How to give a new lease of life to your waste and garbage

Its time we clean up our act. Photo courtesy: SatyaPrem

Its time we clean up our act. Photo courtesy: SatyaPrem

Concluding our three-part series on Waste Management in India. In this final series, we share with you practical tips on how with lifestyle changes, we can bring about a positive impact on reducing the waste and garbage we create.

All hope is not lost when it comes to battling the waste menace in our country.  Further to the vital points as touched upon by Mathangi Swaminathan’s detailed report in Economic and Political Weekly, How Can India’s Waste Problem See a Systemic Change?, (Vol. 53, Issue No. 16, 21 Apr, 2018), he mentions – “Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) not only need to be mandated for managing waste but also penalised for use of landfills. A survey reveals that Nanded, a city in Maharashtra with a population of just 430,000 people, spends more than RS 15 crore to collect and transport waste to landfills, against a tax collection of only Rs 75 lakhs[1]. Only two cities of India, Pune and Bengaluru, have regulations mandating bulk generators to segregate and manage their waste, also imposing penalties on non-compliance (Public Notice, Municipal Commissioner, Pune 2015; Public Notice, Commissioner of Bengaluru 2012).”

Segregate the waste & compost them to nurture the earth back to life. Photo courtesy: The Daily Dump.

Segregate the waste & compost them to nurture the earth back to life. Photo courtesy: The Daily Dump.

We talked to Poonam Bir Kasturi, Compostwali of The Daily Dump (Brand of PBK Waste Solutions Pvt Ltd.) The Daily Dump was launched in 2006 in Bengaluru and specialises in designing products and services that enable everyone to clean up the earth.

“We see ourselves as a mindset changing company,” explains Poonam. She says, “We help everyone understand what waste is, in new ways, so that they can take action. Our range of products address the following waste streams, organic, e-waste, dry waste. The products allow homes, offices, schools and institutions to segregate, compost and reduce the use of plastic in their daily lives.

The Daily Dump encourages in-situ composting, segregation and management by producers of waste. This helps ‘local waste pick up businesses’ get better-segregated materials that are valuable and reach the recycling pipelines.

We collect done compost from homes, offices, schools, parks, colleges and institutions in Bangalore who use our products to do composting. This done compost is then sieved, plastic removed, matured with love and then put back into the soil in farms and organic home gardens.

Simple steps how you can do your bit to reduce waste:

Anu Pillai, Founder Everything Eco shares these 10 simple yet effective ways how you can reduce waste:

  1. Polythene bags (Carry a reusable bag)
  2. Plastic Straws (In most occasions, we don’t really need one! Else we have bamboo and stainless steel straws to the rescue)
  3. Rubber Balloons (They end up in the oceans looking like jellyfish and harming marine life)
  4. Microbeads in cosmetics (If your facewash has microbeads, put it back on the shelf)
  5. Plastic bottles (Carry your own bottle)
  6. Refuse Plastic Bags (I cannot stress enough on this point!): Carry your own reusable bags when shopping. Also avoid paper bags (as I mentioned above, not all paper bags are eco-friendly). Lastly, stop taking carry bags even if they are handed out as freebies!
  7. Segregate waste: Not just into wet and dry but also as plastic and e-waste which can later be given for recycling
  8. Opt for Compostable and Biodegradable products which can be put in the society’s compost machine
  9. When hosting a party, avoid single-use plastic cutlery and Instead, opt for Bagasse and Areca Leaf Cutlery. Also, avoid glitter, instead make confetti from leaves!
  10. For women, switch to menstrual cups and biodegradable sanitary napkins
Create awareness on recycling and composting waste. Photo courtesy: Waste Warriors

Create awareness on recycling and composting waste. Photo courtesy: Waste Warriors

Chirag Mahajan, Communications Manager of Waste Warriors, says, “There are many ways to effectively reduce, re-use, and recycle the waste we all generate. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Start segregating your waste into at least three waste bins: one for recyclables, one for non-recyclables, and one for your kitchen waste.
  2. Learn how to compost your kitchen waste, the process is actually quite easy. In a large bucket or clay pot, you can start adding your food waste, and you will need some dry leaves or coco peat or anything organic and brown to get your decomposing process started. Learn more about it online.
  3. Discourage people in your area from burning swept piles of waste. The air pollution is harming everyone in that area, including you, your family and friends, and even those who are burning it who are not aware. Talk to them, tell them about the dangers, understand why they are doing it and find solutions together.
  4. Also find your local officials, like your ward councillors and sanitation supervisors, and share your concerns and offer to help them implement their rules. Sometimes, they may not know what to do or how to do it, so a little bit of reverse psychology from offering help instead of arguing with them may do the trick to get them on your side to get started.
  5. Form a community of active citizens, stay in touch via group meetings and a WhatsApp group, and encourage more neighbours to join. People do best when they learn from each other to keep their homes and neighbourhoods clean. You can also collectively give your segregated recyclables to kabaadiwallas, thereby also improving that person’s livelihood.

Finally, Poonam Bir Kasturi’s signs off with her list of tips to help us reduce our waste footprint:

  1. Change the way you view consumption and its promises, buy differently, read labels, refuse poison.
  2. Enjoy an experience over a thing
  3. Compost at home – its 60% of your dustbin and it will bring the magic of nature and its energy into your home.
  4. Refuse plastic in all forms and take up a local business and influence them
  5. Keep at it and don’t lose hope

The Lifestyle Portal firmly believes that each one of us is responsible for our environment and our surroundings. It is through our humble efforts that we put forth well-researched content for our readers so that we can make conscious decisions of how we consume products and services and more importantly, how responsibly are we disposing the waste and garbage that we create.

This is a 3-part series on the responsible garbage disposal and recycling in our country by The Lifestyle Portal. If you too would like to share your views on waste management and garbage disposal, drop us a line at contact@tanyamunshi.com.

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