A country without trash cans!

Looking into the waste management worries of India

No! The title is not misleading and yes! I am talking about India. Here you see heaps of garbage rotting in every street corner but you can never see a trash can ever. Ask the authorities and they have the simple reply that people here don’t use trash cans even if there is one, they like to sling their waste more. Ask the people and they would say the authorities don’t collect from trash bins, so what’s the use of it? We sure do love pointing fingers at each other for every action that we collectively do or fail to do. What has it left us with? Big piles of uncontrolled and dangerous heaps of garbage in specific areas in the country especially near the urban centers.

Last September two people were directly killed by garbage heaps in Ghaziabad, the place where our capital city’s waste gets dumped every day. All of us have studied how piles of garbage can affect the quality of air, soil and water around it. The famous garbage piles of Ghaziabad increases in height year after year, wafting a sickening cocktail of airborne particles that infects the neighborhood with tuberculosis and dengue fever. The groundwater there now has this filmy yellow color to it and god save the people who ever try to directly consume it. All this and still the two people died by none of it. The monsoon rains had a tower of trash break away from the heap falling into a nearby canal, the sudden surge of waste pushed two motorcyclists into another canal filled with dirty water, eventually killing them.

Similarly in Mumbai, the industrial capital of India the latest findings report that 73% of the total garbage generated every day is food waste. Food wastes are organic in nature and even a seventh standard student can tell you that we can easily process it. Yet, we see this habitual inaction and tendency to just dump it all. People don’t put the necessary effort or the government just avert its eyes from the problem. How long will we continue this? Manpower concerns, management issues and lack of motivation are the strongest reasons behind India’s failing waste management policies. Clubbed with the indifference people shows the problem has become an epidemic.

If you remove the food waste from the garbage equation, then there is only 20-40 percent of it left to deal with, making it actually easier to manage it inside the current framework. The question is what will be do with the food waste? Technology has provided an answer for us, which is convenient, and simple. We have companies like Solwearth dedicate their time and effort in creating products like SE food waste converter that can process and food waste management made effortlessly.

Food waste converters like the ones from Solwearth takes in food wastes, processes it, compressing it, to finally produce soil supplements that can enrich our gardens with nutrients. The smallest Solwearth food waste converter can process up to 50 Kg of food waste at a time and the entire process takes only 15 hours to complete. This is a revolutionary step in terms of sheer efficiency and time consumption. The space requirement for the food waste converter in Mumbai is minimum and unlike the traditional methods it has no foul smell emanating from it.The technology is ready, now our attention must be on the implementation.

As always the first step should be from the government and to an extent Swachh Bharat mission is the step forward. Now the government, local bodies and individuals should come together and collectively install food waste convertor systems like Solwearth’s SE organic waste converter machine in different neighborhoods, residential areas, urban clusters with restaurants so that food waste get processed at the source itself. This eliminates the need for transportation and tertiary level management of food waste. When the food waste is taken care of, the remaining garbage can be effectively managed by the government bodies themselves.

One must always remember that problems will always find its way to us, but the solution comes only when we seek for it. The increasing amount of waste is a real and dangerous problem that India is facing. Take up the problem, use the solutions we have, act on it, then together we can build a better nation.