Tag Archives: waste management

Waste Segregation – Need of the hour (World Environment Day, 2017)?

I was searching for inspiration on how I can play my part for the World Environment Day, 2017 (June 5). I could not do much; however, on my visit to Trivandrum, I discovered that the society we stayed in had robust waste segregation measures in place.

Every flat of the society was allotted two garbage bins – a green and a blue one, with lids. Rules regarding waste segregation were posted in the lobby area of each of the building of the society. Wet waste needs to be put in the green bin and the ‘other wastes’ in the blue bin. Clarification was provided regarding ways of disposal of the latter which included a wide range of household waste.

Among the rules was a critical line – the non-segregated waste will ‘NOT’ be picked up by the door-to-door waste collection personnel.

I was impressed with the efficacy of the system.

Further, I decide to see what happens to the segregated waste. I was further surprised that the society complex had an in-built waste treatment system in place. I was told that while the food waste is composted, the other waste (that which cannot be recycled) is incinerated. There was a sewage treatment plant as well, all built in the basement of the building. (See the pictures below) The use of incinerator for combustion of household waste can be debated; however, recycling is definitely a safe, sustainable option.

The bottom line is that pro-active, futuristic buildings have already starting doing their bit. Waste here is treated as a ‘resource’ as food waste generates manure for the up-keeping of the park area of the building. Further, the  recyclable waste fetches some revenue; and this way, the entire bulk of household waste is prevented from becoming an eye-sore in some part of the city, as well as a social and environmental nuisance (remember, gases from waste decomposition in landfills contribute to the dangerous ‘climate change’).

The Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in India has already made ‘Waste Segregation’ a theme for this year’s World Environment Day. The real difference will be when this is done in every household and every building in our country. and our world..!

…Wishing a very happy and inspiring ‘World Environment Day’ to all!

 

 

Happy World Environment Day – June 5, 2016

http://www.wed2016.com/

Happy World Environment Day , Friends!

The most visible eco-phenomenon our world is facing today is Climate Change.

Over the last one month, I have written five blogs looking at this from different angles.

There is a lot to know and lot to be done, if climate change is to be reversed or at-least slowed down.

Each one of us need to do our part, for the sake of ourselves and our children.

Do visit the my recently written blogs,

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/blog-5-climate-change-series-the-waste-connection/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/blog-4-climate-change-series-need-to-act/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/20/climate-change-series-paris-dealleaders-of-187-countries-stamping-on-the-need-to-take-action/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/climate-change-series-relevant-facts-leading-to-solutions/

https://pratimapandey.wordpress.com/2016/05/06/climate-change-myth-fast-changing-to-reality/

Thanks for reading and stay Eco-conscious!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog 3 – Climate Change Series – Paris Deal:Leaders of 187 countries stamping on the need to take action

Hello, before we go to the details of the Paris Climate Conference 2015, we may summarize its result as a first-ever confluence of global political will to acknowledge and tackle Climate Change.

If leaders of 187 countries are stamping on the importance to act on Climate Change, how can you and me still deny it?

This is quite significant…but action is more important.

Coming over to the details…Signed on December 12, 2015 with United Nations taking the charge, 187 countries came together to commit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius before Pre-industrial level in the Paris Climate Conference, (also called COP21)

A series of fund-raising pledges by countries and cutting down of global emissions have been agreed to. Salient points are as follows:

  1. Long-term global goal for ‘net-zero emissions’ – The time-frame agreed to for this global pledge is second half of this century. However, the significance of this lies in the fact that a clear economic message has been passed on to the markets, hopefully driving action.
  2. Pledges of cut in carbon emissions- Although not legally binding, 187 countries have submitted this pledge (Intended Nationally Defined Contributions, or INDCs)
  3. Stock-taking every five years – First global stock-taking in 2023, and then after every five years to stay firmly on track
  4. Funds – Members in a non-legal way, are required to mobilize funds to help developing countries to adapt to climate change and move on to cleaner economy.

(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)

Well, no strict deadlines…no fixed fund flow from one country to another…but a clear realization that Climate Change is Real, and we need to act as One. Action of one not only affects that country but the world as a whole…and so the Paris Agreement…

A step in the right direction…!

In the next few blogs, discussion on the urgency to Act, several ways in which we as individuals can be a part of Solution, the Waste Connection to Climate change……..

……………Please come back for more…Thanks for reading!

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(Source: Source: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/dec/12/paris-climate-deal-key-points#img-2)

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

The future’s green for new Dubai store | GulfNews.com

The future’s green for new Dubai store | GulfNews.com.

‘The Change Initiative’, a one-stop Green store, founded by Gundeep Singh…inspiring story for start-ups in this field!

‘Why we waste…and what can be done to reduce it”? – Based on discussion held during UNESCO-IHE course on SWM

Talking about waste is crucial in these times – one because it follows us everywhere; and secondly, it can be treated as a resource!

Why We Waste and that too so much?

  1. We think ‘short-term‘: Future impacts of current resource use and waste generation on us and environment are not factored in the present costs of goods; raw materials and labor from certain communities of world is exploited for manufacturing of such goods; All these ‘externalized costs’ are not reflected in the price we pay.
  2. There is a change in the economic and cultural scene – ‘Use and throw’, ‘buy first, think later’, showing off of material wealth etc. is the essence of the prevailing consumerist culture; This is encouraged by the availability of cheap, inferior-quality goods meant for short use (Planned obsolescence – designed for the dump) and the rapidly changing trends in fashion etc. glorified in advertisements (Perceived obsolescence).
  3. Little or no institutional thrust (in terms of economics and legality) exists to make waste creation a negative activity and waste recovery a positive one –   Particularly in developing and under-developed societies; Laws and policies here can help for instance, incentives for recycled products and penalty for violators of waste-disposal code.
  4. Proper infrastructure for better storage of agricultural products is lacking – again, particularly in developing and under-developed nations.
  5. There is little or no awareness about ill-effects of waste

What can we do about it?

Solutions are hidden in the causes listed above –

  1. Attitudinal change related to our felt connection with nature is required – Need to be inculcated through education and awareness programs.
  2. Pro-active, long-term government policies are required – Through a ‘carrot-stick policy’, citizens and industries can be stimulated to own responsibility (also as discussed in point 3 above).
  3. Clear and focused legislation is the need of the hour – Legal enforcement of an agreed-to waste disposal code is required.
  4. Infrastructure creation for storage and processing of agricultural and food products, especially the perishable ones, through government and/or private initiatives is required.
  5. Public environmental education and awareness campaigns are crucial –  This is about ill-impact of waste on us, if left unattended to and untreated and the urgent need to address the issue of waste generation and management.

Source: Views shared by participants of Online Course of Solid Waste Management, UNESCO-IHE.