Burning of leaves in the residential areas in open is the easiest way to dispose offsolid waste (garbage, dry leaves etc.) by the cleaning-staff without realizing its ill effects and the harm it causes to the environment. Although this practice is banned under the Environment Controls Laws, it is a fact that such burning continues uncontrolled. Burning of arboreal waste consisting of leaf litter, horticultural trimmings, weeds and grass create smoke which is full of hazardous chemicals including Carbon Monoxide, Oxides of Nitrogen and Sulphur and Respiratory Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM).
Health Implications -
As mentioned above, leaf smoke, besides being and irritant, contains many hazardous chemicals including Carbon Monoxide and Toxic Gases and thus can cause significant health problems. It irritate the eyes, nose and throat of healthy adults, it can be much more harmful to small children and people with asthma or lungs or heart diseases. In short, burning of leaves create an unhealthy and unpleasant environment.
Possible Solutions -
Resident Welfare Associations (RWA’s) in their respective sectors can play a big role in handling and disposal of horticultural waste as mere promulgating laws will not be of much help. The horticultural waste arising from individual plots can be best dispose off either by mixing with kitchen bio-degradable waste or by itself and composted together through vermi-composting process. The composting beds required for the process can be made in each of their green belt areas. The compost so produced can be sold to the residents in the sector itself for the growth of their plants. This can be a viable solution.
In case of larger institutional plots like Industries, Schools, Commercial Establishments as well as in parks, composting sites may be earmarked and the horticulture waste collected in each of these plots can be disposed off through vermi-composting.
CEIS (Citizen Environment Improvement Society), has got tremendous experience in vermin-composting process and shall be pleased to render all help and guidance in-establishing vermin-composting of horticultural wastes.