Solid Waste Management
It is our duty to reduce creating waste and protect environment. 3R's are important in protecting environment. The first R is reduce and the second R is reuse and the last R is recycle.
The waste hierarchy or pyramid shows the bestwaysto manage solid waste.
Avoid the usage of unwanted materials which create more debris. Before you buy anything, think that “Do I really need it?” (e.g) Avoid buying packaged foods. Refuse to buy use and throw plastic products.
We can reduce the waste by using durable goods that last longer instead of things that are used once and thrown away. (e.g) Write on both sides of papers. Instead of unnecessary printing, use electronic facilities. Share newspapers, magazines and other things with others.
Reusing means using a thing again and again, rather than using and throwing after a single use. (e.g) Instead of using plastic bags, use and throw pens and batteries, use cloth bags, fountain pens and rechargeable batteries. Reuse glass bottles for other purposes. Repair foot wears and use them.
Creative reuse or Up- cycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value. When you upcycle, you are giving an item a new purpose. (e.g) Used tyres into chairs. Used PET bottle into penstand.
The process by which waste materials are used to make new products is called recycling.(e.g) Using old clothes to make paper and melting some plastics to make floor mats, plastic boards and hose pipes.
The process of degradation of organic wastes into manure by the action of microorganism is called composting. The manure thus obtained becomes natural fertilizer for the plants as well as increases the soil fertility.
The burning of solid waste in incinerator is called incineration. Human anatomical wastes (discarded medicines, toxic drugs, blood, pus) are disposed by means of incineration. During incineration, the enormous heat kills all contagious disease-causing germs. We can also produce electricity with the help of this heat.
Landfilling is a method in which wastes are dumped into naturally occurring or man-made pits and covered with soil. Garbage buried inside landfills remain here for a long time as they decompose very slowly and become manure. These places can be converted into parks, gardens, etc.,
Earlier in the chapter, you learn about Rani and how she did not want to cause pollution. Simple steps in your daily life can make big differences. There are two steps you should remember.
1. The first step should always be to reduce waste. Think of the 3R’s and the waste pyramid and remember the order of the levels.
2. The second step is to keep waste separate. This way the waste will remain clean and can be easily reused or recycled. Mixing different types of waste together (e.g. biodegradable and non-biodegradable) makes waste dirty. Dirty waste gets sent to a landfill or open dump.
Waste separation exercise
The Solid Waste Management (SWM) rules, 2016 say that,
1. Every Household should segregate and store the waste generated by them in three separate streams – namely bio-degradable, non bio-degradable and domestic hazardous waste in suitable bins and handover segregated wastes to authorised waste pickers or waste collector as per the direction or notification by the local authorities from time to time.
2. No body shall throw, burn, or bury the solid waste on streets, open public spaces outside his premises or in the drain or water bodies.
Domestic hazardous waste means discarded paint drums, pesticide cans, CFL bulbs, tube lights, expired medicines, broken mercury thermometers, used batteries, used needles and syringes and contaminated gauge, etc., generated at the household level.
Learn how to separate waste correctly into 3 waste bins so you can keep Tamilnadu clean and beautiful!
How much waste does each person make around the world every day?
The average person in India produces 0.45kg of waste every day. It may be small amount of waste. But, India has a large population and imagine you collected all the waste today and put it into tractors. You would fill so many tractors that you could create a traffic jam approximately 2,800 kilometres long. Imagine, a road all the way from Kanyakumari to New Delhi completely blocked with tractors carrying garbage and no space to walk in between. This is how much waste we create in India each day! If we reduce the waste, we reduce the pollution. India produces 532 million kilos of solid waste every day.
Activity 4: Preparation of vermi compost
Dig a pit for about one feet depth in the backyard or garden of your home or school. Fill the pit by bio wastes, paper and food wastes, place few earth worms in it, sprinkle water and close the place with jute or cardboard and ensure moisture all the time.
After 45 days the vermi casting layer formed just above the pit. These castings will be applied to the plant. This contains water soluble nutrients. This type of compost helps in plant growth as well as sustain the land is fertility.