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Standard VI

Action Research Project

Topic for 2017–2018
Where does it all go?
Introduction Land degradation:
l  nvironment, sustainability are the keywords
E Land is being used as a commodity and not as
for human welfare today. We talk a lot about community to which we belong. Soil pollution,
greenhouse gases (GHG), carbon emissions and loss of fertility of soil are major issues caused due
waste. It is time we realise that ecology considers to chemical fertilizers, insecticides and dumping
‘everything is connected to everything else’. of waste.
l In this way, what we call as waste is a product
of all activities that we do during the day for Pollution of fresh water resources:
weeks, months and years to go! In nature, we Major rivers as well as ground water resources
see the cyclic exchange of materials taking are polluted due to sewage and industrial toxic
place between living and non-living resources. waste. Here we must remember that we have
l With advancement of science and technology been dumping waste in the sea considering it
and change in lifestyle, problem of waste, its a bottomless pit. This has destroyed marine
production, handling and environmental effects ecosystem to a greater extent.
has become more severe. The ideal situation
would be ‘Zero Waste’ approach. Though it Deforestation:
may appear to be too ideal, it’s not too many We have been planting trees to get timber
years ago, we were almost close to zero waste! and firewood and even to earn carbon credits.
Plastic weren’t used to wrap foods and materials However, we have never realised that by cutting
like cloth or paper were used repeatedly to save trees to use it for such purposes, we are actually
money and resources. losing forests thereby destroying biodiversity and
livelihood of natives.
Major environmental problems
can be categorised as: Urbanisation:
l  apid urbanisation has led to concentration
Emission, rains and of population in small areas where there in
climate change: tremendous pressure on resources. To provide
Climate change is expected to result in rise in for basic amenities in these areas, staples are
the sea-level and affect rains. India is having a being brought from outside and dumps of
vast coastline and majority of the population is wastes are taken away. This is adding to the
dependent on monsoon (rains) for agriculture. The pollution!
climate change may affect India in a big way.  Thus, we need to address the problem of

Dr. Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Spardha | Standard VI | English Medium 157

waste and its disposal to get rid of these problems. laboratory chemicals and chemicals used in
In order to combat the situation 3Rs are processing.
suggested - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. l Organic waste like waste food, clothes made of
But it’s time we stop and think. Have we natural fibres, papers, farm waste, undigested
actually reduced harvesting resources at least waste etc.
in any one activity? E. g. Have we actually l Biomedical waste, nuclear waste.
started reducing water consumption? Buying l Electronic or E-waste.
less clothes?
 Do we really recycle? Do we actually A few examples of waste:
reuse? This actually reduces load on Asbestos, batteries, carcases of dead animals,
landfills and waste management systems. cooking oil, greeting/invitation cards, furniture,
It is very important to notice the 4th R i. e. glass, printer cartridges, light bulbs, mercury
Review. We need to review our actions as well as and dental amalgam, paint, wrappers/packets
review the entire process of handling of waste. of chips/biscuits etc., disposable goods like used
tissue papers, nappies, paper dishes etc. The list
Why this review is important? is endless.
l  he environmental impact associated with
waste, mainly result from its disposal. So, Possibilities of major waste
less waste that needs to be handled, lesser the creation:
damage that is caused. Social gatherings, outings and travel,
l Some items for disposal are made from materials refurbishing/demolition activities, change of
which are limited in supply. Therefore, reducing residence, festivals, railway stations, malls,
the amount of waste produced and keeping the hospitals, production industries etc.
same material in circulation is important.
l Poorly controlled landfills can cause pollution Do we think of what happens to -
in terms of release of toxic gases on land and in l t he water that goes down the drain?
water resources. We are also aware of accidents l the wrapper of chips or chocolate that is
like sudden fire at dumping grounds. Foul casually thrown from moving vehicle or while
smell, leaching and spread of diseases are a few walking on the road?
other issues. l the household waste that is dumped in
l Increase in environmental and health impacts of municipal vehicle?
landfills have resulted in limiting availability of l the disposables dumped at picnic sites?
dumping sites and increase in cost of disposal. l the magnitude of waste created in our own
l For certain wastes, suitable sites are needed. building/school etc.?
E. g. For radioactive waste.
l Wherever possible proximity principle should It is time we take a look as step two and
be applied. It means, waste has environmental, further of waste disposable so that we realise
social and economic cost. So, as s general rule, unknowingly how we are increasing our carbon
waste should be dealt with as near to the place footprint merely by handling waste! Also, we
of production as possible. are putting pressure on environment by virtue
of huge waste disposable infrastructure like
Array of waste materials produced: pipelines, dumping grounds, waste collecting
l Chemicals like cleaners, medicines, cosmetics, vehicles, waste processing machinery and several

158 Dr. Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Spardha | Standard VI | English Medium

other things which we are unaware of. What students have to do?
We must remember, future belongs to those l  ead this text/pamphlet carefully.
who understand that doing more with less is l Observe at home, school, workplace, native
compassionate, prosperous and enduring and place or neighbourhood.
this is more intelligent and even competitive. l Select any one aspect/possibility of waste
creation and its disposal and possibility of
Improved designs that will reduce hazardous outcome of disposal.
wastage: l Find out what happens to the disposed waste,
its transport, handling and disposal at least for
Some examples: details of the next step.
l  ecyclable waste handling by rag-pickers
R l Study all aspects of disposal, methodology,
l Fate of water used in artificial immersion ponds technology, transport, immediate threats to
during Ganesh festival. environment and economics.
l Segregation and disposal by raddiwala. l Think of any better methodology, if possible.
l Drainage system of any building - Its l Try to implement.
maintenance and problems. l Check feasibility.
l Recycling of paper/plastic - Actual process. l Write report.
l Waste created at water treatment/waste water
treatment plants. (Reference:
l Parts of vegetables like stems of cauliflower,
outer leaves of cabbage etc. in vegetable
l Rain water that falls and flows away.
l Waste from wet waste and dry waste bins.
l Water used in cooling plants.
l CFL bulbs.
l Water used in fish farming.
l Water from cooling plants.
l Waste created during refurbishing of a
house/building redevelopment.
l Medicines/foods stocks left after expiry date.
l Innovative waste handing projects - Nisargruna
at BARC.
l Use of fly ash

These are just examples. Students can select any

one topic that fits into main theme and study
Remember, we have to study step 2 and ahead of
waste handling i.e. what happens after we have
discarded it, so that we gain an insight about
need of reducing waste.

Dr. Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Spardha | Standard VI | English Medium 159