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Garbage in, Garbage out
We throw out so much rubbish or garbage everyday from our homes, schools, shops and offices. The grains, pulses, biscuits, mil or oil purchased in shops, are packedin plastic bags or tins. All these wrapping material go out as garbage. We sometimes buy things that are rarely used and often thrown into the garbage. We generate so much garbage in our day-to-day activities! We often throw groundnut shells on public places, in buses or trains, after eating the nuts. We throw away the ticket when we get off a bus. A child might go on sharpening pencils just for fun. If we make mistakes or spill ink on our notebook, we tear off the sheet and throw it away. And we also throw away many domestic wastes such as broken toys, old clothes, shoes and slippers. What if the garbage is not removed from our homes and surroundings? How do you think, this will harm us? When safai karamcharis take the garbage from the bins, where does the garbage go and what happens to it? Is it possible for all of this garbage to be changed into something that will not harm us? Can we contribute towards this in any way? We will look for answers to thesequestions, in this chapter. Children from Paheli and Boojho’s school did a project called ‘Dealing with Garbage’. We will learn about some of the things they learnt through this project.
16.1 DEALING WITH GARBAGE
Safai karamcharis collect the garbage in trucks and take it to a low lying open area, called a landfill (Fig. 16.1). There the part of the garbage that can be reused is separated out from the one that cannot be used as such. Thus, the garbage has both useful and nonuseful components. The non-useful component is separated out. It is then spread over the landfill and then covered with a layer of soil. Once the landfill is completely full, it is usually converted into a park or a play ground. For the next 20 years or so, no building is constructed on it. To deal with some of the useful components ofgarbage, compost making areas are developed near the landfill. What is compost? Let us learn about it, from th following activity. as A, B, C and D. Put one heap from Group 1 and one heap from Group 2 into two separate plastic bags. Tie the mouth of these two bags tightly. Put all the four heaps in separate pits and cover them with soil (Fig. 16.2). You can also use four pots to bury these garbage heaps.
Remove the soil after four days and observe the changes in the garbage. A black colour and no foul smell indicates that rotting of garbage is complete. Put the heaps again in the pits and cover with the soil. Observe again after every two days and note your observations as suggested. Did the garbage.
(i) rot completely and not smell?
(ii) rot only partially?
(iii) rot almost completely, but still smells bad?
(iv) not change at all? Garbage in which heap was seen to rot and which did not?
Enter options (i), (ii), (iii) or (iv) in the columns of Table 16.1 based on your
1. (a) Which kind of garbage is not converted into compost by the redworms?
(b) Have you seen any other organism besides redworms, in your pit? If yes, try to find out their names. Draw pictures of these.
2. Discuss :
(a) Is garbage disposal the responsibility only of the government?
(b) Is it possible to reduce the problems relating to disposal of garbage?
3. (a) What do you do with the left over food at home?
(b) If you and your friends are given the choice of eating in a plastic plate or a banana leaf platter at a party, which one would you prefer and why?
4. (a) Collect pieces of different kinds of paper. Find out which of these can be recycled.
(b) With the help of a lens look at the pieces of paper you collected for the above question. Do you see any difference in the material of recycled paper and a new sheet of paper ?
5. (a)Collect different kinds of packaging material. What was the purpose for which each one was used? Discuss in groups.
(b) Give an example in which packaging could have been reduced?
(c) Write a story on how packaging increases the amount of garbage.
6. Do you think it is better to use compost instead of chemical fertilisers? Why?
ACTIVITIES FOR DEALING WITH GARBAGE
1. Collect old and discarded objects and material like glass bottles, plastic bottles, coconut husk, wool, bed sheets, greeting cards and any other thing. Can you make something useful out of these, instead of throwing them? Try.
2. Prepare a detailed project report on compost making activity you did in school.
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