Human activity produces waste. It is vital to address and properly manage waste to prevent environmental damage, health risks and the development of unsightly and undesirable areas. Reducing, reusing and recycling waste are key priorities for sustainable human development.

Waste is produced daily by people going about their day-to-day activities. It is also produced from industrial and economic activities. Waste comes in many forms, it can be organic such as food and garden waste but can also be in the form of chemicals, plastics and metals which can be toxic to the environment. The scale and rate at which waste is produced can overload the natural environment making it uninhabitable. That is why waste must either be reduced or technologies must be used to process it. In rural areas in Tamil Nadu waste is a developing issue. Until recently rural communities only really produced organic waste which is relatively easy to deal with. Now with the growth and permeation of plastics, waste is starting to become a more significant issue. There is currently no infrastructure in place to deal with solid waste in rural areas and this is likely to become problematic in the not too distant future. What ideas do you have to develop infrastructure and improve the situation?

For more information including details of the current situation and existing initiatives: go to Engineering For People Design Challenge: WASTE
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  1. Plastic waste

    Plastic waste is a growing issue in Tamil Nadu, can you come up with ideas to deal with this waste efficiently and effectively?

  2. Solid waste into energy

    There is a huge potential to produce energy from the solid waste produced in Tamil Nadu. Can you come up with ways to turn solid waste into energy?

  3. Mitigate for burning of solid waste

    There are significant issues associated with the burning of solid waste, especially plastic, can you think of ways to mitigate against this behaviour and encourage people to deal with their waste in a more productive way?

  4. Systems to deal with solid waste

    The infrastructure for dealing with solid waste in rural areas in Tamil Nadu is non existent, can you come up with ideas for systems to deal with solid waste generated in the villages?