The effect of increased solid wastes in our surroundings is always considered to be a major problem in the country. The government and institutions are trying to solve this problem in ways that are sustainable enough to reduce the amount of generated wastes.
One of the effective ways of controlling waste generation is through source reduction. Source reduction can be a successful method of reducing waste generation. Practices such as backyard composting, two-sided copying of paper, and transport packaging reduction by industry have yielded substantial benefits through source reduction.
Source reduction has many environmental benefits. It prevents emissions of many greenhouse gases, reduces pollutants, saves energy, conserves resources, and reduces the need for new landfills and combustors [Official Website of United States of America (USA) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2004].
One more way of reducing wastes generated is through recycling which is the effective reuse of products and it diverts items, such as paper, glass, plastic, and metals, from the waste stream.
These materials are sorted, collected, and processed and then manufactured, sold, and bought as new products (Official Website of US-EPA, 2004). In the country, there are already known companies that practice the effective recycling and reuse of waste materials into creative and artistic products such as bags, pen holders, tables and chairs and are successful in local and international market.
Another form of recycling is composting. Composting is the controlled biological decomposition of organic matter, such as food and yard wastes, into humus, a soil-like material. Composting is nature’s way of recycling organic waste into new soil, which can be used in vegetable and flower gardens, landscaping, and many other applications (Official Website of US-EPA, 2004).
There are many discussions and suggestions on ways of reducing our generated wastes and it is not new to us. However, the most important step in solving these problems comes from us initially.
Solid waste reduction can be observed in simple ways that do not require much effort. One example would be carrying your own bags and used plastic bags when going to shop in the market or malls. In this way, extra plastic bags provided by the stores will not end up as another wasted solid material in the future.
A little creativity can also help to transform these waste materials into a wonderful creation, which can be of use and can be a start of a small business. With crafts as part of the option, proper waste segregation observed in the office or at home can be very helpful to junk dealers and recyclers that reuse these materials and make good business.
Author: Ms. Alma Arcena, Miriam College, for SWARMPlan News.
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