A visit to Dumpyard..

23 03 2005

Never did I ever thought of visiting a dump yard. Yes it do have my contribution, which I negligently throw away carefully, but its really the first time when we went to see the repercussions of the modern life. As a class studying Science, Technology and Ecology, we visited the Pune dump yard.

We checked the innumerable plastic and polythene lying on the soil. There is this huge landfill, which spanned around 20 acres. Its like a mountain of filth and garbage, our creative creation! The garbage is covered with glass, plastic, aluminum and other heavy metals, which are not degradable, by nature.

This garbage is located a little faraway from the city so that we don’t have to look at our creation and bear its effects. Still its only 20 kms faraway. How much away can you get out of it? The garbage is not going to go anyway. Its takes around 25000 years for it to start degrading, till then the water which passes through it gets into the ground water and its finally going to get back to us only.

We have seen a huge pool of water just down the mountain of landfill where the water is so polluted that you won’t even wish your enemy to die in it. The bougainvilleas that are growing by the side of garbage dump are very small plants with huge floweration. May be even the plant can’t tolerate the unholy conditions that its going against the natural process to age fast, quickening the life cycle. It’s screaming to end its life!

Concept of Waste.. If we look at the nature, there is no thing called waste. Nothing goes as waste in nature. Waste word itself seems like a misnomer.. An end output of one process goes as an input for the other, what a beautiful balanced system nature is. We brag of beautifully designed industries but does that anyway come near to the natural Design? The waste each industry generates are so toxic and harmful, and the way we dispose off it with utter negligence as landfill is a shame. In school, I read about bioreactors, waste management.. I saw nothing in action. Seems as if there is no end to my ignorance.

There are many people who are working on the landfill, people who are manning the trucks and the cranes. Along the side are kids who are scavenging for the empty plastics and glass bottles, trying to make something worthwhile of the endless dump pit. Just thoughts, what kind of life are we gifting to these young kids who represent the future generations.

It is just mind-boggling if I try to check the repercussions on the people who are working there. They are working in unhygenic conditions, conditions that we couldn’t even bear for 5 minutes. The psychological impact these kinds of conditions would have is even beyond my imagination. They must be having a very bad quality of life. Exposed to and tormented by these unruly conditions, they would get addicted to drugs and become prey to all kinds of diseases. Of all the ironies of life, these people do contribute to our GDP! What kind of life does the villagers, who had to live in nearby places of the dump?

Hurting the ecological balance.. Yup! That’s what we do.. If we look at the landfill, the nature tries to solve the problem by using bandicoots and rats, which can use this waste. But then, there won’t be any snakes to prey on them as snakes can’t survive that environment. So we are increasing an effect, which cant, be curtailed by the complementary effect of the nature. Soon the landfill is populated by innumerable rats, of which a single infected one can cause a wildfire of plague, which can effectively eradicate hundreds of people. Yes! Its true, what you give is what begets you..

Modern Inventions: Plastics.. Never seen much of them in villages, but yes we are doing our best to modernize. I read a lot of articles on the immortal plastic, how its hurting the other animals who consume it.. But always a visual is more powerful. The whole road and the dump is filled with plastic. A huge part of land is covered with nothing other than plastic. Plastic being an inorganic substance is not degradable by nature, and also it’s suffocating the land buy covering it making it die little by little. If I look at my life, it seems as if its invaded by plastics.. Even the keyboard on which I am typing. The packaging industry, which is so complex, the Tetrapak packaging which is not bio-degradable anyways, it’s supposed to be convenient, but does the convenience come at the cost of lives of others?

Solutions, Solutions.. The modern civilization has become so modernized.. We have excess of everything so we don’t even care less for the impact it has on others. As long as everything works for us, we are happy. No matter if our neighbors suffer. Doesn’t really bother if our future kids are hurt.. Am I really this selfish? Is really wealth means having everything in excess, or is it means being rich in true sense and having the ability to say enough? We devise centralized solutions for small problems, increasing the complexity.. Solutions which look like this garbage dump.. A little bit of commitment from everyone does help, is anyone game?

Makes me wonder, When are we going to stop treating the symptoms and addressing the core source of the problem (i.e., the way we live)?



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