3 R-ing on the farm- Reducing, recycling and reusing.
Waste management isn’t as much about recycling, as it is about reducing. Or at least it should be.
However, since zero waste production isn’t always possible, there is the second best option of recycling waste. Here’s how we try managing our waste on the farm.
It is possible to generate almost no organic waste if care is taken to not waste food. The most obvious waste disposal technique that comes to mind - if you are growing plants - is to compost kitchen waste which we later compost in a pit or in the cow manure. Vermi-composting with earthworms (kecchua khad) can also be practiced.
Apart from kitchen waste for the manure, ‘cowables’, or eatables for cows like banana peals can be collected separately. ‘Cowables’, eventually turn into cow manure/khaad too.
Rice water, which is high in nutrition, is fermented and used to water plants!
Dog fur can be used to make dog yarn, we learnt recently! Who knew?https://blog.peepalfarm.org/dont-broom-that-dog-hair-yet-yarn-it-f10033bc274e
Most inorganic waste produced on the farm is from what we eat in preserved bottles, packet,tins; use to wash ourselves and clothes with; medical waste from treating animals and other construction material.
In areas where there is no concrete government provision through a municipality waste collection system, it helps to innovate ways in which one can re-use waste; even medical waste recycled with care since the only other option left otherwise is to burn or dispose off material in a land-fill.
Inorganic waste can almost always be recycled for farm use or given as kabaad/scrap. It requires only some effort to separate inorganic waste for recycling or using.
How do we manage inorganic waste on the farm?
-Bottles are collected and used to store seeds.
-Saline bottles from the medical waste are used to plant saplings.
-Syringes and pens are used to mark saplings.
-Injection vials are used for seed storage or for giving them away.
-Medical sharps and needles are stuffed into pet bottles with other plastic wrappers so we may use the plastic bottles as bricks for construction.
-Beer bottles are used in construction like here, to build dog houses.
There’s always ways one can reduce use and re-use materials to create new objects or replace other materials. All we’ve got to do is THINK with an open mind.