The overall process of collection, classification, and management of storage of waste materials generated from multiple levels like households, manufacturing companies, government, or other business houses, which reflects the society of humans, is waste disposal. Generally, wastes have two forms, liquid and solid, and these wastes, no matter what their forms are, maybe either hazardous or non-hazardous.
The concerns related to disposal of waste began when globalization and urbanization flourished and the present world has a greater global tension arising due to accumulation of waste. Globally, developed countries are the ones who produce larger amounts of waste per capita than developing nations. But no matter where the country stands, disposing of tiny waste material is a big challenge, and the sources revolve around the residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial sectors along with the construction areas.
How Can You Dispose of Waste?
You can dispose of the waste on the basis of its type but you must throw them responsibly. You can start by segregating the hazardous and non-hazardous wastes and then as biodegradable and non-biodegradable so that you know how to dispose of them properly. There has been constant research on developing new ways for disposal as it is a burning issue in today’s time. Meanwhile, here are some methods to dispose of waste according to their nature for your reference.
● Recycle waste
Recycling is a process that makes discarded items usable once again. All waste, such as construction waste, green waste, metal waste, plastic, glass, wood, and electronic waste, can be recycled for repetitive use. You can ferment the green waste to produce biogas, which can be further used for cooking. You can dispose of the metal waste, which are remains of iron or steel, at metal works so that they process them into crude metals. Likewise, the tires and textiles that you possess can be sold in thrift stores as second-hand items, which will further be sold after value addition. You must be careful about recycling batteries as the toxic materials must be separated, which requires skill and knowledge for it to work again.
● Reduce waste
If you do not want to worry about disposing of waste, then you can always take steps to reduce them as follows.
- Indulge in the habit of carrying your reusable bag to avoid using plastic bags extensively on your shopping trips.
- Go for bulk purchases rather than retail ones so that you reduce the waste generated from small individual packages.
- Rather than buying new items, you can make the wise decision of repairing the old ones rather than throwing them away just because of a scratch.
- Go for the 3 Rs of waste management: reuse terms whenever possible, donate them to be recycled and reduce waste inside your homes, and always opt for biodegradable items.
- You can also purchase preloved items from thrift stores and avoid going on a shopping spree on one side, while on the other end, you can donate the clothes that don’t fit you anymore.
- Make a habit of composting by collecting all the leftovers from the kitchen and using the manure for your garden plants.
One of the methods of waste management is incineration which is a process of burning waste where the by-products are gas and ashes of this method. You can use the by-product, ash, which is nutrient-rich and can be useful in gardening and hydroponic farming. When you use this method of waste disposal, you can reduce up to 90% of waste volume, and it is also a cheaper and safer option to get rid of toxic waste materials. Incineration has an added benefit where you can maintain building temperature and also generate electricity with the help of heat released when burning waste.
Wastes can undergo a lot before they end up in landfills. Materials that have not been recycled and that have not undergone the process of incineration are deposited in the landfill. Still, before they are dumped there, wastes are tested in advance, and after meeting the legal requirements, they are stored in landfills.
What Are the Issues of Waste Disposal?
● Improper disposal
Generating waste is inevitable, but its disposal needs to be seriously considered. Producing waste can be as easy as anything for you, but disposing of it may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Improper disposal harms not only the environment but also you, your family, friends, colleagues, and every single individual on earth. So, beware when you produce waste and also when you dispose of it. Do not mix toxic and non-toxic waste, as it can contaminate the whole system, and recycling or even disposal becomes difficult.
● Heavy Plastic Production and Pollution
The world produces millions of tonnes of plastic annually, of which two-thirds are short-lived and have no hope of recycling. When managing this large amount of waste, 420,000 tons of chemicals are released into the atmosphere.
Not only are these shopping bags evident on land, but they have equally polluted the ocean with an estimation of 75-199 million tons of plastic available with an addition of 33 billion pounds each year. Not only are these plastics harming humans like you and me, but marine lives are equally affected and dying in large numbers each year.
● Use of old technologies for disposal
States and countries do not prioritize the use of new technology for waste disposal; instead, they continue to use inefficient ones, which further degrades the environment on a larger scale.
● Landfill overflow
Rather than recycling waste, the easy technique is to send garbage into landfills. While we should not be confusing landfills with dumping sites, the reality is that landfills have easily become dumps due to an unregulated waste disposal system leading to an overflow. With improper management of such landfills, we are compromising the climatic conditions and contributing towards high emissions of human-related methane, and in return, we get affected.
Indeed, we are storing waste away from humankind but still forget that it exists on the same earth that we are living. It is well known that you cannot live without electronics, but a large amount of waste consists of electronic wastes that have toxins in them, and when disposed of, they become a greater source of pollution.