof. P. G. Sastry (Director, ReSL), Dr. P.V.R. Subrahmanyam (Dy Director & Head (Retd.) NEERI), Mr. Arup Kumar Mishra (Chairman, Assam Pollution Control Board), Dr. Prasantha Gargava (MS, CPCB), Dr. Atul Narayan Vaidya (Director, NEERI), Dr. K. Srinivas (Vice President, ReSL), Mr. Mukesh Sinha (Dalmia Cements), Mr. B. Vinod Babu (Scientist F, CPCB) and Prof. Ligy Philip (Dean Planning, Dept. Civil Engg., IIT Madras).
Re Sustainability has always been committed to environmental sustainability, and its efforts towards marking Earth Day are no exception. The seminar was aligned with the theme of World Earth Day, “Invest in Our Planet,” emphasizing the critical role that hazardous waste management plays in environmental protection. It ran through three technical and information-intensive sessions.
1. Current practices in hazardous waste management
2. Circular economy opportunities in hazardous waste management
3. New developments in hazardous waste management- towards sustainable growth
One of the major needs identified was the facilitation of resource waste recovery and transformation of the market by promoting substantial utilization and supplementary use of fuels. However, the challenges discussed during the seminar included funding deficiency, lack of focus on waste minimization, and the need for corrective actions to measure performance. The importance of waste minimization was emphasized, and industries were urged to start taking it seriously. Another significant issue addressed was the prevention of groundwater contamination through sustainable treatment and aquifer remediation. The role of technology in remediation, such as soil retorting and mercury-contaminated site treatment, was also highlighted. Proper enforcement of waste management regulations was stressed as a critical need to ensure effective and sustainable waste management practices.
The event culminated in an engaging Q&A session that covered mapping unregulated waste, the cost of remediation, and the quantum of waste generation, acknowledging that while it is not possible to regulate the entire waste, efforts must be made to reduce waste and ensure proper treatment.
Mr. Goutham Reddy, MD at ReSL, said, “I am grateful to all the dignitaries and mentors present here who have guided me in my journey in the waste management Industry. The evolution of hazardous waste management has been a long and challenging journey, and the US played a significant role in shaping it through the Resource Conservation Recovery Act of 1976. India recognized hazardous waste management early on, but progress was slow due to the lack of infrastructure and regulation. However, debates and discussions started happening in the late 90s, and one of the crucial debates was about the materials to be used in disposal facilities. The definition of hazardous waste has always been a matter of debate worldwide, starting from the very definition of waste itself. We must work together to find innovative solutions that are sustainable, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible.”