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Food Waste:A growing problem with simple solution

It is a lesser known fact that in a country like India, the food waste (Wet waste) contributes around 60% of the daily waste. The amount of food waste becomes all the more high during summer when we consume lot of fruits like mango, watermelon, etc. Food waste has its own natural process to decompose and this is a major reason why our waste starts smelling bad in the next few hours if we are unaware about it. Some morning when the waste collector does not come to collect the waste, it becomes a breeding place for a lot of flies.

This is also the situation of the waste that has been lying at dump yard without any proper management. We tend to be satisfied when we accumulate all the waste of our house on a daily basis and hand it over to the waste collectors, but we are least bothered when the same waste gets dumped on the streets till the municipality truck comes and collect it. Now one may think that it is the mistake of municipality and not ours, but one should be aware that it is our responsibility to ensure that someone does it. After all, at the end of the day, it is our family that would get affected by the unhygienic condition of the waste lying in the streets around us. Though it seems to be a big issue at the moment, yet the same can be tackled (or at least controlled to a larger extent) by a simple method called "composting".

Compost is organic matter that has been decomposed in a process called composting. This process recycles various organic materials otherwise regarded as waste products and produces a soil conditioner (the compost). Compost is rich in nutrients. It is very simple to do at home. If we can start segregating our food waste daily in a separate bin (composters) and take some help of accelerators, we will be ready with our compost in around 3 months.

Aerobic composting is a process which can be normally followed in our home with limited space and it only needs air around the composters to start the decomposition of food waste. In aerobic decomposition, living organisms, which use oxygen, feed upon the organic matter. They use the nitrogen, phosphorus, some of the carbon, and other required nutrients. Much of the carbon serves as a source of energy for the organisms and is burned up and respired as carbon dioxide. During this process, bacteria—which are a type of microbes—use oxygen and carbon compounds to fuel their growth. The end result of aerobic composting is carbon dioxide, water vapor, and a dark-brown or black organic material.

We should understand that everything that comes from mother earth should go back to the earth. If we do not practice it, the balance of environment will get disrupt and someone in the future will start to suffer for our deeds. So, let’s start our small step towards a better Waste Management and contribute something to our environment by just segregating food waste from other waste and then composting the food waste for black gold (organic compost)

“To me, it’s sort of funny that wasting food is not taboo. It’s one of the last environmental ills that you can just get away with.”

- Jonathan Bloom

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