“Waste, in its “worthless” state, is the principal fuel for creativity.”, my grandma muttered at me, borrowing Mr.Yusuf’s quote. I was gaped by her profound quote by which she was endeavoring to portray something consequential while I was unloading my household waste, typically both solid and liquid waste together. My initial conversation with her added me stating something like, ‘It’s just garbage.’ ‘It’s knowledge time.’ my grandma said, noticing my confused face. I dropped the garbage bin, came down to her, to hear her.
‘Our country produces nearly 277.1 million tonnes of waste annually. As the rate at which waste is being generated globally is rising more posthaste than our population and economies, it is essential to contrive this garbage. Waste can be contrived through innovative approaches. We can also generate wealth out of waste. It is credible to convert waste into resources by changing the mindset.
Most of the household evacuated waste is organic and biodegradable. To be precise, everything you throw in garbage is not WASTE. It is actually the raw material for 12 hours. Odorless fresh raw material. It converts into a smelly decomposed material after 24 hours. Then into a stinking waste after 48 hours and finally into worm-infested waste after 72 hours. In the initial stage of garbage, preferably an unwanted portion of the vegetables or leftover food can be given to a dog shed or piggery. By calculation, if waste is collected every 12 hours from the residential area, every 6 hours from hotels, eateries, every 4 hours from vegetable markets or fruit markets, it is not garbage. It is all reliant on the initial segregation of the source where YOU play the source because it is all about the awareness.’ said my grandma when suddenly the junk collector entered our house to collect the waste, sorry, the raw material. I replied to her, ‘What occurs next? After the garbage is collected? How do people actually manage it? What role do I play being a source of segregation?’. Giggling at me, she answered, ‘Being a source of segregation, you need to segregate the solid and liquid waste. More preferable, the organic and the inorganic ones separately too. This makes things easier and, most importantly, it proves you responsible for your own household waste. Generally, in rural areas, people make the best use of organic household waste. They prepare essential biogas and vermicompost. They use simplistic natural technology to convert GARBAGE into black GOLD. Of course, there are few challenges like eggs getting hatched, worms formation, etc. If they do not restrain the worms, they mutate into houseflies. For resolving this, nature itself comes into play. They introduce Chickens, which play an important role here. But, these Chickens operate only during the day. Therefore, Frogs take the night shift. Another way of managing them is an Eco-friendly composting bed. In this method, there is a compost bed in a fish tank. So, whenever a worm falls out of the bed into the water, the nearest fish eats it. This method makes it possible for the urban people to execute it too. Regionally, garbage is called Lakshmi – The goddess. They never throw it. Merely, they segregate it, feed it to the cattle, convert it into dung. The dung dries and converts into ash, that ash is converted into ‘Vibhuti’ – a purely traditional form of Vibhuti.’ I was fascinated by this cycle where the garbage initially turned into black gold, then into vibhuti and various forms like organic farming products, a product made of eggshells and citric fruit peels. I looked at her with curiosity to hear more from her. She, immediately catching my vibe, said that ‘Consider the dry leaves falling from our backyard. Every single leaf which falls from the tree is one paisa. Which means you can convert it into ash or cash. We get mulch from it that can be filled in the bamboo baskets by which ultimately we get a roof garden without soil by just inputting the seeds’. I inquisitively asked her, ‘What about the inorganic waste?’. She replied, ‘Coming to the inorganic materials – paper, plastic, metal, glass; each and everything is cash. Even the sewage water too. The private sector in our country, realizing that this waste can be turned into an opportunity, has invented some unique ways in which to deal with it. Like reusing the paper, plastic, preparing cement from this inorganic waste’. I eventually understood the fact that garbage is simply a raw material in the incorrect place.
It is also important to acknowledge that managing waste is crucial. Open and unscientific disposal of garbage attracts many creatures, directly/indirectly causes serious damage to our environment, health, and sanitation. Dead creatures [Carouses] too are thrown away with garbage in dumpsites instead of burying them. Cattle animals identify the garbage food by their own snug. If it smells good, they eat it. In this process, it eats the carry bag too. This is a major problem. Many advertisements show how to use a sanitary pad, but no ad shows how to dispose of it.
Waste management is not just an opportunity but a necessity. We can detach the cons and promote the pros by managing our waste. To be precise, if we manage waste, we can bring informal workers into the formal sector. Obtain good quality fertilizers, create a symbiosis between urban and rural areas, improve the quality of food for us and the quality of the soil. Also, it will lead to zero methane gas emission, no ozone layer depletion, and no environmental crises. Nature itself is bracing us to solve the garbage problem. By nature, I mean frogs, earthworms, chickens, etc. So, let us take a moment to acknowledge that it is our responsibility to manage our own waste.