Bhubaneswar: Along with the rapid expansion of urban areas and the growth of their population, there has been generation of enormous amounts of wastes, especially solid wastes, and their disposal has now emerged as a gargantuan challenge.
Though addressing this environmental problem appears to be a monstrous task, but it can be turned into a golden opportunity through implementation of appropriate policies, plans and programmes.
The Government of India’s ‘Waste for Wealth Mission’ aims to make it possible to generate energy from waste, recover recyclable materials and extract resources of value through the use of appropriate technologies. In our cities, parks established with various environmental goals and for connecting people with nature and providing them amusement, are regularly releasing huge quantities of green wastes, such as leaves, flowers, twigs, etc. The accumulated waste products are often burned as per our age-old practices.
When plastics and other toxic wastes are added to green wastes and burned, these emit deadly harmful substances such as dioxins, furan, hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals and particulate matters that pollute the atmosphere and bring about detrimental health effects.
Keeping this in mind, all the green wastes collected from the city parks can be converted into organic manure of superior quality through composting that can be used for providing good nutrients to the garden plants. This can be undertaken through three main processes: aerobic composting with the use of oxygen, anaerobic composting without the use of oxygen, and vermi-composting using earthworms of good variety. This manure is a better substitute of the chemical fertilizers and can also be sold in bulk in the market, thus contributing to creation of a clean, pollution-free and green environment. It will also support and enrich the Swachh Bharat Mission and the Smart City project.
In view of all this, it will be a timely step for the government to take steps for making the process of scientific composting compulsory in all parks of the State, opined Dr. Jayakrushna Panigrahi, Secretary, Orissa Environmental Society, Bhubaneswar.