Five Misconceptions about Dry Waste

While talking about waste generation, we believe that the commercial entities generate more garbage than the households. This is not true for Pune! The maximum contribution to waste generation of the city is done by the households! They contribute 40 percent to the total waste generated and produce 400 tons of waste everyday!

To manage this huge amount of waste, it is very necessary to segregate the waste at source. For that, we need to first wash out our disbeliefs about the wet and dry waste. Here are five misconceptions we have about the dry waste:

1. Dry waste is completely recyclable


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Have we ever given a thought to the fact that what will happen to the recycling process if the waste is a mix of wet and dry? Recycling of the dry waste is possible only when it is not mixed with the wet waste. Many of us are not aware of it. So, we end up mixing both and reduce its recycling value.

2. E-waste is dry waste


An out-of-use computer or mobile phone is what kind of a waste? For many of us, waste is either dry or wet. However, it is necessary to understand that all kind of electronic and electrical waste is not dry waste. It is called e-waste. All the appliances that use electricity and have reached end-of-life are a part of e-waste. The E-Waste contains both- valuable materials as well as hazardous materials which require special handling and recycling methods. Hence, it is very necessary that the E-waste is treated differently.

3. What feels dry is not a dry waste!


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Nails, hair, egg shells, chewing gum- where do you throw them? In dry waste or wet waste? Many of us might say that it is dry waste because it looks dry. However, even though they look dry, they are a part of the wet waste. Dry waste includes all those items that are not considered organic, wet or soiled items. This includes both recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Typical dry waste includes such items as bottles, cans, clothing, plastic, wood and paper.

4. Packaged Food Is Dry Waste


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Try to remember where you throw the left over Pizza with its box. Most probably, in dry waste. That is not the right practice to follow. The packaged food is a combination of dry and wet waste. The outer packaging like used bottles or boxes are a part of the dry waste whereas the inside materials such as pulps, syrups or any kind of food item is wet waste. Throwing them in the same container is mixing up the waste and reducing its recycling value.

5. Mistaking hazardous waste and sanitary waste as simply dry waste


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The broken glasses, bottles of mosquito sprays, insecticide sprays etc. are considered to be simply dry waste. Partially, it is true. But further, they form a category of hazardous waste which needs to be handled differently. Hazardous waste is a waste that possesses substantial or potential threats to public health or environment. To avoid these threats, it is very important to throw hazardous waste in a proper way. A general way of handling hazardous waste is storing it separately in a thick bag or a box and handing it over separately.


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Sanitary waste which usually includes items like sanitary napkins, diapers and medical waste also needs special care while throwing. It is advisable to wrap and pack it well in Newspaper and mark a Red Cross on it. Plastic Cover should not be used while handing it over.

-Filed by Vaishnavi Sambhus



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