Sunday, May 21, 2017

Waste is gold

waste, gold, management, life

''...waste isn't entirely useless because there are people and businesses who will pay to have them.''                                                                                                   Anonymous.

I begin my write-up by telling a pleasant tale of two entities... :

  1. Cyclus [a firm] is located in a coastal town south of Accra, Elimina to be precise. It collects processes and recycles waste from households, hotels, restaurants and industries. The end product is supplied to different manufacturers who make a variety of stuff like jeans, carpets, tennis balls and more. These find their way back to the market as new products.
  2. Zabaleen (meaning Garbage people) is a community in Cairo Egypt. The inhabitants made a resolve to make a living out of other's trash. There, the men use donkey carts and pickups to pick garbage from all over Cairo. On returning home, the women and children hand-sort about 9000 tonnes of garbage into several categories of waste (on a daily basis). These are transformed into quilts, rugs, pots, paper, livestock feeds, compost, recycled plastic products like hangers and more. Meanwhile, the people sell their pickings to local manufacturers who reuse the materials or export them as recycled raw material. The recycling efficiency of the garbage people are mind blowing. Perhaps, the west should go learn from them. It is inspiring that their business model provides regular income and decent livelihoods for more than 50,000 people living in the area. Besides they have spared Cairo the gloom of getting buried in its own waste.   

By Definition, waste is anything that people do not value anymore and would love to throw away. It could be anything from a bland container already emptied or some contraption you’re bored with. Whichever way you look at it, it’s a phenomenon we humans have to live with. I would not delve into the nitty-gritty of waste management. I’ll get lost in the trash [kidding]. However, there lies a useful philosophy at the core of all the trash talk.

A School of thought holds that goods are destroyed in the process of consumption. I vehemently disagree with that. I recall that Matter (waste included) cannot be created nor destroyed but can be transformed from A to B. Waste would be a renewable and convertible resource, provided there are humans on the smiley face of the earth. As the waste management systems become more efficient, the inorganic waste you throw away will come back to you sooner, in a better form. What goes around comes around…

We differ by the degrees to which we harness our endowments and transform our own mess. This attribute determines how far we progress in life. The utility of something is limited by the scope of one’s knowledge and imagination. Basically, nothing is useless, and everything is useful, given the right conditions. Just because you don’t value something doesn’t mean it is useless...

There is something precious to recover from the waste of yesterday. It is interesting that unpleasant animal excreta serves as manure to sustain the flora. Similarly, the brown mess of one’s past, if properly processed, can make the future greener.

One man's weakness is another man's strength. The weaknesses of the world should motivate the strong; the strength of the world should protect the weak. Indeed, the weak should look up to the strong, and the strong should look out for the weak.

We are living off the byproduct of each other’s activity: the green plants depend on carbon dioxide and other assorted wastes from us. We depend on their oxygen and delicious organs, though not all of us are vegetarians.

The earth and the rest of the universe is a system where matter and energy are recycled somehow.

The raw materials of human civilization did not fall from the sky. They were sourced from the ground with effort. When man tinkers matter (or waste), something happens whether he notices it or not. In his quest for some reward, he weaves elaborate links between action and outcome. In fact, the ingenuity, hence success, of a civilization can be measured by how well it tackles the waste problem.

If you do not deal with your rubbish, you’ll definitely get buried in it. Efficiency of waste management MUST continually rise to keep up with the explosive population growth in Africa.

Manage waste responsibly such that it becomes a win-win arrangement for man and environment.


                       THANK YOU FOR READING MY POST

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