The rapid advancement of industrial sectors and the related economic growth have given a great impetus to the overall development scenario. However, such massive scales of growth have also brought along with it a series of fallouts and negative impact, posing a threat to the very safety of humanity and the basic principles of hygiene.
The dangers posed by the unbridled rise in the excretion of industrial waste is one of the critical risks facing the world, giving rise to scores of deliberations and consultations, aiming to find an amicable solution to the matter.
To identify a probable solution, it is first essential to understand and analyze as to industrial waste management and the areas of operation it encompasses. The concept of industrial waste management involves a series of steps that revolve around the identification, categorization, and processing of the waste material involved, in specific accordance with the nature of the industry. To answer the question ‘what is industrial waste management?’, it is first essential that the concept of industrial waste be understood, as to what elements does it include.
To begin with, industrial waste is typically defined as a type of waste produced by industrial activity, including the likes of factories, mills, and mines. Industrial waste is broadly classified into toxic waste and chemical waste, out of which the former is potentially dangerous and needs careful handling and processing.
It was in the late 1970s that the US administration’s attention was called to developing and enforcing legislation concerning the management of this category of waste, giving an all new meaning to the question “what is industrial waste management.” Before this term, the majority of industrial waste was disposed of in landfills, stored in surface impounds such as lagoons or pits, discharged into surface waters without almost any treatment or even burnt.
The need to redefine the concept of industrial waste management specifically arose when such practices led to pollution of groundwater, streams, lakes, and rivers along with massive damage to wildlife and vegetation. In fact, high levels of toxic contaminants have been found in animals and human beings who have been continually exposed to such waste streams.
Overall, two main aspects clearly define what industrial waste management is. The first is the management of the waste product on-site, at the spot where it is generated. Following this, the second and a more complex method is to transport the waste to an off-site location and take up the processing at an existing commercial facility.