Look around and you will see it but might not notice it.
IN the 21st century , people are provided with everything to facilitate their lives but unfortunately, they find it next to impossible to live a completely healthy life and somehow it’s all because of the monumental amount of waste in our community . The phrase ‘Waste in my Community’ refer to all the trash that dirt our surroundings and affects our health.
Wastes are generally divided into three forms:- (i) Solids , (ii) Liquids and (iii) Gaseous.
Solid Wastes include everything that goes out in trash . These are wastes from homes, offices, stores, schools, hospitals,etc. These are collected and disposed by the municipality. The municipal solid wastes generally comprise paper, food wastes, plastics, glass, metals, rubber, leather, textile,etc. The wastes need to be disposed carefully-
Burning reduces the volume of garbage but it is often not burnt to completion and open dumps serve as breeding grounds for rats and flies.
Sanitary Landfills were seen as an alternative for open-burning dumps. In a sanitary landfill, wastes are dumped in trench or depression after compaction and covered with dirt everyday.
Landfills are also not really much of a solution since the amount of garbage generation specially in the metropolitan cities has increased so much that these sites are getting filled too. Also, there is danger of seepage of chemicals, etc. from these landfills, polluting the underground water resources.
The liquid and gaseous wastes are more likely to be originated from industries and other mega projects.
Human population has grown enormously over the last hundred years . This means increase in demand for food,water, home, electricity, roads, automobiles and numerous other commodities. All this leads to increase in waste as there is no proper disposal mechanism.
Without determined steps, the crisis is certain to worsen. Garbage leads to certain social and economic ramifications.
The rubbish many-a-times clogs the drainage system and forms a hurdle and this results to flooding in some areas. A solution to all this can only be human beings becoming more sensitive to these environmental issues.
All wastes that we generate can be categorized into three types – (a) Bio-degradable , (b) Recyclable and (c) Non-biodegradable .
Studies confirm that landfills swallow precious wealth everyday. The time has come to segregate the waste at source . So, all the garbage that is generated is needed to be sorted. The reusable and the recyclable materials should be separated out . Our rag-pickers and kabadiwallahs do this job of separating materials for recycling. So, to begin with, the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle ) should be put to practise . There are solutions to the garbage pandemic through the crucial processes of material recycling and composting .It is so important that the leaders of our brands makes the decision to use recycled material.
The bio-degradable materials can be put into deep pits in the ground and be left for natural breakdown.
The need to reduce our garbage generation should be our prime goal, instead, we are increasing the use of non-biodegradable products. Just pick a packet of any ‘good-quality’ eatable, say a chocolate packet and study it -we can see number of protective layers used. Note that atleast one layer is of plastic. We have started packaging even of our daily use products like milk and water in plastics. Fruits and vegetables are also brought in plastic poly bags (polythene). Government is trying to push for reduction in use of plastics and use of eco-friendly packaging such as in paper bags or use of fibre carry bags.
A case study reads that a plastic sack manufacturer in Bangalore managed to find the ideal solution to the ever increasing problems of accumulating plastic waste. He realized the plastic waste was a real issue. So, a fine powder of recycled modified plastic – Polyblend , was then developed by his company. This polyblend is used in laying roads. Such initiatives are the need of the hour.
The waste from hospitals and electronic wastes (e-wastes) are incinerated. The recycling of these wastes, in developing countries,often involves manual participation, thus, exposing workers to the hazardous substances present in e-wastes. Recycling is the only solution for the treatment of e-wastes , provided, it is carried out in an environment- friendly manner .
Whatever may be the source of rubbish, it affects the entire community in many ways. Garbage leads to physical, mental and in turn financial deterioration of people. Waste breeds insects and in turn diseases. It also arouses negativity among people because unclean area is disliked by everyone. We need to understand that “Cleanliness is next to godliness “. So, to make our human resource productive, waste management should be introduced at all levels. This is the best way to boost up the local economy and make our community and in turn the nation progressive.
Apart from these, waste leads to pollution. The harmful trash poisons the soil and makes it less fertile . The non- biodegradable materials release gases like methane, which increases the green- house effect and thus the global warming .So, sustainable development is the need for both the present and future generation.
1. Reforestation and Organic Farming should be largely encouraged .
2. A practical, hygienic, efficient and cost-effective solution to human waste disposal is also required. Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan) is a sustainable system for handling human excreta. With this composting method, excreta could be recycled into a resource ( as a natural fertilizer). Government should encourage such steps.
To save our community, waste management should be a priority.”The greatest threat to our planet is the believe that somebody else will save it”. So, I believe individual effort is the most effective tool. Responsible people create as little waste as possible. Government should support its people to take bigger steps on the way to development and growth.