According to the United Nations, the current world population is 7 billion. All of these 7 billion people generate trash everyday, whether they are young or old. Therefore, it is not surprising that the world is now facing serious environmental concerns and waste management problems. Because of this, different governments around the world are coming up with various waste management methods to handle the crisis at hand.
Waste management refers to the accumulation, conveyance, recycling and getting rid of waste materials.
This process usually deals with waste made by human enterprise and aims to reduce its effects on the health of the people and the environment. This process also deals with getting resources from discarded materials such as metal, glass or plastic. It is also associated with controlling different waste materials such as hospital waste, radioactive waste, and hazardous chemicals from industrial factories.
The practices of waste management are different from country to country, and from rural areas to urban areas. Typically, the local government is responsible for waste management in a particular locality. There are several methods of waste management that the local government can use.
The landfill is the most popular method of waste management and is used in most countries.
Landfills are found in unused mining areas, quarries or borrow pits. Landfills should have materials that can prevent leachate to seep through the water table to prevent contamination. It should also be equipped with gas extraction systems to reduce the amount of landfill gas such as methane and carbon dioxide that can go into the atmosphere. Landfills are popular because they are inexpensive to maintain. However, some countries are having issues with it because of the absence of available space and pollution problems.
Incineration is another popular method of waste management.
This process involves turning solid waste into gas and residue by means of combustion, reducing the volume of solid waste by up to 30%. This is usually done in countries with small land areas such as Japan and with certain hazardous wastes such as biohazards. However, incineration is an unpopular method of waste management because it releases a lot of pollutants in the atmosphere.
Prevention and reduction is the best method in waste management.
These are done by recycling and sustainability methods. Recycling refers to gathering and reusing different kinds of waste materials such as paper, plastic, and metal. These materials are often used for making new products. There are a lot of recyclable materials out there such as aluminum, polyethylene, paper, and PVC. Biological reprocessing and energy recovery are parts of sustainability methods. Biological reprocessing, also known as composting, is usually done on organic wastes, and is extremely useful in agriculture. Energy recovery, also known as waste-to-energy, uses the energy content of waste products for fuel. However, while recycling is used worldwide, energy recovery is still unknown in some parts of the world.
The correct method of waste management is important for the environment. People must do their own part in recycling and reducing the amount of trash they produce every day. Mother Earth will thank them for it.
Article was written by Stuart Bryce who runs a waste management and skip hire company in Scotland called Lothian Skip Hire.
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