Garbage segregation – Everything you need to know

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Most Indian households are in the habit of using one garbage bin for all their waste, and therefore understanding garbage segregation can become problematic. But with recycling and waste management becoming major concerns, now is the time to start segregation. Here are some guidelines to help you segregate garbage at home.

Garbage segregation - Everything you need to knowWhat is garbage segregation?

Garbage segregation is a process of dividing garbage into ‘reduce’, ‘reuse’ and ‘recycle’ materials. We in India, see garbage in every nook and corner of the road. With new garbage segregation rules, the government is attempting to clean up our cities., The biggest challenge, however, is to get regular folks like you and me to understand the rules of segregation, how many garbage bins to use and what to dump where.

Importance of garbage segregation

We have learned to dump trash and we have learned to get rid of the trash but we still need to learn how to do it right. In the 90s, in the US, Captain Planet was an animated television series that introduced kids to the phrase, “Reduce, reuse and recycle”. However, the movement has on really caught on in India very recently.

The food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink are all polluted, thanks to our careless behaviour. We see heaps and piles of garbage lying on every street and the stink is unbearable! Even landfills are filling up and waste management is now a giant problem facing our nation. It is time for change and no government can bring this change without the support of the people. This garbage is polluting the soil, water and in turn coming back to us in a harmful way. The medical waste is causing a lot of harm, it is, in fact helping the diseases to spread.

Garbage segregation can make our streets cleaner, it can help us recycle things, reduce the use of certain raw materials and hence in making our country and planet a better place to live in.

How to segregate garbage

Understanding segregation is not so difficult. There are four types of garbage

  1. Wet waste
  2. Sanitary waste
  3. Dry waste
  4. Hazardous household waste or E-waste

Wet waste

Rotten fruits, vegetable and their peels, left-over food, egg shells and rotten eggs, mango seeds, tea bags, used coffee powder, coconut shell and fibre, used flowers, non-veg food remains, bones, spoiled spices, chewing gum, garden waste, rangoli colours and dust come under wet waste. Spoiled or expired food should be removed from its packet and discarded. Nails must be wrapped in a paper. Anything liquid amongst these must be drained and the remaining must be wrapped in a newspaper.

Sanitary waste

Used sanitary napkins, panty liners, sanitary cloths, condoms, syringes, cotton and bandages, diapers, tissue papers, ear buds, dental floss, blood-stained cloth, etc., is sanitary waste. This should be wrapped properly in newspapers and marked with a red cross before handing over to garbage collectors.

Dry waste

Mop stick and mop clothes should be handed over directly. Toilet cleaning brushes, other brushes, toothbrushes and scrubs must be dried first and then wrapped in newspapers. Doormats and containers of pesticides, various papers and stationery, razors and blades, various bottles should be kept separate. All the covers of various food/dairy items like tetra packs etc must be cleaned, dried and handed over separately. Hair, waste pet food and thermocol should be wrapped in paper

Hazardous household waste

Mosquito repellent bottles and mats, used phenyl air fresheners, expired medicines, tablet covers, syrup bottles, injection bottles and other medical discards, old paints, fluorescents and button cells should be separately handed to the collectors. Batteries, CDs and cassettes, CFL, tube lights, printer cartridges, broken clocks and thermometers should be packed in newspaper or cardboard box and handed over. Cosmetics should be wrapped in the newspaper marked with red cross on it.

 

You will need four dustbins and absolutely no plastic bags for this kind of garbage segregation. Though it is not practically possible to do follow all the above-mentioned steps to a ‘T’, we must try our best to get as close as possible.

Remember, being cleaner and organised today means a healthier and happier tomorrow!

Garbage segregation

Photographs by sxc.hu and mDhil

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