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  Home >> Cleanliness >> Do you have a problem with your Garbage?  


Do you have a problem with your GARBAGE?  


1. 'Garbage stinks' because it consists of rotting organic matter.

2.`Garbage is ugly' because we do not throw it properly in bins.

3.`Garbage remains uncleared' because there is too much of it which even municipal corporations can't get rid of.

4.`Garbage gets strewn' because it contains useful material which people, animals and birds want, and while looking for it, they scatter it.

5.'Garbage pollutes because when burnt in the open, toxic fumes and smoke are given off that cause respiratory disorders.

6.`Garbage becomes a health hazard' Mien it is left to rot on streets and roads. ']'his breeds insects, rodents and bacteria that cause and spread disease.

What is Garbage?

Garbage is waste that is generally thrown out of our homes, offices, parks, shops, restaurants and small commercial establishments. In our country it mostly consists of rotting vegetable and food matter, besides, paper, plastic, glass, rubber, leather, coal, porcelain, metal, rags, toxic material (batteries, pesticides, paints, broken tube lights and chemicals), building material and soil.

Why is there so much of it all around?

Most of us have the habit of retaining packaging such as cardboard, glass, metal or plastic containers for reuse in our homes and offices. We also consciously put away things like newspaper, tins, glass bottles and milk covers which can be sold to `raddiwalas'.

Despite this laudable habit which reduces much of the garbage thrown, there is still a lot of waste that reaches the roadside bin (each household generates almost 1/2 to 1 kg. of garbage per day). With increasing population the amount of waste generated has also increased so much so that it cannot be easily disposed of by conventional methods such as land-filling.

Segregate Before you Throw !

How do we segregate?

Keep four separate containers for DRY, WET TOXIC and SOILED wastes and make a habit of dropping things into the appropriate containers.

DRY waste : Scraps of paper, plastic, metal, glass pieces, rags, rubber, leather, crockery and even some containers which are normally not taken by the raddhiwalas, can all go into a white bag or bin, used cardboard carton, sack or basket. This can be given to the ragpicker once or twice a week.

WET waste : Kitchen waste such as vegetable peels and remains of fruits, vegetables, bone and meat can be fed to domestic animals or along with left overs and rotten food, garden litter, hedge clippings and the like, can be collected in green covered bins and composted in homes, schools, gardens and parks or in neighborhood composting sites.

TOXIC waste: Unused medicines which have not expired can be given to free clinics and hospitals. However, unused toxic material such as expired medicines, pesticides, chemicals, used batteries, tube lights etc., have to be stored in black bags or bins and disposed off in a proper manner with the help of the municipality or other government bodies.

SOILED waste : Soiled and infected cotton, drips, injection syringes and needles, diapers, sanitary napkins, dressings, used tissues and condoms should be collected in red bins or bags tied at the mouth and left in the corporation bin meant for safe disposal in sanitary landfills or in those meant for collection by the common Biomedical Waste Treatment facility operator.

Recycling can help save energy and resources!

Recycling of material is an important aspect that will definitely go a long way in solving the garbage problem. Recycling refers to the process by which material once used is used again to substitute for virgin material. For example, we all know that paper is made from wood pulp. To make I tone of paper, 17 trees need to be brought down. However, if waste paper is remade into pulp and this pulp used to substitute for part of the entire requirement of wood pulp in the making of paper, it will save trees.

Most household garbage is recyclable. Paper, plastic, metal, glass and rags can be reused in various manufacturing processes. Wet organic kitchen waste can be used to generate compost rich in plant nutrients.

In our country, most cities and towns have retailers and wholesalers who buy recyclable material either directly from homes, shops, offices and establishments like the raddiwalas or those who buy from ragpickers who pick material from garbage dumps and roadside bins. These materials are then sorted and sent to various small and large industries which use them in varying proportions to substitute for virgin material in the manufacture of articles.

Recycling has several benefits

It reduces the amount of waste that reaches the roadside bin

It reduces the amount of energy needed to make new products 

It reduces pollution

It reduces the requirement for virgin material 

It generates employment.

Reuse, Recycle and Reduce Garbage ! 

How can we reduce Garbage?

In our homes, offices, shops...

Let us learn to reuse any material as much as possible before we throw it. For instance, we could all save paper.

We could write on both sides of a page or make a new note book from unused sheets of old note books. Birthday cards and decorations can be made from used cards, gift wrapping paper and sweet wrappers.

We could carry our own cloth or jute bags when we go shopping. Plastic cups and containers can be reused for keeping pins, pens and little odd things which we require ever so often.

We could enquire from shopkeepers, office equipment dealers and other retail or wholesale dealers for schemes to exchange used containers, cartridges etc. while purchasing new items.

We could reduce consumption and wastage of chemicals such as acids (to clean toilets), cleaning agents, polishing agents, and motor oils. We could avoid using unnecessary and dangerous pesticides.

In our streets.....

Segregation means separation and involves the separate collection of different materials under previously determined categories. Segregation is a very important activity that one must do before throwing out garbage. Most household garbage contains many things that can be used. We often render them totally useless by dumping them along with other waste. We could make a beginning by segregating our garbage into that which is useful and that which is totally useless.

Apart from what we retain for re-use in our homes, offices, etc., selling to the raddiwala, or returning to manufacturers, there are items in the garbage, which are generally classified as `roadwaste'. These are scraps of paper, plastic, metal, glass and rags which are eagerly retrieved by the ragpickers. By doing this they are helping society save raw material and energy and are also helping themselves. However, they are unknowingly exposing themselves and others to dirt and disease by scattering waste while looking for useful material in the garbage.

To avoid this we can segregate even roadwaste from our garbage and hand it over to the ragpicker thus enabling him/her to earn his/her livelihood in a safer and healthier manner while contributing to saving our environment by recycling.

Organic wastes from kitchens, gardens and dining tables are compostable. Composting organic matter in pits or heaps or with earthworms reduces the stink and helps us obtain a rich manure for our plants.

How do we organize disposal of garbage?

Form Civic Forums of Residents of your neighborhood!

Explain to each member how their wastes should be segregated. Seek the cooperation of the Municipal Corporation, nearby tree bank/nursery or the Horticulture department to give a small piece of land for setting up a neighborhood composting site. Organize the ragpickers with the help of local voluntary agencies to pick up segregated waste from house to house, from shops, restaurants, offices, schools and other establishments in your locality.

Arrange payment to the ragpickers from the residents, school authorities and offices for rendering this service. Householders, office workers and individuals should be motivated to segregate waste in the recommended manner and the waste retrievers (ragpickers) should be trained to collect them separately and dispose them in suitable places as explained previously. The neighborhood composting site should be maintained hygienically and the composted material should be distributed/sold to interested persons and nurseries.







Take a little trouble today to save your children's tomorrow!  
Reduce your demands and wastage.  
Recycle and reuse things as much as possible. 
Think before you throw.  
Segregate what you throw.  

Research & Development

Center for Environment Education, India

About AAWaM

The Ministry of Environment & Forests, Govt. of India (MoEF) with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) has started a project in many small and big towns of India termed Eco-cities which are well known pilgrimage or tourist destinations having large floating populations, for proper and appropriate management of domestic and other urban waste. This project called Achieving Action in Waste Management' (AAWaM) hopes to not only achieve public participation in waste management but also develop a methodology which can be spread throughout the country to achieve cleaner cities and improved health conditions. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and Center for Environment Education (CEE) will be jointly working on this project in the next one and half to two years. Adisory Services in Environmental Management (ASEM), One World and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development are also important partners of the Eco-cities programme.

It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. --Charles Dudley Warner