From Trash to Treasure
By: Radhika Deonalli
One of the biggest problems that the world is facing to date is the problem of waste. In this fast-developing world, the demand for materialistic things the amount of waste generated has increased rapidly.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) waste can be defined as, “Substances or objects which are disposed of or are intended to be disposed of or are required to be disposed of by the provisions of international law.”
Open dumping is the biggest issue in India
Managing waste has been a problem from the very beginning. Having no knowledge about the ill effects of mismanagement of waste, most people not only in India but all over the world resort to open dumping of waste.
This waste ultimately lands up into dumping grounds. The waste has now accumulated to a point where the landfills can take no more. Dumping grounds are large spaces where waste is dumped and most often left to deal with itself.
Deonar Dumping Ground in Mumbai
One of the biggest dumping grounds in Maharashtra, one which is situated in Mumbai is the Deonar Dumping Ground. This dumping ground is over 132 hectares.
The people living around the dumping ground face a number of health disorders especially respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. Children born here are born with disorders and most people don’t live past the age of forty.
This is just one of the several dumping grounds which lead to the degradation of the earth. These dumping grounds mostly contain domestic and biomedical waste.
Marine life is at threat
Industries, on the other hand, dump most of their waste in the water bodies surrounding the industries. Making freshwater bodies unfit for consumption and are also harmful to marine life. Contaminants also penetrate through the soil leading to the contamination of the underground water table.
Due to this, when it rains, it gets mixed with the contaminated water making it unfit for consumption leading to water-related problems.
Waste Management is the key
The answer to the problem of waste is proper waste management and adopting a sustainable lifestyle. Proper waste management means segregation of the waste which reduces the amount that goes to the dumping grounds.
One can also compost their kitchen waste by themselves and use it as manure for their garden. Sustainable help a lot in reducing the amount of waste. Instead of using a regular toothbrush, one can use a bamboo toothbrush or even branches of a neem tree.
The misconception of sustainable menstruation techniques being unhygienic also should be cleared and people should be more open to these techniques. Reusables are the way.
To me, waste management is one being responsible for their own waste and showing accountability for it. We should abide by the four R’s Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. If we take up this challenge and tackle the problem we might actually be able to solve it. we should aim towards a Zerowaste lifestyle.
(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)
My name is Radhika Deonalli, I’m 17 years old. I’ve just passed my 12th grade. I’m going to pursue a BA. I’m a part of FFF since May of 2019.Know More