Waste management experts are environmental engineers and postgraduates in environmental science who focus on innovative practices in disposing of/reuse of all kinds of waste.
What do they do?
Students from other disciplines, such as chemical, civil, microbiology and biotechnology, are involved in different aspects of waste management. Some create new products out of waste, while others collect precious metals from the same.
A lot of electronic waste – a cell phone for example – is being generated now and many tech-savvy professionals have made it their mission to harvest it. Organic waste is a much bigger business proposition – it constitutes 35% of all garbage generated in India. Water management, construction waste and debris (30 to 40%) and hazardous waste, including bio-medical waste, too, call for professional management. A lot of waste management work is being done by private and non-governmental organisations. The government is also taking a step towards professional garbage management.
- Willingness to get your hands dirty
- A constructive approach
- An interest in and concern for the environment
- An avid reader
- Should have studied the laws related to the environment
How do I get there?
Take up science in Class 12. After this, go for a bachelor’s in environmental, civil, chemical or mechanical engineering, microbiology, or even biotechnology. Admission to these is through competitive exams. You may pursue a master’s in environmental engineering as well. Else, you could also do a BSc programme and follow it up with a master’s (MA/MSc) in environmental studies. You can choose to work with an NGO working in this space and then with considerable experience start your own enterprise. Initiatives like Green the Gap (www.greenthegap.com) and Greenobin are doing some good work in this area.