Thursday, June 13, 2024

Domestic grabage can produce organic fertilisers worth millions: Expert

Getting rid of the city’s huge garbage is no easy task, but its recycling can help keep it at minimum level apart from turning it into organic fertilizer, according to an expert, reports UNB.
“About 5000 tons of domestic refuses are dumped everyday in Dhaka city and its suburban areas,” said Dr Mohammed Ataur Rahman, Director of Programme on Education for Sustainability of the International University of Business Agriculture and Technology (IUBAT).
He said at least 500 tons of organic fertilisers worth Tk 2.5 to 10 lakh can be produced everyday from the garbage. “Such organic fertilisers contain all the nutrients which may even remain absent in the manufactured ones,” he told the news agency.
Proper garbage management is essential as dumping wastes into drains causes various problems. “Much of what we throw away still has value and over half of what we throw away is recyclable,” he added.
Dr Ataur described house refuses like the trashes of vegetables and food, and the refuses of poultry and cattle farms, slaughter houses as green garbage. “We can produce organic fertilisers from these refuses.”
He said there are some other non-degradable synthetics like plastic, polythene, synthetic fibers, foams, rubber, metals, glasses and ceramics. “By recycling these we can produce household appliances.”
In Dhaka city, he said, garbage is mindlessly dumped in drains, open places and pits, if available nearby, creating public nuisance. “As garbage management is very poor, the fast degradable refuses start degrading sending bad odor into the air and polluting the environment. And ultimately the garbage is dumped in low-lying areas for land filling.”
Dr Ataur said: “Green garbage is a biomass and of course it’s the accumulated valuable soil nutrients which are coming from the crop-producing areas. The precious nutrients should go back to their origin. We must recycle them and ensure their reuse.”
He said the responsibility of the city dwellers is not to mix non-degradable synthetics like polythene, plastic, metals, furs and feathers with the green garbage like vegetable and food refuses. People should dispose the green garbage separately in garbage pits for microbial decomposition to make compost or organic fertiliser.”
Dr Ataur suggested that people should use jute or cotton bags, paper, bamboo baskets and natural fibre or woven shopping bags for easy degradation.
He said polythene, plastics, rubber, glasses, metals, feathers and furs could be stored separately for selling and recycling.
“People should not also use detergents, pesticides and aerosols indiscriminately as microbes and other living creatures around us could help digest those directly or indirectly. The things which we cannot digest, microbes can do easily and the decomposers are the parts of nutrient cycles and are also the parts and parcel of living soils.”
Dr Ataur mentioned that aerosols are harmful to delicate tissues, nerve cells of human being and other higher animals. “Use camphor, lantana and Menda (Litsea monopetala) bark smoke instead of aerosols,” he said.
He said: “Allow degradable refuses to decompose fast and return them to their place of origin, slow degradable to recycle for reuse and non-degradables must not be added anymore, but recycle without changing their constituents”.
Remember, nothing is unlimited but change is universal, if we cross the limit, a definite crisis will be there.”
About polythene saga, he said once polythene was considered more valuable invention than that the art ‘Mona Lisa’, in the 1930s. It’s the synthetic bi-product of crude oil and as a durable clean and handy product, its use spread allover the world like today’s mobile phone, replacing many natural fibre products of jute, cotton, bamboo, palms and grasses.”
He lamented that Bangladeshi jute has lost its market and it is no more considered as ‘Golden Fibre’ due to the use of cheap polythene products.
Polythene has polluted the soil, water and blocked the drainage systems, canal and rivers and creating water logging and temporary floods in the cities. “To save our environment, we must reduce and restrict the use of polythene,” he said.

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