“Nature has enough for our need, not enough for our greed”.—Mahatma Gandhi
In our life cycle, we have to leave some wastes or discarded materials which have no value in normal or ordinary use. They pollute the environment — the land, water and air around us. In our cities, the air is constantly being polluted by smoke from motor vehicles, land for uncollected garbage, and water is also polluted —particularly as a result of untreated sewage. The hazardous wastes disposed of in open land create air pollution as well as groundwater contamination. Millions of tons of waste are produced every year in our country.
Plastic is another hazard. As it is a non-bio-degradable material, it leads to the blocking of sewage systems and we face the problem of being water-logged in cities during heavy showers. And so we should say ‘No’ to the plastic cups and plastic bags and poly packs. Wastes from urban areas and metropolitan cities and industrial units contain a diverse type of materials. In hospitals-cotton, syringe, etc. are heaped as garbage and spread pollution. Most of those wastes are often revisable and may be used in another setting.
On the other hand, we have our natural resources limited. In this context, proper solid waste management is highly required to save public health and to protect the environment. We should encourage private and community effort to re-use such discarded materials. But that needs innovative technologies and managerial plans for better remedies. We should also be aware of the guidelines for the management and disposal of the solid wastes issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF).
Recycling is the most effective way to get rid of the problem and at the same time to add a resource. It is the process by which materials can be used again and again. About half of our domestic waste is paper and plastic. And we can avoid pollution from burning these waste material by recycling them. Bottles and old glass jars can be crushed and melted to make new glass objects. Metals can also be recycled. And for the metals, it is more important to recycle because natural resources will not last long. Scientists have invented various methods to recycle aluminium and the iron. Scrap metal can be easily melted down for reuse. Recycle of plastic is also possible, though it goes through some complicated process.
Anyway, we must take the awareness program of Waste Management and Recycle for better environment and greater economy. We ought to remember: “Pollute and perish, preserve and flourish.”