Environmentally-friendly waste disposal

Wednesday September 11 2019

Rose Namusisi, a gardener, shows how old tyres

Rose Namusisi, a gardener, shows how old tyres can be used for backyard gardening. Instead of littering the compound with tyres, use them to plant vegetables. Photos by Charlotte Ninsiima 

By Charlotte Ninsiima

According to the current National State of Environment Report 2016/2017, waste is characterised in forms of solid, electronics and waste water in every home. However due to gradual changes in urban housing, some people struggle to safely dispose of waste at home. Here are environmentally friendly waste disposal methods you can adopt in your home.

Use biodegradable bags
Joseph Felix, a store manager at Danube Home, says, waste is collected in many forms like dust from the floor, stationery use, food crumbs or leftovers and they are best placed in the biodegradable bags instead of the polythene to save animals and nature. The bag gets easier disposed under the mud.
“Place leftover Foods in a biodegradable bag then tie with a knot and place it in the rubbish bin, well covered with a lid. Open disposable of food waste results in rats or cockroaches and other insects that invade the home. Also, it brings about a bad odour from decomposed food. Ensure food waste is disposed of to outside bins the day it is discarded,” he adds.

Separate the bins
“Have a provision of two separate rubbish bins to separate plastics from other waste so that they are sorted easily for recycle.”

Make sales
Felix advises that electronic waste be dispose of in the garage or store room where one can sell it off to dealers in old electronics or give out to charity.
Also one could keep as antique piece to showcase their stuff to next generation narrating to them about the golden days.
“Also some electronic waste like flat irons, refrigerators, televisions and other electronics are sold to scrap dealers since there is a demand to recycle those into other products.”

Rubbish pit
“If one has enough space, plan to have a rubbish pit to dispose of solid waste except the plastics. Burn the rubbish consistently to avoid the waste being run off by the rain. It should be stationed five metres from the house.” Felix advises.
Note that some waste such as tyres and plastics should not be burnt because they pollute the environment. Pampers and sanitary pads can be incinerated in a specific place.

Gilbert Kangume, a Programme Officer at Extreme Solutions, says, for decomposing waste such as banana peelings, bury in a pitch with a height of six metres and cover intently for some time until it decomposes into manure. The manure can be used in kitchen gardening at home.


Rainwater can be harvested in the tanks as opposed to letting it flow, creating galleries or water ways hence causing erosion.

Soak pit
Under home management practices, one ought to build a soak pit to collect any waste water channelled in a proper drainage system from the bathroom. The pit could be filled with stones to facilitate easy water passage into the ground. However, do not dig sock pits in flood-prone areas.

Waste water can be directed through a trench and not spilled anywhere. It is very vital to have a proper drainage system around the home. Teach the children proper water usage to avoid running water from the tapes hence causing erosion.
Kangume says waste water such as mopping water can be filtered before it is poured on earth. “Fine solids are separated from the water by use of a sieve. Pour used mopping water on the terrace or on the gardening outside not unto the plants.”

Some solid waste can be recycled for multiple purposes for instance, old tyres, sacks, empty cans or plastic bottles can be used for backyard gardening.
Build toilets or pit latrines.
“Every household must have either a pit latrine or toilet with a septic tank. This controls the risk of spreading diseases such as cholera and diarrhorrea. The toddlers should be given a potty in case they haven’t yet learnt toilet etiquette,” Kagume advises.
Educate family members
Joseph Felix of Danube Homes, emphasises the need to instill values of proper waste disposal in the household members to maintain the momentum. “Like the saying goes, charity begins at home, all family members ought to be educated about proper hygiene disposal so that its inculcated into their social behavior so that they know how best to handle waste management.”