experiences, through essays and articles.
Waste Management: A
Shantharam Shenai, is the much
talked about man, who has brought to the fore the natural ways
of dealing with garbage, thus answering every negative aspect
of disposal. He is known as the "garbage guru" and is in the
process of setting up a project in partnership with the
Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai and the Mumbai
Metropolitan Region- Environment Improvement
eco systems like the deep burrowing earthworms can
make a difference in the way we deal with waste
management. By being a little cautious the way we
throw garbage we can contribute in the
was first segregated as "Wet and Dry Garbage".
Then it was converted into 'Wasted Natural Matter'
and 'Wasted Manmade Matter', implying that the
person who performed the 'act of wasting' was
growing awareness the correct terms considered
today are "Not Useful Natural Matter" and "Not
Useful Manmade Matter".
revelation is that misplaced organic matter, due
to garbage, leads to epidemic. We welcome problems
and then escape or try to rectify it. Better
understanding will lead to new attitudes,
eventually leading to new habits.
generally natural and manmade, which is getting more and more
complicated. Carelessly mixing organic and inorganic waste, we
dispose them with a 'nimby'
('Not-in-my-Backyard') attitude, polluting the air, land and
sea. The waste that is created has to be disposed off. At
present, a lot of money is spent by our Municipal Corporation
to collect, transport and dispose the waste. But this act of
disposing off is causing unimaginable environmental pollution.
The latest concern is the medical waste. In the attempt to
destroy infected medical wastes, their burning converts a
'Biological Problem' into an alarming 'Chemical
toxic metals like lead, cadmium, chromium and mercury
from otherwise stable manmade products like
toxic byproducts like dioxins and furans from
chlorinated plastics, which are endocrine
control devices that employ dry scrubbing techniques
generate toxic ash while wet scrubbing generates toxic
adverse impacts on human metabolism, reproductive biology and
immune competence are tenfold. Also our conventional and
contemporary sewage treatment plants only aerate the sewage
but do not remove or extract the nitrates and phosphates. They
are poured into our seas and rivers, thus wrecking the
eco-systems, for time to come. Then, "why are we allowing such
ways of disposal of products that create horrific problems?"
insist on mixing Not Useful Natural Matter with Not Useful
Manmade Matter, thus, forcing the rag pickers to separate and
recover some Not Useful Manmade Matter to earn a little money.
Rag pickers are not a nuisance, but are Environment friendly
without being employed by the Municipal Corporation. If people
Do Take The Trouble Not To Mix 'Not Useful Natural Matter'
with 'Not Useful Manmade Matter', most of the unsoiled,
recyclable 'Not Useful Manmade Matter' will be available
practices of disposal of organic wastes lead to outbreak of
Plague, Malaria and Dengue Fever. Waste is also burnt, but we
run a risk of global warming. There are traditional and modern
composting techniques. But here too, there is a tremendous
loss of organic byproducts.
need are eco technologies, which destroy the pathogens without
attempting to destroy the materials. Deep Burrowing Earthworm
eco technology has answers to deal with infectious wastes. The
"miracle workers", the Deep Burrowing Earthworms have a tough
gizzard that is able to crush rock particles to the size of 1
micron, thus releasing valuable minerals inside their gut with
its extremely high hemoglobin content. The aerobic bacteria
inside the gut of the earthworm multiply rapidly, and work on
the minerals and organics, which repeatedly pass through till
it is "Soiled". When added to organic matter the chemical
conditions help in synthesizing vitamins, antibiotics, besides
other products, which are yet to be understood. The pH
conditions inside the gut of the earthworm are just right for
this miraculous processing.
forest, 1 cm of topsoil takes about 200 years to
"manufacture". But today, the "Deep Burrowing Earthworms"
prove a technical tool, to utilize our organics, produced from
city life, into a miraculous and extremely valuable
bio-fertilizer or topsoil with magical properties.
be utilized in city sanitation, city toilets, recycling of
sewage, and restoration of saline soils and degraded lands,
besides the conversion of chemical farmed land into organic
farmed land, without loss in yield.
Eco-technology can be handled by an individual, a housing
society, on a community level and a municipal level. This bio
fertilizer ensures chemical and pesticide free crops, fruits
and vegetables, which give us good nutrition leading to good
endeavor to produce soil, nature has scavenger creatures like
rats, cockroaches, mosquitoes, etc, acting as an elaborate
nitrate recovery mechanism essential for the creation of
topsoil. However these creatures are helpful only if
population remains below a critical level. It has been
revealed that there is a comfort zone for each of these
creatures in terms of pH and moisture. No amount of poisoning
and fumigation can make significant dent on the population of
scavenger creatures unless the acidic food supply caused by
purifying garbage is dealt in simple manner.
- Effects of waste disposal
are bad for mankind - Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum from the U.S.
Environmental protection agency, states, "Dioxin
affects binding proteins, it affects hormones, including
thyroid, estrogens, androgens, glucocorticoids, gastrin and insulin. This in
turn changes homeostasis in the organism. It
affects growth factors, leading to changes in the
proliferation and differentiation of cells in
culture. All this results in subtle changes in
enzyme activity indicating liver changes, in
levels of circulating reproductive hormones in
males, in reduced glucose tolerance, and in
cellular changes related to immune
are family of toxic substances that scientists
call polychlorinated di-benzo-para-dioxins. They
can be transported in the atmosphere over long
distances and are found
sources of dioxin releases to the environment
include municipal waste incinerators, iron
manufacturing, cement kilns, and some chemical
dumps. High levels in the environment can
generally be linked to specific sources, such as
with waste in natural ways can help reduce dioxins
level in the environment.
Let us attempt at
handling waste instead of vainly fighting the forces of
Nature. Any act of controlling has to be done in harmony with
existing natural chemical
The deep burrowing
earthworm vermiculture techniques is a good solution to recover
from the brink of disaster.
The strategy of
Utilization can result in incalculable wealth and harmony for
life in our rural areas and good health for our urbanites.
For pest control
in the city or rather pest harmonizing, a simple way to
rapidly correct the pH imbalance is to use Lime and other
mineral bearing rock powders from stone crushing
Sanitation has to
be reworked, keeping in mind Nitrate Balance, pH, and
moisture. The sewage system was designed by a plumber and
improved by hydraulic engineers. Today, the input of a
microbiologist is urgently needed. It cannot be left to an
engineering department. All these waste handling systems need
to be urgently re-engineered. By just obeying a few simple
rules of nature, it is possible to live in Harmony, Dignity
and Prosperity. Life can become a celebration!
seminars and demonstrations are held on how
to implement these programs and training is
offered to concerned citizens, municipal officials
and their staff. Also specific solutions are
designed for specific problems.
for Details: - Green Cross Society Foundation,
Mumbai, Versova Municipal Sewage Pumping Station,
Opp Indian Oil
Nagar, J.P. Road, Andheri (West), Mumbai 400 053
093241 56273 (added later)
Dr. H.S.Shankar, Dept of Chemical Engineering,
I.I.T Powai, Dr. Uday Bhawalkar
(PhD), Shrm. LATA SHRIKHANDE, of
Kanchan Gully, Pune, Fatima Vengurlekar, my parents and my wife Sneha.
is dedicated to my Spiritual Guru Sri Ravishankar (Art of Living