What is waste? Anything which is considered of no use by the producer or the consumer is called waste. Wastes can be classified into many types-solid waste, liquid waste, organic waste,e-waste etc…These wastes pose serious threats to health and environment.Traditionally,landfills are being used to dump household wastes but these landfills are not environmental friendly and pose a great risk of hazardous diseases. Landfills have the potential to cause a number of issues like air, water and soil pollution. Waste management has become one of the precedence issues for the country. Residential wastes consist of 65% of the trash generated from everyday activities. Point of the matter is it cannot continue like this. It’s high time now and to take and implement sustainable waste management practices is the need of the hour.A densely populated country as india cannot have a green future without proper waste management system and practices. It is not only the duty of the government but also the duty of the citizens to be responsible for the proper disposal of wastes they produce.
Waste management involves collection,transportation and disposal of wastes.The most effective and affordable solution for this major cause of concern is to strictly follow the 3 R’s concept:reduce,reuse,recycle.
Reduce:We should reduce the amount of garbage we produce.
Reuse: One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Instead of discarding unwanted appliances, tools or clothes we should try donating or selling them. We can also creatively create wealth from waste(DIY ideas).
Recycle:We should stress more on recycling and production of products made from recycled materials.One time use and throw concept should be discouraged.
Segregation at source itself can be effective to minimize labour and cost.A simple deed to sort our waste and fulfill our responsibility will lead us to a green and healthy life.
Green bins should be used for organic waste.
Blue bins should be used for recyclable wastes and
Red bin should be used for non-recyclable wastes.
Composting facilities can be set up for the compost of organic wastes into manure and fertilizers. We must also strictly make sure not to send any biodegradables to the landfills as biodegradables decompose in the absence of oxygen and produce harmful green house gases. We must make sure that the least amount of wastes reaches the landfills. It would help us prevent other types of pollutions caused due to dumping. The informal recycling sector including scrap dealers and rag pickers should be made a part of the waste management system as done by the kerala government.
Various initiatives taken by various countries can help us improve the present waste management systems in india.
For instance,Britains deposit return scheme(DRS) for bottles and cans or Germany’s Pfand system in which the consumers pay an additional deposit as price of the bottle which gets reimbursed to you when you return the container.Also,if people are paid more for environmental friendly containers then the non-recyclable or one time use plastic will become less attractive in the long run.
In India, access to health care facilities is urban biased and thus,people living in rural areas form a huge share of unhealthy population.Majority of the people living in rural areas do not have health insurance. India can come up with the Indonesian inspired scheme Trade trash for free health care.This scheme can tackle both poverty and waste in rural areas. This scheme can inspire low income households to recycle their trash which would in turn help them to be able to finance their health micro-insurance. Clinics can be set up which take in the trash from people and sell it to recyclers for recycling.The money collected from recyclers should be spent on giving people basic health insurance.
India can also adopt a recycling policy like Sweden which funnels all the energy generated by burning waste into the national heating network.This would not only help deal effectively with the trash but also provide an efficient way to heat homes in the freezing winter especially in northern india where temperature ranges between a freezing -2°C to 14°C.
To effectively implement waste management practices people must realize that the solution lies in using waste as a resource rather than trash to be destroyed. Children who are the future generations should be made aware of the waste management practices.Campaigns focused on recycling can increase awareness and attitudes towards waste management among children and parents.
Conclusion:No matter what era we live in waste will always be an integral part of our life. But with better management practices we can save our environment and prevent various health disorders. What an india it will be…..with no garbage,no foul smell,a better environment and a healthy life.. As responsible citizens of the country, let us not just dream but put these thoughts to action.