India’s Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi took an appreciable step with the Swacch Bharat Movement in October 2015 to rid streets of waste. While thankfully the streets become cleaner where does all the waste go? An environmental expert in a brief interview stated that India’s waste problem can only be resolved if it revolutionizes the way waste is treated and adopts a smarter waste management system; instead of dumping all the waste in landfills, recycling is the way to go.
When interviewed with local rag-pickers, they stated that the landfills are filled with all kinds of materials, paper, plastic, clothes, metal and the garbage piles are almost as high as the tallest buildings surrounding the area. In fact, three out of four of the capital’s landfills reached their full capacity almost about five years ago and still continue to mound over with more garbage every day. Moreover, a study conducted by JNU revealed that these landfills contain alarming levels of arsenic, lead, nickel and zinc, and the rag pickers say they always leave the landfills before night as the garbage catches fire and leads to too unbearable heat and gas production, which further pollutes the environment.
Sunita Narain, the director of New Delhi based ‘Centre for Science and Environment‘ stated that India produces more waste than it can handle. Furthermore, the products we use today are made of non-biodegradable substances like plastic and the reason why all efforts to rectify waste problem fail is because we do not have any reliable waste management system. Currently only around 10-15% of household waste is recycled and rest ends up in the landfills which remains there for long enough time that about half of the pile becomes rancid and pollutes the environment. In order to reduce our ever increasing waste problem, we must adopt a system that allows us to produce less waste, which is possible by recycling.
By recycling, we can produce new products using those discarded materials that end up in garbage piles and fill up landfills, which will not only reduce landfill problem but will also reduce pollution and save our natural resources from exploitation since old products are refined and shaped into new products.
Since, every change starts at individual level we must start recycling at household level. True that recycling companies can sort recyclables through landfills but that requires a huge amount of capital and time. Pom Pom has taken the initiative to help households recycle their waste and take ‘Swacch Bharat Abhiyan’ to next level. So, next time instead of throwing everything away in the garbage bin, sell your recyclables to us and be a part of the beautiful change.