Monday, March 26, 2012

A trash weekend

Whats the best way to spend a Sunday morning? There can be many answers to this, but I found a new one. Deal with garbage.
After hearing and reading various opinions, and also seeing many people actually take constructive steps) I finally motivated myself to start composting the biodegradable waste I generate. Initially I thought it was going to be a rather complicated affair, requiring much time and attention. Quite the opposite. It is absurdly simple.

We have got so used to doing this - fill up the bin for the whole day, then simply keep it outside the door the next morning and forget about it. Let the municipal machinery take care of it. If its not inside my home, its not my problem.
It IS, unfortunately.Many of us are not aware about what happens to the contents of our bin once it disappears from our sight. It travels to the city (gets spilt on the road in the process) and ends up in the municipal dumping ground. The ground now resembles a gigantic mountain of garbage. It can contain everything, from a staple pin to a car bumper. Of course, a large part of this montain is formed of PET bottles, shoes, electronic waste, and so much more.
People at the dump go through the painstaking process of segregating all this mess. Some pick only glass, others look only for leather goods, yet others have an eye only for PET bottles. Once they have taken these things away, the remaining bit (which hopefully is all biodegradable) should ideally get converted to compost.

Think - why should others get their hands dirty (literally and figuratively) to sort the garbage that YOU generate? Making their life simple is not a huge task. It is one's responsibility, actually.
Start with simple things. Avoid throwing everything into one dustbin. The key lies in segregating the garbage as soon as it is born. Have two dustbins, first of all. Keep your waste segregated into dry and wet. These are misnomers actually. It actually means non-biodegradable and biodegradable. It doesn't take rocket science to figure out which is which. Then there are zillions of resources on the net to help you out.
Then get to making compost from the wet waste. To do this, I procured earthen pots made by a Bangalore-based company, Daily Dump.
So I spent the whole of my Sunday morning installing this elegant system.  I also learned a few lessons in the bargain. I realized that I had got some dry waste items in my wet-waste bin, which I had been collecting for 4-5 days, planning to get the Daily Dump on Sunday. So I had to fish out the whole thing, separate it carefully, and get the non-degradable stuff out. I had to do this for only 20 minutes, but it made me realize what the ragpickers go through for the whole day, JUST because we dont take the simple steps to segregate our garbage.
So it was a Sunday well spent. In the company of garbage - of my home. Composted - in my home. For my home.

1 comment:

indiwriter said...

Yes indeed a lot is to be said about the power of one.
Why just the ragpickers, I even feel sad for the sweepers who have to deal with pet dog poop every morning.