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Don't 'waste' time, act now

Friday, September 08, 2017

In the wake of the latest Mumbai deluge, which brought the city, yet again, to a virtual standstill, Sachin Shigwan explains why waste management
in societies has become the need of the hour

The incessant rainfall of August 29, 2017 caused havoc in the city. However, Mumbai's storm water drainage choking with accumulated wet and plastics waste, making the floods unmanageable, is an old story. Environmentalists had accused the city administration of wilting under the pressure of the plastics industry, which has a sound base in Mumbai. India's plastics consumption is one of the highest in the world. Yet, precious little has been done to recycle, re-use and dispose of plastic waste.

Besides choking drains, plastics are highly toxics. When burned they release cancer-causing gases. Lying in the garbage, polythene bags also find their way in gut of cattle, asphyxiating the animals. Mumbai crisis serves as a grim reminder that unless our plastic waste is taken care of, we cannot dream to emulate Shanghai.

Imagine we all throw garbage, junk and rubbish away anyhow. Imagine there was no authority to supervise waste management activities from all the sources mentioned earlier. Imagine we all just sent our rubbish to the landfill, or just dumped them in a nearby river. What do you think will happen? A disaster!

Environmental Effects
Surface water contamination
Waste that ends up in water bodies negatively change the chemical composition of the water. Technically, this is called water pollution. This will affect all ecosystems existing in the water. It can also cause harm to animals that drink from such polluted water.

Soil contamination
Hazardous chemicals that get into the soil (contaminants) can harm plants when they take up the contamination through their roots. If humans eat plants and animals that have been in contact with such polluted soils, there can be negative impact on their health.

Bad waste management practices can result in land and air pollution and can cause respiratory problems and other adverse health effects as contaminants are absorbed from the lungs into other parts of the body. (Pollution is fully covered here)

Liquid that forms as water trickles through contaminated areas is called Leachate. It forms very harmful mixture of chemicals that may result in hazardous substances entering surface water, groundwater or soil.

Economic Effects
Municipal wellbeing
Everyone wants to live and visit places that are clean, fresh and healthy. A city with poor sanitation, smelly and with waste matter all over the place does not attract good people, investors and tourists. Such cities tend to have poor living standards.

Recycling revenue
Cities that do not invest in recycling and proper waste control miss out on revenue from recycling. They also miss out on job opportunities that come from recycling, composting and businesses that work with them.

How can we help save our environment from degradation and problem of this hazardous waste?
Composting the waste is the best measure to solve all our problems related to environmental degradation, water and soil pollution, let’s see the benefits of composting:

Composting Food Waste at your society
Composting is the most sustainable option for managing organic waste. Composting food waste and other acceptable organic waste at a licensed composting facility produces a beneficial product using feedstock that is otherwise wasted in the landfill.

A landfill has a limited life, but a composting plant can continue to process waste indefinitely. By taking responsibility for diverting recoverable waste produced by your organisation, you are helping to improve the sustainability of the region. The benefits of the Food Waste composting program include:

Turning waste into a value-added resource by providing valuable feedstock. Preventing greenhouse emissions and leachate caused by decomposing organic landfill waste. Producing valuable products, such as compost and fertilise, that enhance soil and aids in plant growth.

By installing a decentralised waste management system in your society  you can turn large amounts of organic waste — like kitchen waste, garden waste and food processing waste — into compost.

If we place the machine in a car parking space, since it is very compact no one will complain. Households can segregate the wet waste and pour it into the machine, the organic waste is stored in a pit and by the next day compost is ready.

You can contribute towards the environment through your food waste management as follows:

  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Increase environmental awareness among children, students and members.
  • Decrease waste collection and disposal costs
  • Add to your GREEN credentials
  • Produce natural, nutritious compost for garden or vegetable plot
  • Reduce Greenhouse Gases and Protect the Environment

If we were to use or compost all of our food waste we could prevent the emission of at least 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, every year!

Plastic Bottles Recycling and waste Management
Using the Plastic Bottles Recycle machine not only encourages recycling, but also helps in reducing littering and maintaining a clean environment. The collected waste is recycled or reused as per the legal and environment norms. Recycling of all kinds of packaging waste (such as PET, plastics, paper etc.) and marketing / promotion of recycled products ensures a greener and safer environment for the present and future generations. Plastic Bottle Recycle Machine has been designed to dispose and recover products effectively and are used as cost effective means for recycling and disposal of waste.

It is sometimes very difficult for the responsible authorities to collect large amount of garbage (wet/solid) from megacity like Mumbai and dispose it in an efficient way. It is our duty to go for ZERO waste programme within our society with the help of above few waste management ideas.

(The Writer is Managing Director of Green India Initiative Pvt. Ltd )

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