Waste Segregation

Waste Segregation

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First Step to Waste Disposal is Segregation

Solid waste segregation has always been a big challenge at the household level as well as at city level. Imagine segregation of the refuse that Delhi produces every day. It is close to gigantic 9,000 tons indiscreetly dumped at 3 – 4 locations around the periphery of the city. By a rough calculation, this equivalent to 900 truckloads of solid waste is transported every day to landfill sites for no better purpose but to rot the neighboring environment.

City waste can be classified into two broad categories. One is organic waste which is also called bio-degradable waste and the second is inorganic waste which comprises polythene, plastic, glass, metal etc. From household to all the institutions like markets, mess, malls, hospitals, hotels, banquet halls, and colleges to name a few have only two types of garbage named above. The need of segregation stems from the need of better disposal of the refuse.

While recycling is the ideal way to dispose of the inorganic waste, composting is the logical end of organic waste. Due to lack of practice of segregating at the source, and lack of resources to segregate the garbage at bulk, the entire mixed up refuse is sent to the landfill sites. Organic waste constitutes about 70% of the entire urban trash. It is this quantity which, if at all, should actually be sent to the landfill sites for composting. This would reduce the burden on landfills by at least 30%. The ideal way to deal with the inorganic waste is to send it for recycling.

Having said this, it is important to mention that the culture of open disposal of garbage needs a paradigm shift. Technology and machines are available which can be installed in every premise that generates organic waste. These re-processors speed up the composting of organic waste being bio-degradable so much so that it becomes a continuous process. Goes the input of waste and comes out the output of compost, of course in much-reduced quantity, easily to be sold off or given away as natural manure.

Hence for proper waste disposal, segregation is the first and foremost step. There is no way to treat the mixed waste by segregation as biodegradable and inorganic waste; treatment of waste can accordingly be achieved. Biodegradable waste can then be deposited in landfills or can be treated by GWR kind of reprocessors which can easily be installed within a premise of the residential colony, hotel, temple, vegetable market etc. composting the entire bio-degradable waste on day to day basis.

Let’s encourage the practice of two dustbins at home and other places.

Then only the problem of waste disposal can effectively be addressed.