The CPCB guidelines for waste management in dairy farms in urban and rural areas aim to promote sustainable and environment-friendly practices in the dairy industry. Since 1998, India has been ranked as the top milk-producing nation in the world and is also home to the largest population of bovine animals. Dairy farming has become a crucial source of additional income for millions of rural families and has emerged as the primary means of providing employment and generating income opportunities, especially for small-scale farmers. Dairy farms are facilities that house milking animals to produce milk that can be distributed and processed in milk processing plants. Meanwhile, gaushalas are facilities that shelter weak, sick, injured, handicapped, and homeless cattle and cows, providing them with the necessary rehabilitation.
Environmental Issues in Dairy Farms and Gaushalas
The primary environmental concerns associated with dairy farms and gaushalas are related to dung and urinal wastewater disposal. Improper handling of these waste products can lead to odour problems. Bovine animals, which have an average weight of 400 kg, produce between 15-20 kg of dung and 15-20 litres of urine per day. Unfortunately, many dairy farms and gaushalas dispose of the dung and wastewater by releasing it into drains, which often leads to clogging and ultimately results in water pollution in rivers. Disposing of cow/buffalo dung is a major challenge for dairy farms and gaushalas, but if handled properly, it can be a valuable resource for manure and energy production. New guidelines have been created for managing the waste produced by dairy farms and gaushalas.
Solid Waste Management in Dairy Farms
The solid waste generated by both dairy farms and gaushalas is predominantly composed of organic material, such as cattle dung, feed residue, and bedding. Although the waste is not inherently dangerous, it requires proper handling and disposal. The following are the guidelines for managing solid waste:
- Regularly collect dung from the floor of dairy farms and gaushalas to keep the area clean and the surrounding areas to prevent unpleasant odours.
- Properly sanitize and disinfect dairy premises and surrounding areas, for example, by sprinkling crushed lime regularly.
- Collect and store solid waste properly to prepare for treatment.
- Dispose of hazardous domestic waste (such as vaccines, vials, medicines, and syringes) according to the provisions of the “Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016.”
- Do not wash dung, feed residue, or other waste into drains to avoid clogging; local bodies/corporations/state pollution control boards should ensure that untreated waste is not released outside of the dairy premises.
- Dairy farms and gaushalas must have sufficient infrastructure to effectively manage solid waste and wastewater.
Recommended Disposal Methods of Waste Management in Dairy Farms
The following methods for disposal/utilization of solid wastes (dung) may be adopted:
- Composting and vermicomposting are methods to manage manure and reduce its environmental impact.
- Composting is decomposing organic material to produce a stable and pathogen-free final product that can be applied to the land.
- Vermicomposting is a type of composting that uses earthworms to enrich soil quality and is becoming popular in organic farming systems.
Biogas/Compressed Biogas (CBG) Production (Anaerobic Digestion):
- Biogas plants are an effective way to handle dung waste.
- Biogas is generated through the biodegradation of organic materials under anaerobic conditions and can be used for cooking and power generation.
- Biogas plants also provide organic manure for crops.
- Biogas can be purified, compressed, and filled into cylinders as Compressed Bio Gas (CBG), which can be used as a green renewable fuel as a replacement for CNG.
Manufacture of Dung Wood to Be Used As Fuel:
- Cattle dung can be used as fuel by converting it into logs, powder, or other value-added products through mechanized or semi-mechanized machines.
- This option is an economical and environmentally friendly way to use cattle dung as a fuel source in dairy farms and gaushalas.
Waste Management in Dairy Farms w.r.t wastewater
The CPCB Guidelines for Waste Management in Dairy Farms for the management of wastewater are as follows:
- Dairies and gaushalas should manage their water usage efficiently by limiting it to 150 litres per day per cattle for drinking, bathing, and cleaning services.
- The wastewater being discharged should be treated sufficiently to meet the standards set by SPCBs/PCCs.
- Proper measures should be taken to prevent wastewater from percolating through the ground and contaminating groundwater. This can be achieved by paving the shed flooring with impervious material and setting up a wastewater collection system.
Waste Management in Dairy Farms w.r.t Air Quality
The CPCB Guidelines for Waste Management in Dairy Farms for the management of air quality/emissions (includes gaseous emissions, odour and dust) from dairy farms and gaushalas are as follow:
- Sufficient ventilation should be provided in animal housing to dissipate heat, remove humidity and prevent build-up of harmful gases like carbon dioxide, methane, and ammonia.
- To minimize odour nuisance, good housekeeping practices such as maintaining proper sanitation and protecting dung from unwanted pests/insects should be followed in dairy farms and gaushalas.
- The space provided for each animal in terms of floor, feeding, water, and air should be adequate for their movement, resting, feeding, watering, and ventilation.
- Dairy farms and gaushalas should modify the quality and dosage of feed/forage/supplements to reduce enteric methane generation from livestock, which will benefit animal health/nutrition and reduce environmental impact.
- Planting trees or developing green belts can act as a barrier against the spread of foul smells or noise originating from dairy farms and gaushalas.
Siting Policy for Dairy Farms
The siting criteria will be applicable for new Dairy Farms. However, the existing establishments should take appropriate pollution control measures as per the guidelines. The siting policy for dairy farms and gaushalas is as follows:
- Dairy farms and gaushalas should be located outside city/village boundaries, at least 200 meters from residential dwellings and 500 meters from hospitals & schools.
- Dairy farms and gaushalas should not be located in flood-prone areas, subject to flooding at 1-in-25-year or more frequent levels, in order to avoid contamination of water bodies.
- Dairy farms and gaushalas should not be located in areas with shallow groundwater depths of about 10 to 12 feet, particularly in alluvium areas, to avoid groundwater contamination.
- Dairy farms and gaushalas may be allowed to follow
the minimum distance criteria given below, which may be subject to vary with
the local conditions:
- National and State Highways: 200 meters from National Highway and 100 meters from State Highway to avoid odour nuisance and road accidents caused due to cattle.
- The major drinking water reservoir on the catchment side: 500 meters to avoid water contamination due to leakages/spillages from the dairy farms and gaushalas.
- Drinking water sources like wells, summer storage tanks, and other tanks (drinking water): 100 meters to avoid water contamination.
- Major watercourses like rivers and lakes: 500 meters in order to avoid water contamination.
- Canals: 200 meters to avoid water contamination.
- Inter-se distance between two establishments should be at least 5 meters for ventilation. Each unit should provide at least 2.5 meters from each side and develop the green belt.
Monitoring Mechanism for Waste Management in Dairy Farms
- The authorities in charge should list all dairy farms and gaushalas in their area using the modified inventory form provided in Annexure-A.
- The local authorities/municipal corporations must publish a public notice in newspapers and on their websites to register dairy farms and gaushalas according to municipal laws.
- The SPCBs/PCCs should also publish a public notice for dairy farms and gaushalas to obtain consent to establish and operate following the Water Act of 1974 and the Air Act of 1981. CPCB has issued directions for classifying Dairy Farms and Gaushalas into the Orange and Green Categories.
- The SPCBs/PCCs/local bodies/municipal corporations must upload Form-A for compliance status of environmental guidelines on their websites and circulate it to all dairy farms and gaushalas.
- The SPCBs/PCCs should conduct environmental audits of at least two dairy farms and two gaushalas, randomly selected from each district of the state/UT, and submit compliance and action taken reports to CPCB on a half-yearly basis.
- The CPCB should conduct environmental audits of four dairy farms and four gaushalas in each state/UT, randomly selected based on information received from SPCBs/PCCs annually.
- In case of any violation of environmental norms under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, and the Environmental (Protect) Act, 1986 by dairy farms and Gaushalas, the concerned SPCBs/PCCs should impose environmental compensation according to the CPCB methodology for “Environmental Compensation to be levied on Industrial Units” to stop polluting activity and initiate prosecution for repeatedly polluting units.
- SPCBs/PCCs should provide training and consultation to the Gram Panchayat to implement guidelines in their jurisdiction. Gram Panchayat should ensure that dairy farms and gaushalas implement the guidelines falling under their jurisdiction for handling and managing the wastes.
- Local bodies/SPCBs/PCCs should regularly provide hands-on practical training on environment/waste management & treatment technologies, scientific feeding for enteric methane reduction, waste-to-wealth management programs, etc., to dairy workers/entrepreneurs.
CPCB Guidelines for Waste Management in Dairy Farms cover various aspects of waste management, including the proper handling and disposal of cattle dung and wastewater, reasonable water usage, good housekeeping practices, adequate ventilation, space requirements, feed quality and dosage, and the development of green belts. The guidelines also emphasize the importance of compliance monitoring, environmental auditing, and enforcement of environmental norms by local authorities, SPCBs/PCCs, and municipal corporations. It is advisable to take expert advice for Waste Management in Dairy Farms as the experts have technical knowledge and expertise in the areas related to waste management, environmental pollution, and animal husbandry, which is essential for the development of effective guidelines.
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