A second look at trash

A second look at trash

Waste Segregation

The trend of waste segregation may have caught on like wildfire a few years back but of late, the enthusiasm behind this initiative seems to have petered out. While a few homes in the City do make it a point to segregate waste, they remain an alarming minority.

This is quite surprising, given that separating trash is quick and has obvious benefits. All one needs to do is equip his or her kitchen with two trash cans, into which they can accordingly separate dry trash and biodegradable waste. While dry trash — such as plastic and paper — can be recycled, vegetable peel and other biodegradable matter can be composted and turned into manure. Despite this, plenty of homes, offices, colleges and other institutions in the City have turned their backs on this eco-friendly practice. Metrolife speaks to a few Bangaloreans to find out why.

The benefits of waste segregation may be plenty, but the fact remains that not many people are entirely aware of them. As Nandini, a professional, points out, the working population of the City tends to leave their household chores largely in the hands of maid servants — who often have no idea why waste segregation is necessary. “In most residences, the housework is completed by maids. They aren’t educated about the importance of segregating waste at all. However, when we ourselves handle the chores at home, we tend to take waste segregation seriously,” she explains.

She’s quick to add that corporates too remain negligent when it comes to separating trash. “A few years back, many corporates did bring in separate wastepaper baskets for dry and wet waste. But here too the problem of awareness comes in. Most of the work is done by housekeeping staff, and they have no idea about what to put in which bin,” she says, adding, “I think someone should take an initiative to highlight the benefits of this practice on a mass scale.”

Although not all institutions follow a strict policy of waste segregation, some do make it a point to recycle in whatever little way possible. Nithya, a coordinator at NIFT, points out that the students in college tend to recycle because it’s a part of their curriculum. “The students make sculptures and usable products from cups, sticks, CDs and whatever trash they find around campus — for example, they once made a chair out of bus tyres.

In fact, we even had a competition in our fest which required students to recycle waste and create something useful,” she explains. At home, she adds, she separates her trash on a daily basis. “It’s quite simple — we simply have two bins, and the residents in my area make it a point to divide their garbage accordingly,” she says.

The City’s restaurant industry, though, seems to be turning a blind eye to the need for waste segregation. Vibhuti Bane, a chef, says that while some restaurants and eateries do segregate trash, a majority don’t bother.

“The problem stems from combination of a lack of civic sense — something very common among Indians — and also lack of knowledge about the damage this could do to the environment. There are restaurants which separate bottles and cardboard, but they’re a minority. Some awareness has been passed on — but there’s a long way to go,” he concludes.

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