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Polythene bags are not only causing harm to the environment and blocking drains but are also proving fatal to stray cattle. It is estimated that thousands of cattle die in the capital due to the consumption of plastic bags thrown in the dustbins. When a veterinary surgeon, Dr H Jadeja (founder member of SPCA [Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] in Bhuj), operated on a seriously ill cow in Bhuj as stated he found 4000 plastic bags in its stomach along with other non-digestible waste.

At the Delhi zoo a swamp deer and a sangai (deer found in Manipur) died due to consumption of plastic bags, according to the director of the zoo, Mr B R Sharma.


Energy can be generated from waste. The waste is made into small pellets also referred to as refuse derived fuel. The calorific value of this product is quite close to coal and therefore it can be a good substitute for coal, wood, etc.

India’s first ever power plant using solid waste as fuel will go on stream within the next few months with the commissioning of the 1.5-billion-rupee 15-MW project at Perungudi in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The work on the project is being undertaken by Australia-based Energy Development Ltd. More such projects would be taken up in the state after assessing the viability of the plant.

In nature nothing is wasted, predator animals in the forests kill only when they are hungry. When an animal is killed by a lion or a tiger, not only do a host of other animals benefit from the kill but at the end, what little is left is broken down by microscopic organisms. Once the predator has eaten its share, the predator has eaten its share, scavengers like the hyena feed on the remains. What is left of the bones attract insects such as flies, etc. The leftovers are broken up microorganisms like the bacteria and the fungi. This is a perfect example of ‘want not waste not’.

The annual per capita generation of municipal solid waste in India is 150 to 200 kg. In India, more than 1400 sq. km of land, which is the size of the city of Delhi, would be required to dispose of solid waste by the year 2047.

People all over the world have come up with many innovative ideas to deal with everyday waste. One man in India, Nek Chand, has created an exquisite rock garden at Chandigarh made entirely from waste. Every item in this garden has been artistically crafted from some type of waste – bottles, tin, tyres, plastics, tube lights, etc. This rockgarden is a popular tourist attraction in the city and hundreds of people visit it daily.

Growing cities have resulted in the generation of more and more waste and this in turn has led to various problems. On problem indirectly related to this waste generation is that of bird hits near airports in India. In the last five years the Indian Air Force lost 12 aircrafts due to bird hits. Since some of the garbage landfills are located on the outskirts of the cities, birds, especially kites feed on the garbage and fly around in these areas.