What can individuals do to curb the MSW quantities?
An individual ultimately is the point where it all originates. Any correction at the origin can do well to control things down the line. For a start, the following can be done:
• Segregate generated waste into bio-degradable and non-biodegradable. Use the bio-degradable to the extent possible to make compost and use the same to enrich earth.
• Continuing from the point above, to the extent possible:
- Do not use or reduce use of product which are heavy with non-biodegradables like plastic packing, styrofoam etc
- Plastics and packing material to the extent possible be sent to recyclers instead of being dumped on open areas. In addition to looking bad, they are also polluting especially when it rains as water going through them tends to contaminate ground water sources.
- Avoid completely the use of heavy plastics and Styrofoam as the same do not break down in the environment at all and are heavy on harmful chemicals.
- When throwing used products which could be packing material or other house-hold used items, do a recheck to determine if the same could be salvaged and used again with or without modifications/ repairs. This, in a sense is reuse.
- Continuing from the above, where these seems to be no scope of usage in its present form which with application of processes could help turn it into another product, it ought to be stored and sent to those agencies which can recycle it. Plastics are the best example. Households, offices and such places are chock-a-block with plastics of every kinds which either break, wear out or go out of fashion and need to be discarded. Instead of opening the door and simply chucking them onto the road, one ought to send it to recyclers where they could be cut-up and recycled into other items for use elsewhere.