According to recent research, it is determined that America alone produces around 220 million tons of waste each year. This figure includes the garbage or more generally called as waste, produced during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of the same raw materials and consumption of the final produced product. Thus, garbage is the result of human, commercial and agricultural activities.
It is a known fact that garbage poses a real threat to the environment and its people, if they are not stored, collected and disposed of properly. There are both environmental and economic effects, if proper garbage disposal methods are not implemented. Firstly, it is observed that waste that finds its way into water bodies contaminates the water by changing its chemical composition. Water pollution affects the ecosystem and harms both humans and animals. Similarly untreated garbage which contains harmful chemicals also contaminates soil. These chemicals end up reaching the soil and plant roots. The plant produced in polluted soil can adversely affect the health of animals and people both who directly consumes it.
Similarly untreated garbage can result in air pollution. Bad waste management practices can contaminate the air and causing health problems like cardiovascular and lung diseases. Another common environmental effect that has occurred due to poor garbage disposal practice is Leachate. Leachate is a liquid that forms after water trickles from the contaminated area and usually contains harmful chemicals. When in contact, it can pollute the surface water and create health issues to people who drink the same water.
If proper garbage disposal practices are not implemented, it can affect the living standards of the people as well. Every single person wishes to live in clean, fresh and healthy environment. A smelly and dirty place, where there is no proper sanitation cannot possibly attract tourist and thus, the country loses the possible revenue it can earn, affecting the economy adversely. Also, if no recycling practices are implemented, a government can lose millions each year reproducing the same items.
Considering the hazardous effect on the environment and economic both, the government has taken proper steps to deal with garbage and to manage the waste. Garbage disposal is simply defined as steps that are taken by the government, businesses and individual from collection to transportation and final disposal of the waste.
Proper garbage disposal practices are essential to every individual and must be practiced by every household. One needs to understand that they have contributed to the environment from buying a product from a store, to consuming it and finally in discarding it. It is now time to understand that how the wrong garbage disposal practices have plagued the society we live in. Therefore, communities across the world must adopt an environmental friendly approach to garbage disposal. Below are the lists of garbage disposal practices that can be implemented individually and collectively and which can lessen the negative impact to our environment.
We need to understand that most of the generated waste of kitchen can be used in other ways. We need to think out of the box and be creative and own the responsibility of our own waste. Organic waste is a byproduct of fruits and vegetable. Waste like egg shells, fruit peels, corn cobs and chicken carcasses do not necessarily have to be thrown in your waste basket and left to be collected by the garbage collectors. They can be put into use by composting.
Composting can be defined as a process that involves breaking down your organic waste into compounds that can be later used as manure. This can easily be practiced by every household in the comforts of their house. It can be carried out at your backyard and all you need is some grass, leaves and your organic waste such as vegetables and fruit peels and after you combine them and let it sit in one place for a few months, microbes will decompose your waste into manure. This manure is rich in nutrients and can easily be used in your garden to soil plants.
If, however, you do not have your own garden and have no place to decompose your waste, you can easily find someone or a local farmer who will happily accept your compost. They can turn your waste into manure for their own benefit helping you to eliminate your waste in an environmentally friendly way. If you practice this method religiously, then you will be able to limit your weekly trash greatly and help the government to solve the issue of disposing ever increasing waste.
This is by far the most common practice for disposal of garbage. Landfills is the process by which waste disposal is discarded by burying the waste in the land. In every area a landfill is found where the garbage collectors dump the waste in the land and bury it. However, before the waste is buried, it has to go through a process by which smell and possible dangers of waste is eliminated so it cannot harm the people and the land both. Even though, this is the most common practice of garbage disposal, but with the lack of space and the presence of strong gasses such as methane, which is contaminating the land and the area, the government is looking for alternative methods of waste disposal.
Combustion is yet another technique of garbage disposal. In this method the solid municipal waste is burned at high temperatures so the garbage is converted into gasses and released into the air. This method is chosen over landfills, because the solid waste through this is reduced by 20 to 30 percent of the original volume and thus, reducing the space that would otherwise be required for dumping into land holes. This method, which is also known as thermal treatment or incineration is usually practiced in the countries where available space is limited such as Japan and there, the solid waste is burned off and converted into heat, gas, steam and ash. Combustion can not only aid in garbage disposal, but through this method energy can be produced through converted steam and gas.
Sorting out the discarded items and recovering them for the next use is called recycling. It is the most well known methods of managing waste and it saves a lot of scarce resources that would otherwise be used to produce the same products. Plastic bottles, paper, glass and metals can be processed and made into new products saving the energy and resources. Recycling bring many benefits. Through this process country can reduce energy usage, air and water pollution and thus saving the natural resources for other uses.
You can recover energy through the process of waste to energy where non recyclable waste items are used to convert into heat, electricity and fuel. This is a renewable source of energy since non recyclable items can be used multiple times to create energy and thus would contribute positively towards the environment by reducing the burden of disposing waste. This method is also preferable than to burn fossil fuels, which emits harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide. Thus, waste to energy is a very convenient way of garbage disposal as it can help in generating energy in the form of heat and electricity from waste.
Practice Waste Minimization
As we have deduced that how the increasing amount of waste is polluting our environment and government is hugely concern to find new ways to get rid of garbage and dispose them in a very environmentally friendly way. It will be much easier if every individual owns the responsibility of their own waste and try to adopt ways to minimize the creation of waste in the first place. Waste minimization can be done if everyone in the country strictly adheres to the principle of the 3R’s, which are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We can in the first place reduce our waste by adopting practices of waste management. Also, we can reuse the items such as glass jars, plastic bottles, bags and cartons. If we engage in repairing and using our waste in other ways, we can save our money and prevent the accumulation of waste.
Plasma gasification is yet another method of waste management. In this process plasma is used and organic matter is converted into gas and electricity. Plasma itself is torch powered by an electric arc and is particularly used to catalyze solid waste into gases. It can help to produce renewable fuels and achieve zero waste. It can also help to treat hazardous waste and convert them into nonhazardous slag.
To sum up, it can be observed that growing waste has become a major concern for a country and is a threat to the health of people. Improper waste management techniques can lead to pollution of land and water and can contaminate the air humans breathe in. Thus, proper garbage disposal methods should be used to ensure the safety of the people. There are different types of garbage which has to be disposed accordingly so it leaves fewer footprints on earth and help to create a clean and beautiful environment to live in.