Are you a waste contributor?
Waste is something we discarded or rejected as useless, unwanted, or in excess from human and animal activities. Waste management is the biggest issue all around the world. People are always thinking of new products and services, technology, and fashion but they forget or less considered the impacts on them and the environment. Some of the effects are global warming, acid rain, carbon footprint (check https://www.cooleffect.org/content/travel-offset for more information), natural disasters, and diseases. Waste is one of the main factors contributing to the above-mentioned impacts. Each and every one of us should be responsible as we are also generating waste.
Do you ever think of yourself as a responsible person to keep your country and resources clean without waste? Most of the people are not. Let’s we think of this situation in Sri Lanka’s perspective. A place to place user wise different types of waste are generated. Wastes can be categorized as organic waste, plastic, metals, polythene, electronics, chemicals, hazardous waste etc.
In rural areas, people are managing waste in a better way compared to city people. In homes they cook enough amounts, making compost or fertilizer with organic waste, reusing water for irrigation and agriculture, reusing polythene bags and plastic bottles, and putting food waste to pets. Burning polythene packets is not a good practice at all. But people are not aware that they are contributing to carbon emissions. In some areas, people are less aware to manage waste.
In cities, people are living in a closed environment which means the less space like apartments, rented boarding and houses. Municipal councils collect all household waste requesting people to separate wastes in the primary collection. Some areas are even making use of dumpster Software to track what is being dumped and how it can be used. Space is one problem so with fashion they try to avoid old things as waste. People are living in a busy environment finding self-satisfaction and enjoyment. So they are less involved to recycle wastes. During secondary collection of waste by janitor’s people they check and separate the waste again. Because of that, some people think they will separate and resist doing their duty and sometimes they forget to dispose of.
Commonly there’s an attitude problem among the people individually that all others are throwing waste and this is dirty country. Pollution, recent big incidents like Meethotamulla, Karadiyana, Kelani River and Muthurajawela wetland sanctuary, dirty odorous environment, and transport complexity indicates the poor management of waste and it impacts. Sri Lanka is a natural resourceful country earning more tourism revenue each year. When foreigners know the value of your country why don’t you realize the beauty of the nature in Sri Lanka? So be responsible enough to keep you and your surroundings clean lead to beautiful and healthier Sri Lanka.
The following facts will help you to manage waste by yourself;
- 3R principle
Always try to incorporate the waste management with Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Try to use a drink bottle and lunch box to reduce paper, polythene and plastic waste mainly the school children and work going people. Use different color-coded bins to encourage waste separation at home. Buy a biodegradable paper or cardboard bags rather than polythene bags. Motivate small kids to make ornaments or handworks with waste. There are many DIY videos on the internet. Refill hand washer in supermarkets than buying new ones. Parents can give recyclable plastic and paper to recycling companies which will help small-scale businesses.
- Government actions
The government should encourage people to manage wastes by themselves conducting community awareness programs time to time about waste management practices, and impacts of unsafe practices. PHI should examine each house not only during the rainy season and shall charge fines for those who pollute the environment.
- Waste as a subject
The government should include waste management as a unit in health or environmental science subject. Awareness can be built through schools conducting competition and exhibition about waste management. They will become a responsible citizen when they learn the things from childhood while schooling.
- Waste management pyramid
The pyramid will help you to understand the favorable waste management practices. Disposal is the least favored option and prevention is the best way to manage waste. If every one of us will feel proud to be a Sri Lankan, then show your patriotism in keep your country clean and harmonious not as a threat for others but for future generations to live and sustain.
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