waste segregation: a massive step towards sustainable transformation

waste segregation: a massive step towards sustainable transformation

what is waste segregation and the importance of waste segregation
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What is waste segregation and how to segregate waste at home? 


Did you know that just properly managing your waste can help in saving the planet? 




The practice of waste segregation at source can help reduce the waste dumped in landfills. India generates around 62 million tonnes of waste each year. Out of these, 70% is collected by the waste pickers. This sums up to  43 million tonnes of waste in a year. 12 million tonnes of that waste is treated and 31 million tonnes is simply dumped in landfill sites. As a result of improper segregation, it becomes difficult to properly treat the waste. 


Today, we will understand the importance of waste segregation, its impacts, and how it can be practiced properly. With this habit, we not only reduce the amount of landfill accumulation but also eradicate the possibilities of air, water, and land pollution. 

what is waste segregation?

Waste segregation is the process of separating the waste into various categories. This makes the process of recycling and disposal easier for the authorities. Home waste can be bifurcated into dry waste, wet waste, sanitary waste & electronic waste. 

Each category has specific items and requires a different way of treatment. Let us go through each category and its method of disposal. 


dry waste

Dry waste includes dry components like paper, glass, plastic, cardboard, rubber, metal, food packaging material, milk cartons, and packets. This dry waste includes both recyclable and non-recyclable items. 


wet waste

Wet waste includes all the kitchen waste like vegetable peels, rotten vegetables, eggshells, used tea bags, coffee and tea grounds, leftover foods, and many other kitchen items. Another option to make better use of wet waste is to start home composting. With home composting, you can put to use major wet waste and will have to dispose of only a few items.


sanitary waste

As per sanitary waste guidelines, Sanitary waste means wastes comprising of used diapers, sanitary towels or napkins, tampons, condoms, incontinence sheets, and any other similar waste. 


As per Rule 7 of guidelines, the best way to dispose of sanitary items is by wrapping them in a leak-proof pouch, old newspaper, or self-wrapping straps. If a separate bin is provided by the waste collector it should be disposed of in that or else it can be placed in the dry waste bin as well. 


electronic waste

Electronic waste includes electronic products that are nearing the end of their useful life and need to be discarded. It includes items like mobile phones, televisions, printers, AC, stereos, computers, cables, circuit boards, and other similar electronic items. 


As per the Guidelines on the implementation of E-waste, e-waste should not be thrown in the municipal bins. They should be stored separately and channelized through various collection centre or dealers of authorized producers or dismantlers or recyclers.

That’s all good, but why do I have to bother about it? 

Now you might wonder that “I have not seen any harm in my life in absence of waste segregation. How does it even matter?” Well, let me tell you that the impact of not segregating the waste is long-term and has some serious impact not only on the human species but on every living organism. 


soil & water contamination 

The landfills consisting of all unrecycled materials give rise to toxicity in the soil. In a longer time, this toxic substance goes into the soil deeper. It accumulates further to make their way to aquifers. Waters from aquifers are further used for multiple purposes and have the potential to harm animals and humans that directly or indirectly consume such contaminated water. 


climate changes 

Decomposing of the waste in landfills releases harmful greenhouse gases. These gases rise in the atmosphere and trap heat. This results in unexpected climate change like acid rain, severe hail storms, unexpected rains, drought, and whatnot. 


air pollution 

When materials are burnt in the landfills, it releases dangerous and harmful gases. These chemicals contribute to damaging the ozone layer and harming the health of people living nearby. 


understood the importance! how do I start? 

So, if you are new to this, here’s what you can do to start with - 

  • Buy waste segregation bins that always remind you to throw different waste in different bins. Make sure the bins are labeled and have different colors. 
  • Make sure to store sanitary waste in a different paper bag. 
  • The plastic waste from the food items should be cleaned and dried so that they do not contaminate. 
  • Try to develop a habit of composting to make the best use of wet waste. 
  • Be patient with yourself, while you form this regular habit. 


If you have been throwing all your trash in a single bag till today, then this might be a new journey for you. Make sure to have separate bins to support your journey of home waste segregation. They act as a reminder every time you forget about it and help you in building the habit easily and quickly. This small act of home waste segregation has immense power to bring down the pollution and harm caused to the planet and every living species. 


Home waste segregation is the best solution to reduce air, water, and soil pollution. 


When will you start your journey? 




Statistics for Waste Segregation

Sanitary waste guidelines

E-waste guidelines


Author - CA brinda shah is a freelance content writer. she is a CA turned into a writer who loves to read, write & meditate. you can connect with her on linkedIn  and on instagram 

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