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It is a Waste if we think it is a Waste!

Zero Waste Management

Today, we had a fun and exciting session with a member of a recycling company, Ritu ma’am. She was there to explain what was the importance of segregation and the ways to reduce the amount of waste we produce every day.

Starting from basics, ma’am asked a question: What is waste? Eliminated or discarded items which are no longer useful or required after the completion of a process is waste. However, ma’am explained to look for the items which are not useful to us in one way. By changing the perspective of our thinking, the things that are waste are basically not waste. Ma’am said,” A thing becomes a waste if we see it as a waste.”

We watched an informative video about Kamikatsu, a city in Japan (2003), that has set an example of following the concept of zero waste management. All people of the city segregate the dry waste into 36 categories. In the video different people living in the city Kamikatsu, shared their views on this new step the citizens have chosen to take.

Shortly after the video, ma’am made us play an activity, in which we had to segregate dry waste into further categories. Mam chose volunteers for every round and they would get a specific time limit to segregate the dry waste into further categories. After completing the activity mam explained us how to segregate dry waste into further categories.

The main idea was, if a product is made up of more than one type of material, it has to be separated accordingly, like a cardboard box that has plastic cap and metal bottom!

In order to reduce the amount of waste, we must utilize the things that can be used for a longer period of time. For eg. Jute bag, cloth bag, bamboo tooth brushes etc. Use shampoo bars, soap bars (in paper packaging) etc in daily routine.

Fun facts:

  • The bristles of tooth brushes are 320 times more harmful than carbon. In older times people used the Neem datun (natural toothbrush).
  • Waste positive => Consume > Recycle
  • Waste zero => Consume = Recycle
  • Waste negative => Consume < Recycle

The levels of segregation are:

  • Level I: Wet and dry waste
  • Level 2: Dry waste into paper, glass, plastic, rubber, metal, E waste and wood
  • Level 3:

1: Paper is further segregated into

1. 1office paper, 1.2used paper sheets, shredded paper, 1.3 newspaper, 1.4 books, magazines, 1.5 cardboards, corrugated paper

2: Plastic is divided into following categories:

2.1Milk pouches, 2.2 polythene bags, thin films, 2.3 bottles (PET), 2.4 tetra packs, 2.5 HDPE (Toys, shampoo bottles etc) and 2.6 cement bags.

3: Metal: 3.1 Aluminum, 3.2 copper, 3.3 iron, 3.4 steel and 3.5 others.

4: Wood- As per the type of wood- Saag, Ghana, Teak, Bamboo, Neem, Shisham etc.

5:  Glass- 5.1 Plain, 5.2 Toughened, 5.3 Sandwich,

6: Rubber- 6.1 Vehicle tyres, 6.2Mats, 6.3 Rubber bands, 6.4 Rubber shoes, chappals

7: E-Waste- 7.1 CPU, 7.2 Monitor, 7.3 Keyboard, 7.4 Mouse, 7.5 Mobile, Landline, Telephone, Modem, 7.6 Electronic tape, fridge, oven, TV, 7.7 Wires & cables

A higher concept of waste management was introduced in a playful way to GCC members. It will surely guide us in taking further step for making our environment clean. Japan is surely set an example for waste segregation and step by step this awareness can be spread in India too. In older times, Indians used to follow such techniques but due to modernization we are forgetting our roots and blindly following the Culture of Convenience. We as future generation of India should connect with our roots along with new segregation techniques and set an example for the whole world.



Nishita Agarwal

A member of GCC, Class: 9

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