Capt S.S Mann
When it comes to protecting the environment, everyone plays a part. We as concerned citizens should take that responsibility of being Clean & Green very seriously.
The Green Movement is upon us, and thankfully, it’s gaining momentum every day. If we want to preserve our planet, we all have to do our part. One simple and highly effective way to make a difference is by recycling. In essence, recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste in landfills into valuable resources. So how does it work? Recyclable materials are transported to a processing facility where they are separated to create the highest-value raw materials. The cycle repeats itself when consumers purchase products with recycled content.
Recycling is vital to protecting our resources. However, its success depends on a community’s desire and commitment to protect the environment. The next time you throw something away; consider where it’s going and how long it will be there. Remember, if we can recycle or reuse, we are not just saving materials, we are saving the environment and valuable landfill space. Presently only 60% of the plastic-waste collected and segregated gets recycled back into materials for further processing into consumer products, while the balance is left unutilized.
We can recycle many products from our daily lives for e.g. we can use 35 plastic bottles to make fiberfill for a sleeping bag, 36 plastic bottles to make one square yard of polyester carpet. Recycling one aluminum can save enough energy to keep a 100-watt bulb burning for almost four hours, or run your television for three hours.
It is high time we revert from the decadent system of waste management in Dwarka which has failed miserably due to lack of public awareness and non segregation of the waste at source. If we do not dispose of the waste in a more systematic manner, more than 1400 sq. km of land, which is the size of the city of Delhi, would be required in the country by the year 2047 to dispose of it. According to the ASSOCHAM study, Delhi generates about 6,000 tonnes of solid waste daily It is to be noted that M.C.D is paying a tipping charge of Rs 597/- to Rs 692/- per Mt of garbage brought at the landfill site. I would like to share some shocking information about the pathetic state of our waste management facilities in Delhi. The NDMC operated composting plant in Okhla, composting plant in Bhalswa, operated as a
Joint venture between MCD and a private Company is operating below design capacity. The DEMS operated composting plant in Okhla is not currently operating. The DEMS operated landfill at Gazipur and Okhla were supposedly at the end of life in 2008. The Bhalswa site was supposedly at the end of life in 2009. It is high time that the government of Delhi make some constructive decisions to deal with this problem which looks small but if seen in totality this problem of waste management is screaming for attention.
This problem of Waste Management will slowly but surely snowball into a mammoth problem, if remedial measures are not taken by the citizens and the authorities collectively. We should promote environmental education and awareness in schools and involve communities in the management of solid waste.
I suggest strongly that the waste management authorities and the residents in Dwarka consider to adopt Curbside collection method for segregation of waste, which is less complex and more pocket friendly than other concepts like “Envac”. In Europe and a few other places around the world, a few communities use a proprietary collection system known as Envac, which conveys refuse via underground conduits using a vacuum system.
The universally prevalent Self Sorting method which is used in many municipalities in Canada and New Zealand is Curbside collection, whereby the city collects waste and/or recyclables and/or organics on a scheduled basis.
Curbside collection is a service provided to households, typically in urban and suburban areas, of removing household waste. It is usually accomplished by personnel using purpose built vehicles to pick up household waste in containers acceptable to or prescribed by the municipality. Curbside collection is today often referred to as a strategy of local authorities to collect recyclable items from the consumer and is considered a low-risk strategy to reduce waste volumes and increase recycling rates. Materials are typically collected in large bins, coloured bags, or small open plastic tubs, specifically designated for content. Curbside collection of recyclable resources is aimed to recover purer waste streams with higher market value than by other collection methods. This system should be coupled with effective complaint redressal system in which the general public should have the luxury of lodging complaints through E-mail and telephone and there should be a dedicated official who should make sure that the corrective remedial measures are undertaken promptly.
We, the residents of Dwarka should take the onus to segregate the garbage emanating in our respective households into dry and wet waste. Dry waste includes paper, cardboard, glass, tin cans etc. Wet waste, on the other hand, refers to organic wastes such as vegetable peels, left-over food etc.Waste can also be segregated on basis of biodegradable or non-biodegradable waste.
This can be achieved by providing bins in communal areas for segregated waste. It is important to involve all the inhabitants of the Society in the recycling policy. It is important to make sure that recycling information is prominently displayed on all the bins or included in a welcome pack, with clear instructions about how to segregate the waste emanating from their respective households. Orientation programs inculcating the core aspects and values of this method of waste management must be tailor made for all the garbage collectors and garbage contractors.
Yard trimmings and food scraps make up nearly 1/6 of what the average household throws into the garbage. The organic waste produced in our household By composting, we can convert organic wastes — yard trimmings, leaves and many kinds of kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich soil that improves soil structure, texture, aeration, water retention, erosion control, soil fertility, proper pH balance and healthy root development. Further, since yard and food waste make up nearly 1/6 of the waste stream, composting organic waste leaves a lot of much-needed room in landfills for other waste. This high grade compost can be used to encourage organic farming.
It is high time we move along with the times and improve our age old waste management procedures. Lastly, I would like to admit that this change would need a lot of effort from the residents of Dwarka as we will have to alter the “sab chalta hai” attitude and change the perception which we have and believe in ourselves that we can bring a positive change by adopting this new concept of Curbside Collection.