Solid waste, its health impairments and role of rag pickers in Tiruchirappalli city, Tamil Nadu, Southern India
AbstractIn India, the significant increase in the generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) during the last few decades is due to the rapid population and economic development. Though the appropriate attempts are made through the 3-‘R’ principles, waste management still needs to be envisaged seriously by everybody for a cleaner and greener environment. Rag-pickers, who contribute to solid waste management to some extent, are the people who rummage through garbage bins to pick out ‘rags’ for their livelihood. These rag-pickers usually collect the materials that have good re-sale value as these materials are mostly recycled or reused. In the present study, the collection and the management of solid waste and the level of microbial pollution generated through air, soil and solid waste were studied. A questionnaire survey based on age, sex, educational status, socio-economic status, habits and health effects was conducted from 65 randomly selected rag-pickers from various places of Tiruchirappalli city The results revealed that they can be properly educated and trained to protect themselves from unhygienic practices and addiction. Either the Government or non-governmental organizations (NGOs) should devise a suitable proposal to monitor and make use of these unorganized rag-pickers who are indispensable to the society.