Source Reduction of waste – Stopping waste before it starts – way to enhance environmental cleanliness:
Source reduction, also known as waste prevention or pollution prevention, is the elimination of waste before it is created. Source reduction is decreasing the amount of materials or energy used during the manufacturing or distribution of products and packages. It basically involves the design, manufacture, purchase or use of materials and products to reduce the amount or toxicity of what is thrown away. Source reduction means stopping waste before it happens.
Because it stops waste before it starts, source reduction is the top solid waste priority of environmental protection agencies of many of the developed countries. These innovations conserve resources and reduce packaging waste, while continuing to provide performance, value and convenience to the consumer.
Source reduction is not the same as recycling. Recycling is collecting already used materials and making them into another product. Recycling begins at the end of a product's life, while source reduction first takes place when the product and its packaging are being designed. In fact, the best way to think about source reduction and recycling is as complementary activities - combined, source reduction and recycling have a significant impact on preventing solid waste and saving resources.
Importance of source reduction of waste:
(a) Source reduction conserves raw material and energy resources. Smaller packages and concentrated products typically use fewer materials and less energy to manufacture and transport.
(b) Source reduction reduces releases to air, land and water. For example, it takes less fuel to transport lighter weight materials.
(c) Source reduction cuts back on what has to be thrown away. That helps keep solid waste disposal costs down, which is good for municipal budgets and consumers.
(d) Source-reduced products take up less space, and are more efficient and easier to use.
Source reduction is the highest goal in the solid waste management hierarchy - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. As explained above, by itself, recycling does not address the issue of wasteful product use. When recycling is coupled with source reduction, however, wasteful purchase and use of products is minimized. Whenever possible, reduce or reuse first, then recycle. The practice of source reduction benefits the environment through reduced energy consumption and pollution, conservation of natural resources, and extension of valuable landfill space. It can also have economic benefits by reducing costs associated with transportation, disposal or recycling of waste. Plus, source reduction can save you money every day. Everyone can participate in source reduction. REDUCE OR REUSE FIRST, THEN RECYCLE.
Suggestions for better waste management:
You can help reduce waste at home by learning basic waste-saving habits. You can buy products that come in concentrated forms or products that use minimal packaging. And you can reuse, repair, recycle, or compost products that would otherwise be thrown away.
* Buy the largest size package and products that do more than one thing; for example, shampoos that include conditioners.
* Buy concentrated products or compact packages, such as frozen juices and fabric softeners you mix with water at home.
* Look for products with minimal packaging. You will be using fewer natural resources, and you will have less to throw away.
* When you mow your lawn, leave grass clippings on the ground instead of bagging them. Grass clipping decompose quickly, adding nutrients to the soil.
* Buy reusable products such as rechargeable batteries.
* Pass on magazines, catalogues, and books to neighbors, hospitals, schools, and nursing homes.
* Reuse plastic or glass containers for food storage, nails, and so on.
* Reuse plastic shopping bags, boxes, and lumber.
* Reuse wrapping paper, gift bags, and bows. Use the Sunday comics for wrapping children’s birthday presents.
* Try to repair before you consider replacement of lawn mowers, tools, vacuum cleaners, and TVs.
* Donate items you can’t repair to local charities or vocational schools.
* Keep appliances in good working order. Properly maintained appliances are less likely to wear out or break and will not have to be replaced as frequently.
* Shop for items that are recyclable or are made from recycled materials.
* Recycle newspapers, plastics, glass, and cans.
* If a recycling program does not exist in your community, contact community officials to see if it would make sense to start one.
* Compost yard and kitchen waste. Compost makes an excellent fertilizer and improves the soil.
* If there’s no room for compost pile, offer compostable materials to community composting programs or garden projects near you.