Maharashtra generates over 26,820 tonnes of solid waste per day, more than any other state in the country; says a recent report by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Cities like Pune, Mumbai and Nagpur contribute to the waste generation in higher proportions. This is alarming!
We, as citizens need to follow steps that will lead to a sustainable future. Segregating the waste is the first and basic step of all. However, it is not as simple as it looks! We have a lot of misconceptions about wet and dry waste. Following are the six misconceptions that we have regarding the wet waste-
1. What looks wet is not a wet waste!
Anything which is wet in nature is not counted as wet waste. Wet waste, typically refers to organic waste usually generated in kitchens and gardens. It is biodegradable i.e. can be decomposed. (Cereals, left over’s, baked goods, vegetables, fruit peels, tea bags etc.) Thus, a plastic bag or milk bag which is wet, cannot be counted as wet waste.
2. What does not look wet can be a wet waste!
Did you know that Finger or toe nails, Hair, Bones, Chewing Gum, Egg shells are all a part of wet waste? These all are biodegradables and so, it is all wet waste. However, we need to be careful while throwing it but throw them in bin or a bag dedicated to wet waste.
3. The compost gives out foul smell
Composting the wet waste is an efficient and easy way of waste management. It can be even done at home. However, People think that this will generate a foul smell. However, this is not the truth. If the proper method is followed, it can be effectively managed.
4. Wet waste is decomposed automatically.
Many of us believe that the wet waste is decomposed automatically, which is true, only to an extent. As it’s a very slow process and it can create a problem of pests if it is left for decomposing on its own. It needs decomposition culture to facilitate the process and make it happen in time. If the waste is not decomposed in time, it can release harmful gases and chemical substances. The effects are even more harmful when the wet waste is mixed with the dry waste.
5. ‘I do not generate much waste’
We tend to think that our little amount of waste is not going to make much difference. But, all combined, it becomes almost 1,600 tonnes of waste every day in Pune city alone. 70% of the total waste that we generate is wet. If given proper attention and care, it can be managed effectively. Segregation is the first step towards it!
6. Landfill is the best option for wet waste disposal
We think that Landfill is the best option for wet waste disposal. But, we need to understand a few facts. Firstly, Landfill spaces are hard to find. It degrades the quality of soil and nearby ecosystem. If the waste is a mixture of wet and dry, it emits dangerous chemicals that can seep into the ground water system. This can lead to pollution, diseases and illness in the communities living around this area.
–Filed by Vaishnavi Sambhus