Five reasons why people don’t segregate waste

Waste management has now become a global concern. Many new techniques and solutions are coming up to overcome the issue and to create a sustainable environment for coming generations. All these techniques are different from each other but, have a common basic step i.e. segregation of waste at source. Segregation at source i.e. at our homes and offices, where most of the waste is generated is a key element to effective management of waste. However, we as a society fail to understand its importance.  

Following are the five reasons why people don’t segregate the waste at source:

1. We are not aware of the hazards of mixed waste

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Discarding of household garbage in mixed form, decreases the chances of recycling and reusing the waste materials.

“What harm is it going to make if I don’t keep the waste segregated?” It is the first question we ask when being told about segregation. In reality, it causes great harm! There are numerous issues relating to mixed waste. Firstly, the non-segregated waste adversely affects human health by giving rise to different infections and diseases. waste pickers or people living near the area where mixed waste is piled up are at a great risk of such disorders. Secondly, it reduces the chances of recycling the waste. In short, if the waste is mixed, it cannot undergo the right disposal path. This leads to more landfilling which is a very dangerous way of managing waste.  

2. We think that it is not our responsibility to segregate the waste

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Waste picker are only responsible for transporting segregated waste but not for segregating waste at source.

Many of us believe that segregating the waste is not our responsibility. It is the job of Municipal Corporation. However, it is not so. Segregating the waste is the responsibility of citizens. If we generate the waste, we need to be responsible for its segregation too. If we perform our role of segregation, we make the further processing easy.

3. We are not aware of different waste cycles

pellets-from-dry-garden-waste

Pellets made from Garden Waste by Clean Garbage Management Pvt. Ltd. have capable of replacing coal due to higher burning capacity with little or zero emission of air pollutants.

What would you answer when asked about what happens to the waste that you give away? Landfill is a common answer many of us will give. We believe that all the waste that is generated, goes to landfill. In a way, we think that all the waste is treated in the same manner. However, that is not the truth. There are different kinds of waste and they are treated differently. For example, wet waste can be composted, dry waste can be recycled and e-waste can be recycled and reused. We ought to be aware of what comes under each type and how it is managed. If followed the right method, the waste can reach its safe and sustainable destination.

4. We don’t like to put our hands into waste

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Disposing the wet and dry waste in two different bins makes it easy to handle and transport the waste.

Who would want to put their hands into the trash? We all find it disgusting. This is the reason many of us do not want to segregate the waste. Some of us have a misconception that we need to segregate it by our hands. However, this is not the fact. If we throw the waste in two different containers, there is no need to again segregate it. We need to store the waste differently. That’s it!

Apart from this, if we are not willing to handle the waste by our hands, how can we let the waste pickers do that? We need to think about it. The solution is easy; it just needs to get in action.

5. We are not willing to pay the waste pickers

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A door-to-door collection of garbage by the waste picker of SWaCH.

Many of us are not willing to spend on the waste pickers. We end up neglecting their job. Thus, we discard our household waste in a mixed form at a nearby public dustbin. However, if we pay the waste pickers and make sure that they throw away the waste in a segregated form, it will help recycling. Spending a few pennies monthly is not a big deal for most of us. But, it is a great advantage for all. Our money can ensure our safe and clean future!

Let’s unite and take a step towards segregation!

-Filed by Vaishnavi Sambhus

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