Reuse

Climate change has been a hot issue in recent years. Climate change is closely connected with the save of energy. While most developed countries attempt to research for a better renewable energy, waste management is still the biggest challenge to solve in my home country.  I’ve ever read about the waste management in Germany where its government concerns a lot about the waste. They differentiate the waste based on the characteristics in different bin and also reuse the waste as the source of energy in Munich. Even the government is strict enough about the waste disposal.

I do not blame government for the waste management in my home country (as what I compare with the situation in Germany), though actually government is the main part in controlling the country since they rule most sectors for the country development, right? Everyone should actually pay attention about the disposal of their home waste (the daily waste produced). We can start to put the organic and inorganic waste in different bin (dual rubbish system). In fact, this does not work properly here. For instance when you go around some places like tourism destination here and there dual rubbish bins available for the organic and inorganic waste, people still throw the trash in the wrong bin.

I am quite interested with the waste recycling in Munich (Germany) told in the “Culture Shock, A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette Munich” by Elizabeth Smith. In Munich, the area organizer will explain about the rubbish sorting system. There, “der Gelbe Sack” (yellow sack) is used to package waste (i.e paper and glass). The sacks will be collected by the garbage authorities once a fortnight. Each sack is printed with name of different waste types (so you can put different rubbish in different sack). Things such as milk, juice cartons, wrapping from food, bottle tops are collected in different sacks and must be washed thoroughly before being thrown. People who forget to put the waste in the right sack or bin will be traced and also fined for their misdemeanor. The bin etiquette is also managed, for instance people should never use the bin on Sundays since it might disturb the neighbors. The dual rubbish system in Munich works effectively. People who put the plastics or bottle waste into the organic sack will face the situation where the garbage collector wouldn’t take the sacks and they will be charged for the waste left there.

Here in my home country, I find a very contradictive situation. Most of the house located in housing complex usually has a waste bin and they commonly do not differentiate the waste, so you could always find plastic bottles or glass with the waste of food in the same bin. For them who live out of the housing complex they usually throw the trash into the river or they collect the trash in an open land in the back of their house which then cause health problem and soil contamination. Many people just do not know what to do with the waste, especially in certain areas whose government pays less attention to. In Germany, the government does recycling and reusing of the plastics waste. They seriously manage the waste.  They incinerate the organic waste as the source of energy also.

One of the REUSE actions I recently have done is the reuse of the waste in microbiology laboratory where I work (this is a very simplest thing I can do in my working place besides reusing the second paper). Here we use Petri Dish (the dish for growing bacteria with liquid or solid medium). Each Petri dish consists of a thick filter paper. For Escherichia coli analysis we usually use solid medium while the filter is used for the liquid medium only, so we put out the filter from the dish. We can put out 40 filters a day.  The filter is cycle in form and it’s thick and hard enough. Because the filter is no longer used, usually the papers are thrown away into the rubbish bin. But then I thought about the REUSE action. I took those filters and I could reuse them to become some usable stuffs. Take a look at the picture 😀

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Those are the simplest examples I could share about the REUSE action.