What Makes Waste Great

Waste has a whole lot of value that we actually realise and can give back  in a lot more ways than we think. For figuring this out, you need to start with step 1. Segregate your trash

Step 1, Identifying your trash

Your everyday waste ideally composes of

biodegradable waste
Kitchen waste
Dry waste
Dry waste
Reject waste
Reject waste or sanitary waste

In the first image above extreme left shows your kitchen waste which makes up 60% of trash thrown everyday, made up of vegetable/ fruit peels, trimmings of greens, leftover food, coffee and tea grounds, egg shells, discarded fat, bones, used newspaper, garden waste like flowers and dry leaves.

The middle one which is your dry waste and comprises of 30% of non-biodegradable like plastic packets, packaging material, food and dairy packets, tetrapaks,  thermacol, thick shopping  bags, glass bottles, hard cardboard paper usually items which take a very long time to break down completely and have recycling components.

And the last image is reject or sanitary waste which makes up 10% of your and consists of sanitary napkins, broken bottle pieces, used syringes, expired medication, sharps like razor blades etc Construction debris, paint and chemical powder also falls in this category.

How to Segregate Successfully

segregation at source

Keep 3 different containers, one green bucker, one red bucket and one very large jute carry bag. Green is for all the kitchen waste, red for reject and jute bag for plastic. With following what waste goes where from the first paragraph you can separate your waste easily into these three containers.

To get your waste segregation kit you can purchase them from 2bin1bag which makes segregation easy to do

Some things to keep in mind below:

  • Your food packets like dairy, tetrapak and food from out, make sure you rinse all and dry before putting them in the dry trash
  • If your jute bag gets full use another large plastic bag for collecting, ideally the shopping ones comes in handy
  • DO NOT use the black plastic liners in any of the bins, just put your trash in directly

Tip: Most residential areas have a raddiwalla who collects dry waste, it is always better to hand over your dry waste to them. Better still, getting the community to get into the habit of handing trash directly to the person is best. Reject waste needs to handled more carefully, ensure that you segregate this for now.

Video of 2bin1bag on segregating successfully at home

Step 2, What you can do with that Kitchen waste

Now 60% of that kitchen greens in the green bag can be composted At home. A family of 4 generates about 1 kg of kitchen waste a day. Today the number of home composting solutions is amazing. You can either go in for a kambha process (aerobic, require a bit of stirring and monitoring) or anaerobic (airtight) which can be kept inside your kitchen in a corner or utility area (just make sure it is covered). You can check out Daily Dump for khambas, Eco Bin for anaerobic composting.

Step 3, Time for some wonderful compost harvesting 

Here is where your kitchen compost comes in full use. Keep some flower pots at home or grow your own veggies, they all love compost. Based on the composting process your kitchen waste compost can take anywhere from 1 month to 3 months to complete. You know it is ready when its dark black in colour, has an earthy smell. All you need to do at this time to add a handful  to plants pots or push them into your soil beds. Excellent and high in nitrogen levels, this is indeed the best nutrient your soil can have and ask for.

The cycle of composting and breaking-down of particulate food matter is a normal process that happens in rural and forest locations. Leaves, dead bodies of animals naturally decompose, which is why when you make those nature dashes the ground soil is always happy healthy.

Some images of what my wonderful garden gave me after composting and giving it to my plants.

compost for your garden
Black compost for the plants
You can grow veggies and flower plants better with compost
Cucumber leaves loving the compost


Video on Vani Murthy composting expert shows how you do it

Awesome Stuff that you can do at home in Reusing and Upcycling  

With conscious folks recycling, there are fun and creative ways of reusing leftover material today, you can DIY home decor, homemade and hand-make products with a bit of creativity. This way you prevent used product from reaching landfills, add a value tag and save on a bit of cash. It also becomes a lot more personalised when you put it together yourself.

Some examples:

  1. Those full bottles can come into major use if you are wondering how to change the lights at home, follow this step by step procedure on cutting bottles with basic materials which gives you a bulb holder or a plant container
  2. Those leftover long wooden pieces and glass tiles make the best bookracks, handy and convenient holders in your laundry or any utility room
  3. Leftover cloth material can be turned into pillow covers, same with old saris which can even be turned into pretty curtains or a bedspread
A plank of wooden upcycled into a photo rack
Earthen pot ‘up-cycled’ into light and decor stand with a marble slab

The culture of Recycling also keeps your house hoard-free and making use of stuff that takes up space. Donating, giving away old items are also useful ways of getting recycling back into lives.

On December 17, 2015 the Bangalore High Court has ordered segregation at source mandatory  in the hearing of a PIL, read the entire story on Citizen Matters a citizen-focused magazine which encourages the mass to get involved in city matters.

At the end of the day valuing waste makes you healthy, greener and a lot happier.

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