Why is Waste Management & Segregation Crucial for Waste Reduction?
Pakistan generates about 48 million tons of solid waste a year, which has been increasing more than 2 percent annually.
Like other developing countries, Pakistan lacks waste management infrastructure, creating serious environmental problems. Municipal corporations either burn waste or dump them on vacant lots. This is threatening the health and welfare of the general population. The Government of Pakistan (GOP) estimates that 77,000 tons of solid waste is generated per day, mostly from major metropolitan areas. Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, generates more than 13,000 tons of municipal waste daily. All major cities face enormous challenges on how to manage urban waste.
Disposal of waste & the increase in production of solid waste, both can be controlled if we start taking small initiatives starting from our own homes. Waste management & sorting will help us reduce waste tremendously.
Follow some of these tips to segregate waste & reduce waste at home:
The most simple way is to get different colored bins for segregating waste. Differentiate the bins for different kinds of waste: For example, Green for organic, yellow for glass, white for paper, grey for metal, red for hazard and blue for plastic. Segregate waste into two categories – Bio Degradable and Non-Bio-Degradable. Sorting waste will help us curb pollution levels & the ever-increasing garbage landfills.
Adopt the 3 R’s
You can make a small difference towards waste disposal by adopting the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Re-purposing your household trash is a good way to reduce waste. Use leftover foods, vegetables, peels etc. for composting. Recycle Glass waste at home by reusing old bottles & jars as containers. Metal waste can be sold to scrap while gaining a small profit out of it.
For example, instead of throwing the plastic bottles; use them to decorate your house and make other DIY plastic showpieces. Switch to items that can be refilled like printer cartridges or glue, reuse plastic folders. Use old wood and pallets to build compost bins. Reuse toiletries like shampoo bottles as cell charging stations, old toothbrushes as cleaning tools.
Do Away with Plastic
According to a study by World Economic Forum, oceans globally will have more plastic than fish by 2050. The menace of plastic pollution is not only an alarming issue but is also a bigger threat than nuclear weapons. As one plastic bottle takes up to 1000 years to decompose itself. Plastic, when dumped into landfills releases harmful greenhouse gases.
The only solution is to junk plastic and look for alternatives. On your next shopping expedition, carry denim/mesh bags & avoid plastic bags. Substitute disposable plastic cups with glass/steel cups. Ditch plastic straws & instead sip your drinks. These are just some of the instances. You can come up with several of your own alternatives.
Waste dumped in landfills comprises of almost 35% paper waste. From paper cups to napkins everything ends up in landfills from the trash can. To reduce paper waste, start using old clothes like rags for cleaning around the house, instead of paper towels. Switch to hand towels from paper napkins in your kitchen. Avoid using paper plates in house parties.