How good is your waste management game?
If you consciously invest your time in segregating your wet waste from dry, or your biodegradable waste from non-biodegradable waste, you certainly fall under the tiny strata of the Indian population that cares about the planet.
Even then, we are well aware that, garbage isn’t only limited to kitchen waste, paper or plastic articles.
If you look closely within your own household, you will find many materials like expended bulbs, batteries and tube lights, which you aren’t really sure as to how to dispose of.
You probably will end up selling these items to your local junkyard dealer without really understanding the toxic consequences of handling such waste objects.
To give a clearer picture, India alone produces more than 10 billion bulbs per month and that it takes just a broken bulb or tube light to poison 50 litres of water! Imagine the amount of toxic content that goes into dump yards and landfills, from where they permeate into our soil and groundwater.
So how exactly do we tackle this challenge?
Daily Dump, a Bengaluru-based organisation has been dedicatedly working towards offering urban composting design solutions for individuals and communities and changing the perception towards waste amidst urban dwellers since 2006.
It has now kickstarted an amazing initiative to tackle this very issue, and for this purpose, it aims to connect with the audience that has the highest potential of bringing about a change—children!
Through a set of children’s books named Ooze for young readers between the ages of 4-8 and for slightly older readers between the ages of 9-80, Daily Dump addresses the issue of toxicity of e-waste at different levels of complexity.
“It’s like reading two versions of a Birbal story at the same time. We believe that it fosters a sense of perspective and inquiry, necessary to understand the ‘complete’ story. Each book is illustrated in different styles, to encourage different ways of seeing. Ooze takes readers on a poetic journey to find out what happens to batteries when we throw them ‘away’,” says Marcy Newman from Daily Dump to The Better India.
She further states that through these illustrated books, children can learn about not just the hazards of batteries, but more importantly, how one can collect their e-waste, so they don’t have to be harmed by it.
“To reinforce the stories about batteries, there are activities for children to learn more about these little objects that power our favourite electronics,” she adds.
What a fun and introspective way to learn about e-waste!
And, it doesn’t end here. Ooze also has a new range of products developed by Daily Dump that are designed to ensure that families collect their e-waste separately from their other dry waste.
From a ‘Care Box’ to store out-of-service bulbs and a ‘Tubicle‘ for tube lights, to an ‘Ooze stopper’ for storing used batteries that help our household space become safer, each product in this new range comes with a small story-cum-activity book for children, so they can further explore the world of electronics, electricity and e-waste.
What is more interesting is the fact that all of these products aim to make waste segregation a fun process that children would look forward to, instead of the conventional and stigmatised attitude towards waste that India has been carrying forward through centuries.
A vibrant and colourful set of stickers comes along with the care boxes.
The main idea is to encourage people to inculcate the habit of safely stocking and disposing of used bulbs, tube lights or batteries collectively, instead of throwing them away one by one.
People are also encouraged not just to visit any scrap dealer but head to a recycling facility that specialises in separating usable materials and reusing them to make new bulbs or go to collection centres where they can drop off e-waste.
While Daily Dump has made e-waste disposal a process that is so easy, that even children can try their hand at managing household waste, the road to making our earth a lot more safer and less toxic would require our dedicated participation.
You can write to the folks behind Daily Dump at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 8041157311, 991626661 and 9886363882.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)