Waste is misplaced RESOURCE
Segregation of waste is the first and most important step in waste management and environment preservation
It allows for better disposal of waste and encourages more recycling and reuse of matter. Lack of segregation is the root cause of clogged landfills, blocked drains, soil and water pollution and can hinder the entire process of waste disposal, recycling and reuse.
Waste in general can be broadly divided in to organic and inorganic matter. The process of disposing organic waste is different from its inorganic counterpart. Segregating garbage helps pick out recyclable and reusable material from other waste matter. The different coloured dustbins placed in various localities are meant to collect different types of waste.
Waste from homes, offices, hospitals and other places reaches the dumping grounds. From there, it is segregated by ragpickers. The mixed waste contains everything from fruit and vegetable waste to glass pieces, plastic bits, sanitary waste, dead animals and other matter. Ragpickers sort this waste with their bare hands. Often, glass and tin pieces cause cuts and bruises which are worsened and infected in these unhygienic surroundings. In some cases, ragpickers fall prey to severe illnesses as well.
Another major problem associated with improper segregation is that mixed waste that ends up in landfills does not decompose completely. The plastic bits and other materials need to be recycled and reused rather than ending up in landfills. These bits take a while and sometimes even years to decompose and pose a threat to soil and underground water.
Proper segregation of waste ensures that different type of waste is sorted differently for recycle, reuse and different processes of disposal. With recycling and reuse of matter, there is lesser need for use of newer resources.