Tag Archives: Recycle

Blog 5 – Climate Change Series – The ‘Waste’ Connection

Hello.

‘REduce, REuse, REcycle’, the 3 Rs, is the consensus mantra to reduce the effect of waste and waste management practices on Climate Change. How does Waste impact Climate Change?

“The climate benefits of waste practices result from avoided landfill emissions , reduced raw material extraction and manufacturing, recovered materials and energy replacing virgin materials and fossil-fuel energy sources, carbon bound in soil through compost application, and carbon storage due to recalcitrant materials in landfills. In particular, there is general global consensus that the climate benefits of waste avoidance and recycling far outweigh the benefits from any waste treatment technology, even where energy is recovered during the process. (UNEP)

As we know, Green House Gases (GHGs) are a major cause of Climate Change as they trap the heat radiating from the earth back to space, resulting in global warming. One such GHG is released from the breakdown of Organic waste in landfills – Methane. (GRID UNEP)

In 2016, Deonar Dumping Ground in the Indian metropolitan city of Mumbai caught fire recurrently. This is a 300 acre ground (largest in Asia) used since 1927 to dump at-least half of  garbage (untreated) of Mumbai.(NDTV) . Among other reasons for this is emission of methane, a flammable GHG.

(Pic: Courtesy, NDTV)

If less waste is generated, less spontaneous emission of methane would be there and therefore less warming due to its ‘greenhouse effect’.

Another dimension of the same is lowered GHG emissions as reduced need of production & distribution of goods due to greater application of 3Rs, result in lesser need of energy from burning of fossil fuels.  This point is well illustrated in the following diagram. (EPA)

Diagram: Life-cycle of a Product (EPA)

Further, even waste management practices like anaerobic decomposition result in GHG emissions. Traditional “waste” management represents 1 to 5 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.(EPA)

Conclusion – At our level, greater  application of 3Rs is a significant way to avoid waste and reduce emissions leading to Climate change.

Thanks for Reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Ideas for a sustainable future…

Hello,

I am keen to bring Green Mantras of ‘Re-pair, Re-cycle and Re-sell’ in the Economic mainstream! In this post, I wish to share some of my ideas with you. 

But before that, here is a brief background of why such an initiative is required.

All right-thinking people would agree that wasting is bad. This is especially true when the world is reeling under the twin crises of ‘Shortages’ and ‘Waste Mismanagement’.

However, ways of giving a ‘longer life or a respectable after-life’ to products, are not as readily available, specifically to the residents of UAE. Either they are difficult to locate or pin-point or are economically unattractive.

I am sharing a gist of some such ideas, with a view to network with those who have similar inclination and are willing to work with me in this direction.

  1. Providing an online communication platform for ‘owners of to-be-repaired goods’ (residential or commercial) on one hand and ‘Repair service providers’ on the other
  2. Similar model to promote recycling of goods (including recycling and composting)
  3. Online Flea market (facilitating existing models of business to complete greater number of transactions)

 

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Pratima Pandey

 

How to inculcate the habit of segregation and recycling at community level?

Some new and some tested ways for promoting people to recycle – ‘Carrot and stick’ policy – Focus here is on the ‘carrot’ bit…the first point showcases a new idea while the second point elaborates on a time-tested idea

  1. Reverse Vending Machines (as started by Bee’ah, a Sharjah Environment Company) – Recycle plastic bottles and aluminium cans, and get shopping vouchers of participating outlets)… http://www.mybeeah.ae/index.php/news/get/59
  2. In residential areas, door-to-door collection of recyclables is a tested option, especially successful in developing countries like India. 

For this option to work, it is important to give incentives, howsoever, small to residents, to segregate waste and give it for recycling.

The incentives may be in the form of some vouchers of a nearby supermarket/hypermarket, for a fixed amount of recyclables deposited in a fixed duration of time.

The recyclables which have high possibility of being collected are plastic bags and packaging material, cardboard packaging material, plastic toys, pens, old newspapers and magazines.

Of course, it would mean substantial investment at the municipality and environmental organization level. The investment would primarily be in the form of recruiting staff for door-to-door collection, proper staff training, spreading awareness among the residents in the form of training workshops/advertisements, and necessary tools and techniques to make the accounting process transparent and efficient. 

Once the process takes off, and even a small segment of residential community comes to term with this essential activity, recycling becomes a ‘house-hold phenomenon’; in literal sense…Due to ripple and domino effects, a wider base of residents will be encouraged to recycle!

End-result: Substantial part of 2.1 kg of waste generated per capita, (by a UAE resident as per Bee’ah estimates) recycled!