Management of biodegradable wastes



•    Some of the ways to manage biodegradable wastes are as follows:

      1.    Composting

      2.    Landfills

  1. Composting:

•    Since biodegradable or organic wastes such as vegetable peels, waste food, leaves, dead flowers, and egg shells can be recycled, they are converted into manure by burying them in compost pits. This process is called composting.

•    Composting is a simple and almost effortless process of recycling.

•    The biodegradable wastes are degraded by the action of small organisms such as bacteria and fungi.

•    One such type of composting is called vermicomposting where a kind of earthworm called red worms (or red wigglers) acts on wastes and degrade them.

•    Red worms break down the organic matter into nutrient-rich manure which increases soil fertility.

•    Vermicompost can be made in 3-4 weeks and it appears as loose soil-like material.

•    One should not put animal product or oily substance in the pit as it could lead to the development of disease-causing organisms.


  1. Landfills:

•    Landfill is another method to manage huge amount of biodegradable waste.

•    Landfills are large areas used for waste disposal.

•    In a landfill, garbage is buried in such a way that it does not damage the environment.

•    Garbage buried inside landfills stay here for a long time as it decomposes very slowly.

•    After a landfill is full, it can be converted into a park. For example, Indraprastha Park in New Delhi is built on a landfill site.

Structure of a landfill


Structure of a landfill:

•    Clay and plastic barriers do not allow this garbage to mix with soil and groundwater.

•    This protects the environment of the area surrounding the landfill.

•    Special pipes collect rainwater that seeps through the landfill.

•    Each day’s garbage is buried in a separate compartment called a cell. Cells are separated from one another (usually by layers of soil).

•    Bulldozer, tractors, etc, are used to compress the existing cells to create more space for adding new cells.