Waste, which is the byproduct of consumption, will remain on earth till the existence of life. There are two types of waste. They are degradable and non-degradable waste. Degradable waste is those which will get decayed in normal course, where as non-degradable waste will not get decayed, and will remain on the surface of earth or beneath, for years together.
Organic waste is an example of degradable waste. Organic waste consists of waste materials/excreta and dead bodies of living organisms. This organic waste, when buried in ground, will get decomposed by the actions of micro-organisms and will turn as manure for other living plants on earth. Inorganic substances like, plastic, glass, stones etc will remain without any change for years together.
Waste management: Waste management should start from its root level. It is not that, only the Government machinery or local governing bodies are responsible for waste management. It is the responsibility of each and every human being. We all need a hygienic background to live in. To have a hygienic background, we should be able to dispose the waste from our houses effectively, rather than dumping in canals and way sides. If all of us have our own waste disposal methods, about 50% of the problems related with waste could be solved. All of us, those who stay in village area will have some space around our house. This space around, might be used for some flowering plants or vegetables. We can use the waste from our kitchen for these plants.
Methods of waste disposal:Vermicompost: Vermicomposting is a process by which, kitchen waste and other organic waste materials (waste from farm) are converted to nutrient rich humus by using earthworms.
Materials required for a portable compost pit (suitable for flats also) a) A plastic tank or wooden box of one or two feet length, two feet broad and one foot height. It should have a lid also.
b) Cow dung
d) Decaying organic waste matters.
The process of vermicomposting
a) Keep your container raised using brick. If you are using a plastic tank, make sure to have an outlet with tap, to drain out vermy wash.
b) Prepare bedding, either by coir or waste paper. Place this bedding in side the container.
c) Place a layer of half decomposed waste matters above bedding. Then put a layer of cow dung above the waste materials. Continue this till the box get half filled. Finish this layer with cow dung. Sprinkle some water to keep the entire things wet inside the box.
d) Introduce some earthworms in to this mixture.
e) Ensure the content is west always (do not let it dry).
f) Keep the box in a shady place. After a month you can see that the entire things which you deposited in the box had turned to a black, earthy-smelling substance. This is nothing but vermicompost (the excreta of earth worms). This vermicompost can be used as manure for your vegetables.
The same procedure can be used using a cemented tank outside in the courtyard. A cemented vermicompost pit can be used for huge amount of waste materials from a vegetable field after harvesting.
Some tips to maintain vermicompost pita) Deposit only organic matter.
b) Remove glass and plastic materials before depositing in pit
c) Avoid depositing oily and too spicy materials
d) Protect the contents from ants, rats and birds
e) Make sure the substance are wet all time
f) Cover the pit. Earth worms like darkness
Some other uses of organic wasteOrganic waste can be used for making bio-gas. Bio-gas is the gas produced by the decomposition of organic materials in the absence of oxygen. Bio-gas contains methane, hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This combination makes the gas suitable for burning. By using a suitable stove this gas can be used for cooking. Suitably upgraded biogas can be used as fuel in vehicles and generators to produce electricity
Things required for a bio-gas planta) A suitable combustion chamber made of cement or plastic
b) Cow dung
A bio-gas chamber is a cemented tank usually made underground. A plastic portable tank can be used in kitchen. This is suitable for flats. The tank will be in the shape of a dome visible on the ground. In this dome, the exit pipe of gas is fixed. From where, the feeding tube is fitted to the stove. The tank will have an inlet, through which the cow dung paste (cow dung mixed with water) is fed to the tank. The inlet pipe will open at the bottom of the main tank. From the opposite side of the inlet, an outlet will also be there. Through which, the slurry will flow out from the tank. Human excreta and waste from kitchen can also be used with cow dung.
Merits of bio-gas
a) Equally useable as LP gas
b) Less atmospheric pollution
c) No danger compared to LP gas
d) Even kitchen waste can be used
e) The slurry comes out from the plant can be used as a manure
Demerits of bio-gas
a) Gives out a foul smell if let unburnt
b) The slurry tank could become a breeding space of mosquitoes (keep it covered always)
Vermicomposting yards for municipality or panchayatIn panchayat and municipality, the huge amount of waste collected from various parts can be converted as manure using vermicomposting. The waste collected from fish market, slaughter house etc also could be used for bio-gas. The bio-gas thus created could be upgraded and used in generators for producing electricity. This electricity could be used for lightning highways and such other generally useful places
The slurry which comes out from the bio-gas plants can be used for vermicomposting. Thus the use of chemical manure could be gradually reduced in the fields.
The members of organizations like Kudumbasree, could be used for collection of waste from their respective places. Government should provide all necessary assistance, including wage for their effort. Thus the unemployment among housewives could be reduced to a certain extent.
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