Segregation at source
Most of people like to do a great work with low effort. Segregation is one of those things. It brings a huge profit for a few spend. In households we use many tools and foods. If we handle in proper form when we give those up as waste, we could do a great work for society and environment.
What is segregation?
“The SWM, 2016 define segregation as sorting and separate storage of various components of solid waste”. namely as a part of waste management we can categories the waste into organic (bio degradable), it includes food, grass, leaves and so on and inorganic (non-bio degradable) it includes plastics, glasses, papers, metals and so on. Waste segregation is the first step in a compliant waste management plan that will help the environment and give a safety to health.
Why should we segregate at home?
Segregation is legally required. Under the waste regulations 2011, we must segregate paper, cardboard, plastic, metal and glass at source unless it’s technically or economically unfeasible. Under the same regulations, we should implement the waste hierarchy; reduce, reuse, recycle other recovery and disposal. Rakhesh Mehta, municipal commissioner of the unified MCD said: “If people and stakeholders have no ownership of the cleanliness of their areas, nothing can change”.
At present, only a handful of people segregate waste at their houses. This is largely due to a lack of awareness of what, to begin with. At the house hold level, about 60% of our waste is organic. If we separate from recyclable waste, that makes easy to waste pickers. Then waste pickers typically use in organic waste further into paper, metal, plastic and so on. Then sell them to earn a livelihood. These waste streams get collated through the informal ‘Eco- system’ of waste bankers and waste traders who become “Material suppliers” to the formal manufacturing sector. Then as a result products being made from recycled plastic, metal and getting reused for product making and wastepaper getting mashed into pulp to make recycled paper. It improves collection efficiency and leads to better efficiency in processing of waste and resource recovery. So firstly we must know about recyclables and how much years needed to decompose them. We use many plastics in our daily usages. It takes 70-450 years to decompose. Tin cans take around 50 years. Then, nylon clothes needed 30-40 years to decompose. A shocking knowledge is glasses take to decompose 1-2million years. When household waste is not segregated, the organics and recyclables will be go into the green corporation bins commonly found in every street. Then it is collected by trucks and taken to transfer stations. Here waste pickers try to recover as much recyclable materials as they can to sell for money, after which the trash is taken either to landfills and dumped unscientifically. That makes a huge dangerous situation. Toxic chemicals from hazardous wastes seep in the ground overtime and pollute the ground water supply. Most of people are unaware that the amount of heavy metals, fluorides, chlorides and particulate matter in our waste is higher than permissible levels. Hazardous wastes in landfills are also sources of dioxins and furans, extremely carcinogenic substances. Furthermore, we must know that 47% of the waste, going to landfills is organic waste and 18% is recyclable waste out of the total 4500 tones generated every day 68% is residential waste. It is essential for us to segregate waste. So that we can protect every body’s health. We must not focus only on caring about out health. Here we ought to avoid troubles to other because of us. If these wastes are segregated properly, then the risks of cuts or bruises that waste pickers and garbage collectors may experience will be avoided. If these people have some wound, then they may get infections. Therefore, segregated wastes reduce health and safety related risks to waste pickers around the waste treatment and disposal sites.
Shocking news is “an estimated 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans ever year. That is equal to five grocery bags for every foot of coastline in the entire world! This will become other problems such as ocean acidification, bio magnification, soil contamination and ground and surface water pollution.
Be a habit
Must segregation at source be a habit of us? So this process wants to change one ‘bin for all’. We must keep two or more bins in our house and we should put our dry waste into a bin and wet waste to another bin. This process will lead to avoid unnecessary items being sent to landfills. “In fact segregation of waste was the core need” said Dr.Sonia Henam, deputy programmer manager at centre for science and environment. So we must keep segregation as a habit. While your wastes are segregate, then it will be easier for waste pickers and garbage collectors to recycle wastes. They can easily handle the waste that will go to the recycler or incinerator.
While we not segregated, then it will pose risks and constraints on the choice of operation of waste processing technologies. Plastic in waste if incinerated could lead to release of dioxins that are toxic. Household hazardous wastes if not segregated can result in compost that is contaminated.
Nowadays many initiatives from government sectors and private sectors promote segregation at source. ITC’s wellbeing out of waste (WOW) is one of those initiatives. It collaboted with municipalities and it gives training to waste workers and waste pickers. Let’s appreciate them.
Great work with low effort
Totally segregation is a good habit. Keeping food wastes from mixing with paper wastes or glass or plastic or so on, make to easier to reuse, recycle and get rid of materials, and helps Prevent the health Problems caused by mixed wastes. Separating waste is the first step in better waste management, only through it solves the problem if there is a good way to deal with waste separation is Part of a system that includes reuse composting, regular collection recycling and safe disposal. It is better for our environment and also it causes to get a health safety and profitable job for waste pickers.
1. The Hindu
2. The Indian express
3. Ocean: national geographic
4. Trash to Clash – N. Madhavan