I was following up with a neighbor on keeping the wet and dry waste separate in his flat kitchen. We had last spoken on global warming a few weeks ago. He is a very conscientious man, doing a lot of good to the environment. But these were the mistakes he was making with wet and dry wastes (which hopefully would be corrected after yesterday’s conversation) :
· He had kept two waste bins for wet and dry waste – one green, one blue. I explained it was not necessary to keep two separate bins – as the waste collector did not have two separate receptacles to collect wet and dry waste and the wet and dry wastes would be mixed in his cart.
· A big plastic packet would be best for dry waste, hung at the tap below the sink – the kind of packets we get with presents or with big items we buy. we can even buy and keep such packets – as this one plastic packet will save all the rest of the dry waste from being mixed with wet waste and will be recycled itself in any case.
· The neighbour had not monitored that his maids were putting dry and wet wastes in the different spaces for them correctly. One needs to check for about a week or so and then everyone is habituated.
· His wet waste bin had a plastic packet into which the wet waste went and was given to the waste collector. I told him plastic mixed in wet waste would keep it from composting in oxygen rich conditions which was best. When wet waste was buried below plastics, the wet waste composted without oxygen – giving rise to lots of methane which was lethal for global warming.
· In our home we just tear up newspapers in napkin sized pieces, kept ready in a stack in kitchen for various tasks. Such newspaper pieces went to the bottom of the wet waste bin and sides also if needed after it had been washed and dried. They kept the bin from getting too dirty and could be composted with the wet waste.
· The neighbor was giving out the dry waste daily even if in a separate packet. I told him such small packets would not be collected by rag pickers and would remain mixed in wet waste. Dry waste needs to be stored in the kitchen only in big packets and till it is stuffed full. Takes about a week or so until it is a big bag. Then it has to be securely tied on the top and given to waste collector. Such a bag is worth 100-150 rs. to the ragpicker and is immediately plucked out and processed for the recycling industry.
CORRECT MANAGEMENT IN YOUR KITCHEN OF SEPARATE DRY AND WET WASTE KEEPS YOUR KITCHEN DRAIN CLEAN, YOUR WET WASTE BIN CLEAN AND NOT OVERFLOWING, AND GIVES YOU THE SATISFACTION THAT YOUR WASTE IS NOT CONTRIBUTING TO GLOBAL WARMING MUCH. AND IT SUPPORTS POOR PEOPLE. IT IS EASY – WE HAVE DONE IT FOR 18 YEARS.