The world stares at the human created colossal waste management issue that’s threatening to balloon into an epidemic. Check the entire spectrum of emotions logged on this issue and the responses are mostly filled with ignorance. Either people think it’s not a problem, yet. Or people think that the waste we generate goes to some kind of crusher and then presto, into thin air. Because you don’t see the garbage beyond your home, you think that it has been taken care of. But we can’t be farther away from the real truth. Only an alien can choose to look away and not be bothered by waste segregation. So here is some more focus on how human or how alien we are.

The inconvenient truth is that we are generating tons of waste everyday that cannot be completely destroyed. Some of it can be burnt, but not everything can be converted or eliminated. Plastic, toxic and other materials which cannot be destroyed are finally dumped into huge gaping holes in the earth and covered up. Years on end, this toxic material tries to decompose, gurgling up poisonous gases and making the earth there utterly useless. We had only heard of landmines. This is the human version of it called landfills. Yes, waste that cannot be destroyed goes into holes in the earth called landfills, and it slowly turns that land unusable.

Waste segregation: Waste Recycling versus Waste Creation

Waste is basically of 2 types – green waste that can be recycled and brown waste that cannot be recycled. So the first level of segregation separates the bad from the good. Sounds simple? In theory yes. But you need to know how to differentiate between the green and the brown. Green means all the wet kitchen waste that has the potential to go back to the soil. The wet kitchen waste goes for recycling and turns into compost or fodder for the garden in other words. Brown waste is all the stuff like plastic which is not going to change its nature so easily.  Even toilet waste like napkins needs to be discarded in a closed bag, so that it’s never opened again and goes directly into the landfill. Didn’t they tell you to get your child out of the diaper habit faster?  The toilet waste is totally disposed, but the remaining waste that includes dry waste like cartons, paper, plastic boxes and cardboard, has to be sorted out by humans. Now imagine, what happens, when you send a mixed bag of all these out of your house?

Being human, for fellow human beings

Even though manual scavenging is banned, many people are forced to work in waste recycling related areas. They gather material which can be sold and make their small fortunes. They may even be employed by government agents to clear garbage, as the government outsources these activities. The irony of life is that these people have to look beyond everything to earn that simple money. They choose not to worry about infections as they sink their hand in your garbage. They learn to look the other way, as they sort and transfer waste collected from various homes. They learn not to complain and silently do the segregation of your waste. Even if you haven’t.

3 bags for 3 reasons

Take that first step and make a change. Don’t keep mixed garbage outside, especially with toxic waste and glass together. Start segregating into green, black and white. Green is the kitchen waste, wet waste with left overs. Black has the toxic, with dirty diapers or napkins rolled in paper before disposing. White is dry waste with cardboard cartons and plastics that can be sold and recycled separately by the waste segregation people. That’s all it takes like the chart here shows. Just a simple step of separating our waste in 3 bags, results in our being a bit humane and not have someone sift through our garbage just because they have no choice.

Let’s go green. Let’s recycle where we can. Let’s use lesser plastic. Let’s use lesser water. Let’s be kind to our earth so that it can be kind to our children, tomorrow. It’s the only way for us to still stay humans, instead of being unaffected aliens.

Click here to see the video Living Green on waste management:

Click here to download pdf on Waste Segregation Guidelines: Green flyer for waste mgmt