How to Manage your Household Waste under COVID-19 Conditions

How to Manage your Household Waste under COVID-19 Conditions

With our cities winding down under the COVID-19 induced pandemic, it should be expected that our urban services will come under unprecedented pressure. In this situation, municipal staff and infrastructure will be working at reduced capacity. Consequently, the collection and disposal of garbage could breakdown at any time. At the same time, housekeeping teams at large townships, apartment complexes will also be forced to work with limited, if not no staff. It is quite probable that your garbage will not be picked up in the next few days if this lock-down continues.

Our Prime Minister urged citizens to show “Resolve” and “Restraint” in dealing with this crisis.

Here’s how we can show “Resolve” and “Restraint” in managing our household waste in these emergency conditions when there is no one to pickup our waste.


We’re all aware how we need to segregate waste into 3 categories. In emergency conditions like these, it is even more critical to do this right. The objective is to find ways to hygienically store as much waste as possible at home. This means, what is clean and dry needs to remain so. Dry waste which is soiled with food or other decaying substances will need to be rinsed and dried. If you don’t have bins, look for shopping bags, laundry bags, shelf space, pots, cardboard boxes or something in the waste itself. Anything that can store dry materials in a neat and clean way. Sort materials like paper, plastic packaging, plastic containers, glass bottles, juice packs and store them in separate containers. Watch this for more details. Keep vessel or container temporarily only to collect all kitchen waste. Do not use any plastic liners in this case. Keep a third container for sanitary waste and hazardous wastes, if any. Above all, make sure that sanitary waste is wrapped securely in newspaper and marked with a “red dot”. You’ll need to find ways to keep this waste to a minimum in such emergencies.

Do Not Dispose, Instead Store

First of all, you’ll need to plan to keep clean and dry materials stored for a few days. So look to open up cardboard boxes and flatten them out, find ways to keep them neat and tidy. Save space while you do so. Assign places and containers that allow you to store this in a neat and tidy way for up to a week or more. For more on how to handle dry waste watch this video.

Compost all Kitchen Waste

With everyone at home and all the restaurants closed, you’re going to have to cook. So expect a lot of wet waste to pile up. While chopping vegetables, don’t find a bin to throw them away. Keep all these precious raw materials in a kitchen vessel or plate and accumulate them until all the cooking is done. Make sure while chopping that you cut scraps and ends into small pieces. In this way, it will decompose faster in an odour free way.

Transfer the scraps into a bucket or container and make a base. Ideally use a breathable material such as an earthen pot, if you have balcony garden. Once lunch or dinner or any meal is over, gather any leftover scraps and add them into the container. If you have access to dried leaves gather enough of them to last you for a few days. Crush the leaves by hand and mix them up with the day’s waste. The volume of dried leaves should roughly match the volume of kitchen waste. While mixing, you could also add a handful of garden soil, if you have a balcony garden, to give the whole mass some uniformity and texture.

In emergency situations, you may not have access to compost microbes. In this case add some sour curd or buttermilk to the mixture. Anything you can find in your kitchen that is used for fermentation could also do the job. Jaggery or a small teaspoon of wine or beer could also do the trick. While adding any liquids make sure the composting mass does not become too soggy. It should have the consistency of a well done bhel puri. If things get too soggy, dry it up by adding more dry leaves, coco-fibre, soil or even some waste paper shredded into small bits. Once done, make sure none of the fresh waste is exposed. Use some more garden soil to cover it up. Close the container with a lid or cover.

Continue to do this for as many days as you need. Keep a close eye on moisture levels. Never allow the medium to get soggy or too wet. You’ll notice this waste doesn’t stink at all. For more guidance on the process of composting, watch this video. There are also a lot of resources available online for home composting.

You may just find that this is the most beautiful activity you’ve engaged in, in a long time. In this case, make it a permanent habit and find ways to make it more efficient.

Stop Using Disposables, Minimize Waste Generation

While it’s great to follow this at the best of times, it is of particular importance to stop generating unnecessary waste in these difficult times. Try and keep waste quantities down. Consume consciously. It’s especially important to minimize or eliminate difficult wastes which have to be collected and disposed outside the home, such as household bio-medical waste. Try cloth diapers for babies. Find washable and re-usable alternatives. Ladies should look for the opportunity to shift to sustainable menstrual products like cloth sanitary pads or menstrual cups.

Take special care with soiled masks, paper napkins, disposable towels, etc. in these conditions. Dispose them with close attention so that collection staff and waste pickers don’t come into physical contact with them. Wrap such materials securely in newspaper and mark with a “red dot“, so that it is not handled by waste workers. For more exhaustive details on handling sanitary waste, please read our other blog article on this

If you’re under home quarantine, its critically important to dispose your waste with special care. Your waste will be considered infectious and hence gets classified under Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules. In this case, pack and deliver ALL your waste with special identification in yellow bags normally provided to hospitals. You will need to get in touch with the local municipal ward sanitation officers to source these bags. These yellow bags are to be secured and handed over only to authorised agencies specified by the municipality. It is not be handled in the way normal waste is dealt with. Be transparent and inform all those who may come into contact with your waste to deal treat it with utmost care. More details on regulations are here

Engage with your Housing Community or Welfare Association

Garbage left uncollected can be frustrating. Find out if your neighbors in the housing community are facing a challenge. Your committee members may need your support to find solutions. Make a Whatsapp Group and share your thoughts, ideas and strategies to fight the emergency. Help your neighbors, calm nerves, stop the panic. If necessary, solve the issue at the community level. Some problems which are challenging at the home level may have good community solutions. E-waste, Construction Demolition waste can be stored for some time in the community. Look to start up a community composting project if you already have garden space or compost pits or a machine that is not in use.

Cooperate with Waste Workers and Municipal Staff

Waste pickers, waste workers, waste processing staff and municipal sanitation staff are going to be bearing the brunt of this situation. Look to be supportive and offer constructive cooperation. Understand that these workers will also need to keep to social distancing norms. They will be most vulnerable, not just due to administrative and infrastructure shortages, but also since they are more prone to exposure to infections as a result of their working conditions. Support those waste workers who come into contact with you and help them protect themselves with simple measures. Offer trainings and awareness to them if possible.

On Sunday March 22nd, all citizens have been urged to stay indoors for 14 h from 7 am to 9 pm. “Janata Curfew” or self-induced lock-down, is meant to encourage people to practice social distancing.  By looking out for ourselves, let’s help our respected Swachhta Karmacharis to stay safe and practice the Janata Curfew on Sunday. Let’s also keep them in our hearts at 5 PM when we show gratitude to all those people who struggle to keep us safe and secure in these difficult times.

At the end of this crisis, hand over all the stored and clean dry waste to the collection staff in sorted condition. Try and continue your home composting habit and make it a permanent fixture at home. If we’ve helped you with some sound guidance, make independent waste management a lifestyle choice. Call us and we’ll help you find ways to do this better in the best of times. You will never face an emergency of this kind again!

कोविड – 19 अटींमध्ये घरातील कचरा कसा व्यवस्थापित करावा

कोविड – 19 अटींमध्ये घरातील कचरा कसा व्यवस्थापित करावा

आमच्या शहाराची स्थिती कोविड – 19 प्रेरित साथीच्या आजाराने खालावत आहे, अशी अपेक्षा आहे की आपल्या नागरी सेवा अभुतपुर्व दबावाखाली येतील. या परिस्थितीत, पालिका कर्मचारी आणि पायाभुत सुविधा कमी क्षमतेवर काम करतील. यामुळे कचरा गोळा करणे व त्याची विल्हेवाट लावण्याची वेळ कधीही तुटु शकते. त्याच वेळी मोठया टाउनशिप्स, अपार्टमेंट कॉम्प्लेक्समध्ये घरगुती संघानाही कर्मचारी नसल्यास मर्यादेसह काम करण्यास भाग पाडले जाईल. आपल्याकडे कचरा होण्याची शक्यता आहे. आपला कचरा उचलण्यासाठी कोणीही नसताना या आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीत आपल्या घरातील कचरा व्यवस्थापित करण्यासाठी आम्ही “निराकारण” आणि “संयम” कसे दर्शवू शकतो ते येथे दिलेले आहे.

कचरा वेगळा

कचरा वेगळया 3 श्रेणींमध्ये कसा विभाजित करावा लागतो हे आपल्या सर्वांना माहित आहे. यासारख्या आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीत, हे करणे अधिकच कठीण आहे. घरात जास्तीत जास्त कचरा साठवून ठेवण्यासाठी हेतु हा आहे. याचा अर्थ असा आहे की जे स्वच्छ आणि कोरडे आहे तेच राहिले पाहिजे. कचरा कचरा जे अन्न किंवा इतर क्षययुक्त पदार्थांनी माखले गेले आहे ते धुवून वाळवावे लागतील. आपल्याकडे डब्बा नसल्यास शॉपिंग पिशव्या, कपडे धुऊन मिळण्याचे पिशव्या, शेल्फची जागा, भांडी, पुठठा बॉक्स किंवा कचऱ्यामध्ये असलेले काहीतरी पहा. कोरडे पदार्थ व्यवस्थित आणि स्वच्छ मार्गाने ठेवू शकणारी कोणतीही गोष्ट चालेल कागद, प्लास्टिक पॅकेजिंग, प्लास्टिकचे कंटेनर, काचेच्या बाटल्या, ज्यूस पॅक यासारख्या सामग्रीची क्रमवारी लावा आणि त्या स्वतंत्र कंटेनरमध्ये साठवा. फक्त स्वयंपाकघरातील सर्व कचरा गोळा करण्यासाठी पात्र किंवा कंटेनर तात्पुरते ठेवा. या प्रकरणात कोणतीही प्लास्टिकची वस्तू वापरू नका. सॅनिटरी कचरा आणि धोकादायक कचऱ्यासाठी तिसरा कंटेनर ठेवा. सर्वात महत्वाचे म्हणजे हा कचरा स्वच्छता पाळण्यासाठी वृत्तपत्रात सुरक्षितपणे लपेटला गेला आहे आणि त्यावर “लाल ठिपका” असे चिन्हांकित केले आहे याची खात्री करुन घ्या. अशा आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीत हा कचरा कमीतकमी ठेवण्यासाठी आपल्याला मार्ग शोधणे आवश्यक आहे.

विल्हेवाट लावू नका, त्याऐवजी स्टोअर करा

सर्व प्रथम, आपल्याला काही दिवसांसाठी स्वच्छ आणि कोरडे साहित्य ठेवण्याची योजना आखण्याची आवश्यकता आहे. म्हणून पुठठा बॉक्स उघडण्याचे पहा आणि सपाट करा, ते व्यवस्थित स्वच्छ ठेवण्यासाठी मार्ग शोधा. आपण असे करत असताना जागा जतन करा. अशी जागा आणि कंटेनर नियुक्त करा जे आपल्याला यास एका आठवडयात किंवा त्याहून अधिक व्यवस्थित आणि नीटनेटके साठवता येईल.

स्वयंपाक घरातील सर्व कंपोस्ट कचरा

घरी प्रत्येकासह आणि सर्व रेस्टॉरंटस बंद केल्याने आपल्याला स्वयंपाक करावा लागेल. त्यामुळे ओला कचरा भरपूर ढीग होण्याची अपेक्षा करा. भाज्या तोडताना त्यांना टाकण्यासाठी एक कचरा शोधू नका.  

हा सर्व मौल्यवान कच्चा माल स्वयंपाकघरातील भांडयात किंवा प्लेटमध्ये ठेवा आणि सर्व स्वयंपाक होईपर्यंत जमा करा. आपण स्क्रॅप आणि लहान तुकडे केल्याचे कापताना हे सुनिश्चित करा. अशा प्रकारे, ते गंध मुक्त मार्गात जलद विघटीत होईल.

खराब बादली किंवा कंटेनरमध्ये स्थानांतरित करा आणि बेस तयार करा. आपल्याकडे बाल्कनी बाग असल्यास आदर्शपणे मातीची भांडी म्हणून श्वास घेण्यायोग्य सामग्री वापरा. एकदा लंच किंवा डिनर किंवा जेवण संपल्यानंतर, उरलेले कोणतेही खराब एकत्र करा आणि त्या कंटेनरमध्ये जोडा. आपल्याकडे वाळलेली पाने असल्यास त्यापैकी काही दिवस पुरेल इतके गोळा करा. दिवसा हाताने पाने चिरडून त्या दिवसाच्या व्यर्थात मिसळा. वाळलेल्या पानाचे प्रमाण स्वयंपाकघरातील कचऱ्याच्या प्रमाणात जुळले पाहिजे. मिसळताना, आपण बाल्कनीची बाग असल्यास, संपुर्ण वस्तुमान एकसारखेपणा आणि पोत देण्यासाठी मूठभर बाग माती देखील घालु शकता.

आणीबाणीच्या परिस्थितीत आपल्याकडे कंपोस्ट सुक्ष्मजंतूमध्ये प्रवेश असू शकत नाही. या प्रकरणात मिश्रणात आंबट दही किंवा ताक घाला. आंबायला ठेवायला वापरली जाणारी आपल्या स्वयंपाकघरात आपल्याला जे काही सापडेल ते देखील कार्य करु शकते. गूळ किंवा वाइन किंवा बीयरचा छोटा चमचा देखील युक्ती करु शकेल. कोणताही पातळ पदार्थ घालताना खात्री करा की कंपोस्टींग मास फारच त्रासदायक होणार नाही. त्यात चांगले काम केलेल्या भेळ पुरीची सुसंगतता असावी. जर गोष्टी फारच धोक्यात येत असतील तर कोरडी पाने, कोको-फायबर, माती किंवा काही कचरा कागद, लहान लहान तुकडे घालून सुकवा. एकदा झाल्यावर, खात्री करुन घ्या की ताज्या कचऱ्याचा कोणताही भाग उघड झाला नाही. झाकण्यासाठी आणखी काही बाग माती वापरा. त्यावर झाकण ठेवून कंटेनर बंद करा.

आपल्याला आवश्यक तितके ‍दिवस हे करणे सुरु ठेवा. ओलावा पातळीवर बारीक नजर ठेवा. माध्यमाला कधीच त्रासदायक किंवा जास्त ओले होऊ देऊ नका. आपल्या लक्षात येईल की हा कचरा अजिबात दुर्गंधीयुक्त होत नाही. कंपोस्ट करण्याच्या प्रक्रियेविषयी अधिक मार्गदर्शनासाठी व्हिडिओ पहा. होम कंपोस्टिंगसाठी ब-याच स्त्रोत ऑनलाईन उपल्बध आहेत.

आपण हे शोधू शकता की बऱ्याच दिवसांमध्ये आपण गुंतून ठेवलेत ही सर्वात सुंदर क्रियाकलाप आहे. या प्रकरणात ही कायमची सवय लावा आणि त्यास अधिक कार्यक्षम बनविण्यासाठी मार्ग शोधा.      

 विल्हेवाट करणे थांबवा, कचरा निर्मिती कमी करा

हे सर्वोत्तम वेळी अनुसरुण करणे चांगले असले तरी या कठीण काळात अनावश्यक कचरा निर्माण करणे थांबविणे विशेष महत्वाचे आहे. प्रयत्न करा आणि कचरा प्रमाण खाली ठेवा. जाणीवपूर्वक सेवन करा. घरगुती जैव-वैदयकीय कचरा यासारख्या संकटाचा कचरा कमी करणे किंवा दूर करणे आवश्यक आहे जे घराच्या बाहेर गोळा आणि विल्हेवाट लावणे आवश्यक आहे. मुलांसाठी कपडयांचे डायपर वापरून पहा. धुण्यायोग्य आणि पुन्हा वापरण्यायोग्य पर्याय शोधा. स्त्रियांनी कपडयांच्या सॅनिटरी पॅड किंवा मासिक पाळीच्या कपांसारख्या टिकाऊ मासिक उत्पादनाकडे वळण्याची संधी शोधली पाहीजे.

आपल्या हाऊसिंग समुदाय किंवा कल्याण संघटनेमध्ये व्यस्त रहा  

उरलेल्या कचऱ्यामुळे त्रास होऊ शकतो. गृहनिर्माण समुदायातील आपल्या शेजाऱ्यांना आव्हान आहे का. ते शोधा. उपाय शोधण्यासाठी आपल्या समिती सदस्यांना आपल्या समर्थनाची आवश्यकता असू शकते. व्हाटसअप ग्रुप बनवा आणि आपत्कालीन परिस्थितीशी लढण्यासाठी आपले विचार,कल्पना आणि रणनिती सामायिक करा. आपल्या शेजाऱ्यांना मदत करा, मज्जातंतू शांत करा, घाबरू नका. आवश्यक असल्यास, समुदाय पातळीवर समस्येचे निराकरण करा. मुख्यपुष्ठ पातळीवर आव्हान असण्याऱ्या काही समस्यांमध्ये चांगले समुदाय समाधान असू शकतात. ई-कचरा, बांधकाम विध्वंस कचरा समाजात काही काळ ठेवला जाऊ शकतो. आपल्याकडे आधीपासूनच बागेत जागा किंवा कंपोस्ट खड्डे  किंवा वापरात नसलेली मशीन असल्यास समुदाय कंपोस्टिंग प्रकल्प सुरु करण्याचा विचार करा.

कचरा कामगार आणि नगरपालिका कर्मचारी यांना सहकार्य करा

कचरा उचलणारे कचरा कामगार, कचरा प्रक्रिया करणारे कर्मचारी आणि नगरपालिका स्वच्छता कर्मचारी हयांना परिस्थितीचा फटका बसणार आहे. सहाय्यक असल्याचे पहा आणि ‍विधायक सहकार्य द्या. हे समजून घ्या की या कामगारांना सामाजिक अंतराचे निकष देखील पाळले पाहिजेत. ते केवळ प्रशासकीय आणि पायाभूत सुविधांच्या कमतरतेमुळेच नव्हे तर त्यांच्या कामकाजाच्या परिस्थितीमुळे संसर्ग होण्याचे प्रमाण जास्त असण्याची शक्यता असल्यामुळे ते सर्वात असुरक्षित असतील. आपल्या संपर्कात आलेल्या अशा कचरा कामगारांना मदत करा आणि साध्या उपायांनी त्यांचे स्वत:चे रक्षण करण्यात मदत करा. शक्य असल्यास त्यांना प्रशिक्षण आणि जागरुकता ऑफर करा.

रविवारी 22 मार्च रोजी सर्व नागरिकांना सकाळी 7 ते रात्री 9 या वेळेत 14 तासासाठी घरात राहण्याचे आवाहन करण्यात आले होते. “जनता कफर्यू” किंवा स्वत: ची प्रेरीत लॉक-डाउन, लोकांना सामाजिक अंतराचे सराव करण्यास प्रोत्साहित करण्यासाठी आहे. स्वत:चा शोध घेऊन, आम्ही आदरणीय स्वच्छता

कर्मचाऱ्यांना सुरक्षित राहण्यास आणि रविवारी जनता कफर्यूचा सराव करण्यास मदत करुया. जेव्हा आपण या कठीण परिस्थितीत आपल्याला सुरक्षित आणि संरक्षित ठेवण्यासाठी धडपडत असतो अशा सर्व लोकांचे आभार आम्ही कृतज्ञता दर्शकन 5 वाजता त्यांना आपल्या अंत:करणात ठेवूया. या संकटाच्या शेवटी, संग्रहीत कर्मचाऱ्यांना सर्व संग्रहीत व स्वच्छ कोरडा कचरा छाटलेल्या स्थितीत द्या. जर आम्ही आपल्याला काही उचित मार्गदर्शन करण्यात मदत केली असेल तर स्वतंत्र कचरा व्यवस्थापनाची कायमची सवय लावा.  आम्हाला कॉल करा आणि सर्वोत्तम वेळेत हे करण्याचे चांगले मार्ग शोधण्यात आम्ही आपल्याला मदत करू. आपल्याला या प्रकारच्या आणीबाणीचा पुन्हा सामना करावा लागणार नाही.

Handling Sanitary Waste in a COVID-19 Lock-down

Handling Sanitary Waste in a COVID-19 Lock-down

With our cities locked-down under the COVID-19 pandemic, it is to be expected that our garbage clearance and housekeeping services will come under pressure. To add to this, municipal manpower and services will also be significantly reduced. Consequently, it is possible that your door to door collection service will become uncertain or unreliable, or in the worst case, it will break down completely. There could be no garbage clearance for days.

Under these circumstances, we can find simple ways to handle 90-95% of our waste, if we improvise and plan in advance. Instead of looking for a single bin to dump all our trash, we should sort our trash first, and keep it clean, dry and odour free. We’ll need to store most of the recyclable materials. Wet waste can be home composted with ease. Electronic waste can be kept separate and stored for however long it takes.

However, one type of waste will be challenging; Sanitary Waste. In this article we will try to cover different ways in which sanitary waste can be disposed. We will limit ourselves to regular households only. Households which are under home quarantine will need to take special care to keep their trash sorted and delivered only to approved professional agencies according to bio-medical waste management standards.

What is Sanitary Waste?

Sanitary waste primarily consists of bathroom waste. This includes:

  • baby diapers, adult diapers
  • sanitary pads
  • condoms
  • soiled tissue paper from bathrooms
  • any other material that comes into bodily contact or is contaminated with bodily fluids, such as blood, urine or faeces.
  • Pet and animal litter.
  • Additionally, at household level, bandages, waxing strips, syringes, shaving blades and sharps, dead insects and pests which could also lead to the spread of infectious diseases is considered sanitary waste

Why is Sanitary Waste Disposal Challenging?

Sanitary waste disposal is challenging for following reasons:

  • It cannot be stored for long. it decomposes very quickly, spreads bad odors and is disgusting to be around.
  • Sanitary waste is bio-hazardous, since it harbors pathogens which spread infectious diseases.
  • It is difficult to handle. Waste generators do not know enough or care enough to keep it segregated and protected. It’s collection and transport requires extensive hygiene and safety measures. Waste workers are most vulnerable to hazardous conditions created.
  • At household level quantities are very small. Hence, the separate collection, handling, aggregation and disposal of waste becomes expensive.
  • It is difficult to process. In most cases processing facilities are expensive to build and do not have enough processing capacity. Subsequently, in most cases, this contaminated waste is dumped in untreated landfills or dumps.  

What are the Solutions?

1. Avoid Waste, Choose Alternatives

The best and most efficient way to approach sanitary waste is to go zero waste or look at generating minimum. Baby Diapers and Sanitary pads form the largest share of sanitary waste. If eco-friendly alternatives can be chosen, there will be little or no waste.

  1. Baby Diapers: Did you know that a baby exclusively wearing disposable diapers generates more than 900 kg of garbage in the first two years? Disposable diapers are made of plastic and also contain harmful chemicals. Using them exclusively is as irresponsible as open defecation. In fact, it is much worse, since it also brings with it a large carbon footprint and toxic chain. There are several alternatives that can be purchased, such as cloth diapers. You could consider the traditional Indian cotton Langot as well.

Here are some options to consider:

  • Bumpadum
  • Superbottoms
  • Tushions
  • Bouncing Peaches
  • Make your own cloth diapers
  • A lot of baby stores such as First Cry have sustainable cloth and reusable diaper options
  • You can also find these options on Flipkart, Amazon

For more ideas and knowledge please read this article from a mother who turned into an enterpreneur.

Watch what Mayim Biyalik, the award winning star from The Big Bang Theory has to say about bringing up babies without diapers in this video.

Join Facebook Groups Cloth Diapering India, Cloth Diapers for Beginners

  1. Adult Diapers: Adult diapers are advised to people who have medical issues such as urinary or faecal incontinence, bed-ridden patients, patients with mental disabilities, etc. There are several options to find sustainable solutions here similar to baby diapers, such as the use of underpads and re-usable diapers.

While the options for these products in the market are very few at the moment, the volume of adult diapers in waste is also very low. Zero waste solutions here will be largely on similar lines as baby diapers.

  1. Sanitary Pads: Sanitary pads along with baby diapers form the largest volume of sanitary waste and hence it is critical to reduce the use of disposable options.

Statistics show, that a woman uses between 10,000 – 15,000 sanitary pads in her lifetime. Apart from creating a huge disposal problem, disposable pads contain chemicals such chlorine, phthalates and plastic which can lead to reproductive disorders, developmental defects and even cancer.

The zero waste alternatives in this case involve shifting to menstrual cloth, re-usable pads and menstrual cups. Disposable pads and tampons should be avoided.

Source: UNICEF Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene 2019 Page 59

Here are some options for sanitary materials:

For more expert guidance on sustainable menstruation, please visit Green the Red2bin1bag and join Facebook Groups: Menstrual Cups Cloth Pads (MCCP)

2. Sort, Pack & Dispose

In the present lock-down situation, most of us did not have ready alternatives at hand. Hence, the best way to handle the situation is to make sure that sanitary waste is packed or tied securely in newspaper, marked with a “red dot” and kept separate. Please watch this video to understand more about the “red dot” campaign.

During the lock-down, consider home composting and storing dry waste at home to reduce the load on the overall trash collection system. As such, only sanitary waste should go out and nothing else. With no disposal facility available look for a community solution temporarily to tide over the crisis. More details are provided in the following section.

3. Look for Community Collection & Disposal

When there is no door to door collection, storing sanitary waste at home is not possible. Until proper disposal can be restored, community level collection and storage is the solution. To achieve this, each waste generator should take the responsibility to deliver waste into a community bin or into a deep pit or sanitary waste composting pit specially made for this purpose.

The community bin can be a 200+ l plastic chemical storage drum with a cover. It can be located far away from any living or habitable space. Consider using terraces of buildings for temporary collection. Based on volume, multiple containers may be necessary.

To prevent odors and stench, dry leaves, shredded garden waste, saw dust or cocopeat can be used to cover the waste. Alongside, an organic odor reduction spray such as EM solution can be sprayed.

All the contents of the bin can be disposed once the municipal system is restored.

As a temporary solution, deep burial or compost pits can be made to treat sanitary waste. This should be considered, provided the quantities of waste is below 50 kg per day. The pits should be created at least 7-10 m away from the nearest water source. More details here. We do not recommend burning or incineration at community level.

Fortunately, the quantities of sanitary waste compared to overall trash is very small. As a result, it can be handled well at the community level.

4. Create Awareness

Knowledge sharing and awareness generation on sustainable alternatives and methods for sanitary waste management form a very important link in achieving a behavior shift in reducing this problem.

Create awareness as follows:

  • Inviting experts to give talks in the community
  • Keeping in touch with organizations working in this field such as Stone Soup
  • Joining support groups on Social Media

Contact us if you want to organise an awareness program remotely.

To summarize, our objective as a community should be to minimize sanitary waste generation and handle what is unavoidable in a safe and sustainable way right from generation to final disposal.

With the handling of sanitary waste efficiently, we prevent the contamination of compost-able and recyclable wastes. This is a huge contribution to sustainable waste management, which can transform hygiene, health and cleanliness in our community in a holistic manner. Consider shifting your lifestyle now!