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Why garbage disposal is our responsibility

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Garbage disposal is an important part of our daily living, especially if you are living in a city. Collection and the eventual daily disposal of accumulated home garbage are as important as having a daily bath. Swatch Bharat begins at home. Keep your home premises clean, free of litter and garbage, and you will keep your neighbourhood clean; and this can be extended to the ward, city, state and eventually the country.

Proper garbage disposal is essential in every household. If every household in an apartment complex were to proactively follow this daily routine, the entire housing complex would be clean. Now imagine, all the housing complexes in and around the area doing this: what do you see? You don’t need rocket science to visualize and understand this. Extend your imagination further to the city, state and country and you have Swatch Bharat.

As citizens of the country, let us not just dream but put these thoughts to action. Your strong commitment and proactiveness is moot: you know the old dictum ‘you can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink’

Garbage is broadly classified into bio-degradable (that which easily disintegrates and assimilates harmlessly with the soil) and non-bio-degradable (that which does not disintegrate). The former (wet waste) would include kitchen wastes such as vegetable and fruit peels, leftover food items, non-vegetarian wastes, egg shells and the like. The latter (dry waste) will include plastics in any form, metals, batteries and glass. E-waste (unusable computer and electronic parts) is dangerous if carelessly disposed as this would cause great harm to the environment and consequently to human and animal life.

For starters, let us understand what we, as individuals, need to do in this necessary exercise. Plan your garbage collection and waste disposal method; you can devise your own but keep in mind that segregation of garbage, unlike humans, is a virtue. Garbage or waste is not only generated in the kitchen but in any living room or bathroom of the house.

A waste basket in every room is an integral part of this garbage disposal project. In the kitchen you need to have two waste bins – one for bio-degradable waste and the other for the non bio-degradable waste. Ideally these should be colour coded. Keep a separate bin for the hazardous e-waste. Always use gloves when handling e-waste.

The bio-degradable waste needs to be cleared everyday else it will rot and decay; as normally happens when you leave town for a few days and have forgotten to clear the garbage and you know what meets you on your return.
Composting you kitchen waste is the ideal thing to do if you have a small kitchen garden or a balcony garden. To know how to compost your kitchen waste, Google to find many informative sites.

Make it a habit to dispose the wet waste every day unless you plan to compost. You may use the services of the garbage collectors who come to the building on a daily basis, if this service is available, or use the waste bins provided by the Corporation in your street. But have a thought for the people who remove your trash and follow proper garbage disposal practice. You may not need to empty out the dry waste on a daily basis since their disposal is not urgent but it would make sense to do so else you will find it accumulating in the house and occupying unnecessary space which, in small apartments, becomes a problem.

One of the solutions for garbage disposal is not to have garbage but how can one do this. It cannot be totally eliminated but you can minimize it by intelligent planning and shopping. When shopping take you own grocery bag (cloth or jute) which is reusable. This will prevent plastic bags from accumulating at home. Buy stuff that has the least amount of packaging. If you have to buy 5 kg of wheat flour or rice, do not buy 1 kg packet of these instead buy the 5 kg bag. This way you will have only 1 plastic bag to dispose off rather than 5. I hope you get the idea. Use food grade plastic containers to store dry items like sugar, rice and other cereals or spices.

Clothes that are not going to be worn have a habit of cluttering up your wardrobe. Get into the habit of donating it to old age homes and orphanages, but make sure that what you donate is usable and not torn. Don’t forget the recipient is also a self-respecting person.

Lastly, be a responsible citizen of the country. Reduce unnecessary consumption, reuse what can be reused and recycle what can be recycled. If every one of us becomes aware of our social responsibility towards cleanliness, Swatch Bharat will not be just a dream.

Stanley Varghese for IndiaProperty.com

Image author:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/epsos/

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