Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Rules, 2016definesaTreatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility (TSDF) as a dedicated facility for storing, treating, and disposing hazardous waste. Despite the massive amount of hazardous waste generated, India has an acute shortage of TSDFs. Around 88 hazardous waste incinerators and 220 recycling facilities exist in the country, along with two engineered landfills. There are 18 Integrated TSDFs (with both SLF & Incinerator), 18 TSDFs with secured landfills and 11 TSDFs with standalone incinerators in the country presently. Many small and large-scale industrial units are disposing off their waste in open spaces and adjacent to water sources either due to a lack of knowledge or due to the lack of Treatment, Storage, and Disposal facility nearby, resulting in environmental pollution and risking public health. In this article, we will focus on the essential characteristics of a TSDF, mandatory safety compliance and the responsibilities of the TSDF owner(operator). We have dealt with the Hazardous Waste Management Rules, 2016 in detail in another article, i.e.Overview of Hazardous Waste Management Rules in India.
Although hazardous characteristics of the waste have been defined in the HWM Rules of 2016, here, we have provided a list of waste sources that can be used to decide if the waste generated by your facility is hazardous.
Understanding the role of TSDF in hazardous waste management is critical in deciding whether any industry requires such services for its waste management. Any facility where the process of generation, handling, collection, reception, treatment, storage, reuse, recycling, recovery, pre-processing, co-processing, utilisation and disposal of hazardous and other wastes must be aware of the role of TSDF. So, read on if you plan on starting a Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility or indulging with a TSDF for your waste management!
Treatment or stabilisation of waste means converting hazardous wastes (non-aqueous liquids, semi-solids or reactive solids) into less leachable solids. This step changes the hazardous nature of the waste to a less hazardous category. Treatment is done to stabilise the hazardous waste so that it can be deposited directly into the secured landfills according to the state’s concentration limits and the criteria set by SPCBs. Treatment can also be done to alter the character or composition of hazardous wastes. Some treatment processes enable waste to be recovered and reused in manufacturing, while other treatment processes reduce the contaminant level of organic/inorganic components and some dramatically reduce the amount of hazardous waste through incineration or oxidation.
The treated wastes before disposal in the landfill are assessed in the Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility for compatibility with other wastes and the liner system. Treatment of HW intends to cover several steps, including
CPCBhas provided specific guidelines for storage units that must be ensured by all authorised Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facilities in the country. Collecting hazardous waste is a potentially hazardous practice; therefore, the HWM Rules of 2016lay down specific responsibilities for treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility and infrastructural guidelines for building storage facilities which are as follows.
The structural guidelines issued by CPCB must be adopted in establishing the storage facility. In designing these cells to be used for storage, the following points must be taken into consideration.
Any site where hazardous waste is placed and will remain after closure is a disposal facility. A disposal facility can be a standalone facility or integrated with the Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility. If an area meeting the definition of a disposal facility is engaged in treatment, storage, and disposal, it must be in compliance with the standards set by the CPCB.
Waste received at landfill sites can be handled in different ways i.e.
A Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility is responsible for accepting hazardous wastes from waste generators authorised by SPCB/PCC and ensuring their treatment as per the HWM rules. The TSDF can help the small and medium-scale industries generating HW in disposing of their wastes efficiently by establishing a system for optimal movement of hazardous waste transportation. The Source of revenue for a TSDF is not limited to treatment and disposal services but also from resource recovery/recycling. Therefore, operating the Treatment, Storage, and Disposal Facility as per conditions stipulated in the authorisation provided by the concerned SPCB is essential for its smooth functioning. However, there are specific responsibilities, too, like undertaking cleanup operations in case of contamination, pollution, and odour arising out of TSDF operations and compliance with regulations concerning occupational safety and health of TSDFemployees. Proper records on industry-wise type of waste received, characteristics of waste, location of waste storage area, waste treatment and disposal methods for every specific industry at the facility must also be maintained.