How to segregate your waste or sorting of your household waste is a necessary action that will facilitate recycling either in a community or on an industrial scale.
For the purpose of this piece, the segregation of waste is limited to just recyclables which include Plastic, E-waste, Cardboard, Paper, and Batteries
India alone generates up to 26,000 tons of plastic waste from urban areas each day, which accounts for more than 6% of the municipal solid waste that reaches or landfills. As we all know degradation of plastic is extremely slow and a toxic process to the environment, to avoid which the plastic must be recycled.
Other forms of waste from a household or a business would include E-waste, cardboard, paper waste, and in some cases tires and batteries. All of these items can be recycled if they are segregated and sorted which enables the next step to be carried out effectively.
For plastic, in particular, The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 direct the local bodies to provide the required infrastructure in their areas which will facilitate sorting and separation of waste.
How can you segregate your waste?
A simple and easy way to segregate your recyclables is by using colour-coded bins. A household may not be able to have so many segregation categories but can surely have bins based on the type of waste being generated the most.
Organisations, businesses, and manufacturing entities on the other hand must have hard and strict segregation bins to effectively manage the waste as bulk generators. It is essential to have the awareness of what can and cannot be recycled, since many of the daily use items have a limitation on their recyclability. Here is a quick guide on what items can and cannot be recycled.
The most popularly adopted method of waste sorting in our households is Wet Waste and Dry Waste. All the kitchen and other household waste goes into the Wet Waste bin. And the plastic waste, paper and other types of waste goes into the Dry Waste Bin.
Let’s focus on dry waste here. Dry Waste is a broad category that consists of a small piece of paper to a big electronic item. Some of these waste items are recyclable but do not reach that stage. Instead of throwing away them in the waste bins, it is important to sort and store them. PET Bottles, chips packets, batteries, wires, electrical cords, etc, can be sold to your local scrap dealers or kabadiwaalas.
Practice a monthly or a weekly sorting session where you separate paper, plastic and e-waste and sell them off at your nearest kabadiwaalas. This ensures that the waste goes through proper channels and enables recycling of waste.
The above method of segregation is essential at the source which makes it easy for the waste management system to effectively sort and recycle the waste. On an industrial scale at the recycler’s end, the second round of segregation is done manually by workers present on site.
With the growing advancement of technology, there are innovative ways one can adopt to segregate waste. In a recent development, a recycler in the US has commissioned an automated robot to sort through the waste using high-speed infrared technology.
Sounds interesting right? However, such advancements are limited in India which generates waste at a pace faster than we can accurately estimate. While you were reading this blog nearly 18 tons of plastic waste was generated!! The recycling sector in India is still largely dependent on the informal sector for sorting, processing, and recycling.
So be it your old laptop or your beverage bottle, they both can be recycled!
Interested to implement this in your organisation or community? Get in touch with us to know more about our tailor-made awareness programs.