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durga ch
durga ch • Dec 31, 2008

Problems I would like to slove as an engineer ( responsible citizen)


Wastage control and recycling – household waste
I would create a garbage management system. It might sound funny, but I am serious
Utilisation of resources in a optimal pattern and disposing the wasteful in a thoughtful way are equally important. Wastage is everywhere right from the hand wipe tissues to the space waste , its everywhere just it appears to be minimal at very point.
On an average one household creates approximately 7Kgs of garbage. If a household has an average of 4 people then 1.75 kgs per person per week. So I guess what is the wastage being created by each individual, this is generally leading to normal habitation to a dumping ground.
Firstly, I would educate people regarding resources usage thoughtfully is needed.
Resources thoughtfully includes, using of jute and cotton bags for groceries, not using plastic as it is not disposable and a very strong but very common pollutant. I remember once, a cow was operated in INDIA and 4kgs plastic was removed from its tummy, poor thing. Using Jute and cotton has two advantages; one provides support to the framers and secondly can be reused. I don’t think reusing has any harm, except with very sensible things like, syringes and other hospital and private health things. Bags, papers, aluminium foils, zip wrap can be re used. No harm in that.Donnot thwor the packing boxes, you might need them when you would move next time. So instead of disposing them , they can well be kept on the attic and reused. 
Once people are aware of general waste (not recycled), can be recycled waste and dangerous wastage ( nuclear wastage) then segregation can be done. In INDIA I can see just a one bin at road side , and everything goes into it, you really can’t take a paper out and say” now recycle this!”. So use different bins, one for paper, cardboard, recycled plastic i.e. can be recycled stuff and the other for general waste which needs a disposal. This paper can be recycled to manufacture paper bags, quality A4 sheets.
Any cloths which are not used needed not be thrown off, they can be washed and given for charity, since more than 40% population from INDIA is under poverty line, donating clothing for them would not be a very bad idea.
I would have charity/donation truck go around in a colony bi-yearly and collect the unwanted cloths.
Do you know that even glass can be recycled? you don’t have to dispose them off, put them aside. Glass which can be recycled includes juice glasses, beer bottles, drinking glass and bottle glass .
Green wasteage: the dried leaves and figs, i guess it was taught to us that they can be made as fertilizers, don’t just brush them off on the roadside, you can always dig a compost pite and bury them in the backyard, they would nourish the soil and the plants remain healthy.
I am already a kind of pestering person to my friends for my lectures to reduce wastage, and landed with handing each of them with a jute bag( nevertheless it’s only me who keeps it and rejects a plastic at super market !! hugh ) . but not without a result, did surely succeed in convincing that a open tap is not needed when you are using detergent to your vesssels!!!
I would pull up more water and paper recycling centres around populated areas. Bring up convenient and reachable disposing bins, with special signs on them saying” paper/glass/card boards only” and another one stating” general waste”.
Do you know even mobile phones can be recycled?the circuits in mobile phones have gold content , so by recycling an average of 30,000 1 kg of gold can be extracted and from 10,000 discarded mobile phones 1kg of silver can be extracted. Recycling 10,000 mobile phones can save upto 220,000 kilowatts of energy which can support an approximate of 55 families for a year!!! And reduce corbon emission by 140 metric tones!!It really does matter. Mobile phones as well have highly toxic subsatances which go into landfill and ruin the area .
I would intiate a campaign and for getting people to discard their unwanted mobile phones in the mobile recycle bins( to be placed where they buy their new phones) .
Sources: 15 mobile phone companies join recycling program - Taiwan News Online

the article has more to do with campaigning stuff rather than engineering stuff, but I felt this is important.
shalini_goel14 • Jan 1, 2009
Hi durga,

Nice problem to solve. Good one for making a healthy environment to live in. Please don't mind ,can you answer my few queries 😕:

1. How we are going to deal with this problem in countries where jute and cotton plantation is not very good ?
2. Can you put some more light on nuclear power plant wastes along with your an engineered approach of solving this waste problem ?
3. How to deal with radioactive wastes?

PS: I will keep on asking more questions 😉
durga ch
durga ch • Jan 1, 2009
Hi Shalini,

Thanks for the comments,
Let's take example of Sydney. i don't see any cotton or jute products which originate here.. they are either imported from INDIA /CHINA . So importing the material can be one possible way out for the scarcity of jute and cotton plantations.

as well bio-friendly fibers such as wool can also be used.I would not suggest leather though

as far as disposing of the radio active waste is concerned, the current procedure is storing it in waste repositories, depending on the degree of the radio activeness of waste created.

I guess healthier means of dipsoing off the waste is still yet to come.may be they will invent a harmless and reusable solvent which can dissolve the solid and liquid formed radio active substances. 😀

You can have more infomration regarding the current methods of disposing here:

Apart from this, You as well have chemical waste which are left free into the mainlands after proper treating which includes various methods treatment of acids and bases to neutralize them and not sure may be electrolysis can as well be used to separate heavy materials.

I have no answer for (may be your nest question) space wastage.
I don't know how they dispose it or it still lingers in space once the space station collapses

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