CHAPTER 6 GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT
All the waste material that we throw out because we do not need it constitutes garbage. There is so much garbage generated every day. From plastic bags to broken toys or something as simple as a tissue comes under garbage. Imagine if we were surrounded by all the waste material that we simply throw away. It is, therefore, important to deal with all the waste material.
SOURCES OF GARBAGE:
A few major sources of garbage are:
DEALING WITH GARBAGE
Municipal workers collect the garbage in trucks and take it to landfills. A landfill is a low lying area used to dump wastes. Once the garbage is dumped in landfills, the reusable components are separated from the non-reusable components. The non-reusable component is then spread over the landfill and covered with soil.
Many people deal with garbage by burning it. You must have seen people burning dried leaves on the side of the road. This way of dealing with garbage, however, is extremely harmful for our health as it produces smoke and gases which pollute the environment.
The method of preparing compost with the help of redworms is called vermicomposting. The redworms used for this purpose do not have teeth. They have a structure called ‘gizzard’, which helps them grind their food. Redworms do not survive in very hot or very cold surroundings. They also need moisture around them. The compost prepared by vermicomposting can be used as manure for agricultural purposes.
THINK AND THROW
A major step that can reduce the amount of garbage is thinking before throwing. If you think something can be reused then don’t throw it. For example, instead of throwing plastic bags away, you can use them later to carry something when you need to.
BIODEGRADABLE AND NON-BIODEGRADABLE WASTE
Biodegradable wastes are the waste products that can be easily decomposed by natural elements like bacteria, etc. Examples of biodegradable wastes are vegetable and fruit matter, paper, human and animal wastes etc.
Non-biodegradable wastes are the waste products that cannot be easily decomposed by natural elements. Examples of non-biodegradable wastes are plastic, metals, etc.
Plastic constitutes a major part of our daily life. Let’s look at some of the things we use that are made of plastic. Pens, bottles, toys, bags, buckets, chairs and many more. Using plastic is not a problem. Disposing the plastic is what causes a problem. Plastic is non-biodegradable so it cannot be decomposed. It can however be reused. Make sure to reuse plastic bags and reduce the wastage of plastic.
Plastic cannot be burned. Plastics give out harmful gases on heating or burning. These gases cause a lot of health problems. Plastics can also not be decomposed. The plastic bags thrown on the road get into the sewer system and cause blocking of drains., Sometimes when food items are thrown away in these plastic bags and animals looking for food end up eating the plastic bag which can cause their death.
So, there is no actual way to get rid of the plastic. It is an unnecessary evil. It is, therefore, important to manage plastic waste as efficiently as possible to avoid pollution.