As we have seen, the garbage generated is categorized into biodegradable and non-biodegradable. These are segregated so that the garbage can be effectively disposed.
Garbage produced or collected, has to be taken care of through disposal.
The disposal of the garbage depends on the nature of the garbage that is produced.
The disposal of the garbage means getting rid of the garbage.
Methods used to get rid of garbage are:
- Reuse, and
The first three methods mentioned above are for biodegradable wastes, and the last three methods for the non-biodegradable wastes.
Large and low-lying areas that are used for waste disposal are called landfills.
- The garbage from the city is collected and dumped into the landfills.
- This method is useful for the biodegradable wastes which are buried into these lands.
- Garbage buried in landfill is then covered with soil to level the uneven ground. The decomposition process occurs slowly.
- Once the landfill is full, it is converted to a park or a playground (no building can be constructed for nearly 20 years on top of it).
A non-useful garbage is burnt at a high temperature in an incinerator which is a furnace. This reduces the amount of the garbage into small amounts as ash. The ash is then disposed in a landfill.
- The plant and animal wastes can be recycled and converted into manure by burying it into the compost pits or bins.
- The process of recycling of organic wastes by burying into the compost pits is called composting.
- Biodegradable wastes are degraded or decomposed through the action of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi.
- Compost has nutrients that are needed by the plants.
- Dry leaves are converted into useful compost.
Dry leaves that found on the roadside are often disposed off by burning them. Burning of dry leaves and other agricultural wastes generates smoke and harmful gas that can damage our health. The smoke can cause pollution, and it also generates a lot of heat.
- Earthworm called red worms (or red wrigglers) acts on the organic wastes and degrades them.
- The red worms break the organic matter into the nutrient-rich manure called vermicompost which increases the fertility of the soil.
- Earthworms eat the decaying organic wastes. They have gizzard that grinds the food.
- Powdered eggshell is mixed so that the eggshell helps in grinding the food in the gizzard.
- In 3 - 4 weeks, once it is ready, it appears as loose soil-like material.
- Oily material and animal wastes should not be used as it promotes the growth of disease-causing microorganisms.
A redworm eats food equal to its own weight, in a day!