With cities getting more and more crowded by each passing minute, it is becoming difficult for authorities to manage the huge amount of waste that keeps accumulating everyday. As a responsible citizen, the duty rests upon you to help the municipality to manage waste disposal efficiently. So here’s a simple article for you introducing you to the basics of waste segregation – a convenient way to manage waste.
What Is Waste Segregation?
The most basic definition means to simply keep dry & wet wastes separately. That alone brings in a world of a difference. It not only limits contamination, it also helps with recycling materials like paper and plastic and other select substances.
The two primary goals of waste segregation are –
- Limit the amount of garbage that gets taken to landfills. As you may know already, such landfills for trash are filling up fast. Very soon, we’ll have no space to bury all this waste.
- Help with waste treatments of different kinds. Some waste should be burned, some recycled, some can be used for composting.
Separating the waste out based on treatment purpose at the landfill or after collection is a Herculean task that the officials alone can’t do.
Which is why it is important that segregation of waste should start in our homes. Afterall, for us it is as simple as using separate bins while for the officials it means shifting through hazardous waste, putting them at risk of serious infection!
How To Get Started?
If you live in an apartment, it takes more than just using separate waste bins. You will first need to come together with other like-minded people in your apartment and convince all the residents that this is a necessary step.
Issue circulars mandating segregation of waste and failing which would incur a fine. You can also inform them how it should be done & what its significance is.
Once you have the residents on board, tell the cleaning staff about it. Instruct them to get separate bins for collecting each kind of waste from doorsteps.
Waste Segregation 101
As of now, three types of wastes are identified –
- Dry waste – plastic, paper & anything with no food residue on.
- Food waste – vegetable peels, leftovers & food residues
- Bio waste – baby diapers, sanitary napkins, used insulin syringes, medical waste
Have three separate bins for each type of waste. Ideally, discuss with the association and come up with a color code. Eg, most apartments use green, black and blue. Green for food waste, blue for dry & black for bio-waste. You can decide the color code for your apartment. Instruct the collection staff accordingly.
It may take some time to get started but, trust us, this step alone impacts the society in a huge way. It even controls diseases to a large extent.
The Fourth Kind Of Waste
Apart from the three categories used regularly, there is a fourth kind. It is called electronic waste or e-waste. Includes broken cables, phones, bulbs, batteries from devices, parts of computers & laptops and anything electronic in general.
Because such waste isn’t generated on a daily basis, it is best to put aside all of them in a separate container until enough is accumulated to dispose off. Do not mix them with other kinds of wastes because if they go into the category that will be incinerated, it could cause a fire hazard.
Get Started Today
Like we’ve said before, waste segregation has been touted as an effective waste management method in populated cities. Municipalities and local authorities insist on implementing it because it helps control air and water borne pathogens thereby reducing chances of diseases.
If you haven’t started already, join hands with others and get started today. Remember, our landfills our fast filling with the waste humans are producing. It is time we stepped up to be kinder to our environment.
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Authored By: Ambili Mukundan