It’s been 72 years since independence, and India still remains one the dirtiest and filthiest country’s in the world. We see streets filled with garbage and rivers choke due the garbage we throw.
‘Cleanliness is next to godliness’ as stated by John Wesley; a clean India is the need of the hour.
India is the 7th largest country with a population of about 1.3 billion and with this growing population, the amount of waste disposed everyday also keeps increasing. India discards approximately 36.5 million tons of waste annually. Wastes disposed range from chemical liquids, plastics, food and garden waste. Not only this, but a fast developing country like India also generates various kinds of urban and industrial waste. The range of waste streams includes – municipal waste, construction and demolition debris, plastic packaging waste, e-waste, industrial hazardous and non-hazardous waste and biomedical waste. Most cities aren’t able to cope up with the rapid pace of urbanization which in turn causes stress on the environment and pollutes our surroundings. If this continues, the day is not far when every other street in our city may be filled with garbage.
But how can we handle this situation? We first need to start taking responsibility to dispose the waste we generate properly. After all, our waste is our responsibility. This is no rocket science but just the simple steps we need to take every day to make the waste reaches garbage trucks and does not flow down rivers and lies uncared for on the streets. We need to start by segregating the waste into Biodegradable waste (fruit and vegetable peels), dry waste (metal, paper) and Hazardous waste (needles, plastics). We must also try to implement the policy of 3 R’s, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We must Purchase products that require less packaging or to limit the waste you are producing, reuse items instead of throwing them away after the first use and recycle and make new products out of the already used ones. It is also our responsibility to highlight the issues that might caused if waste is not disposed properly. This can be done through various ways such as awareness campaigns, posters, environmental clubs etc. The municipal corporations and panchayats must also pay attention to where and how the collected garbage is being disposed. Individually, we should also focus on how the waste is being disposed in the community. Many people insist on open dumping, filling them into landfills or burning the waste. What a lot of people do not know is that these methods can prove to be very harmful not only to environment but also can cause various health hazards. This includes bad quality of air around the regions, disease-ridden growth conditions, breeding ground for various insects, and innumerable amount of soil damage. Improper dispose of waste also contaminates huge water bodies, streams and rivers. This in turn tends to affect a large amount of population. What we can also do is adopt various methods that contribute towards the cleaning. Volunteering for community cleaning activities such as beach cleaning, neighborhood cleaning might be of great help.
It’s high time we realize how important it is to dispose waste properly. Ignoring it can have a negative effect not only on the environment but also our lives. It all starts with a small step that we are rather hesitant to take. Our future lies in our hands and hence it is our responsibility to preserve it.