Poor waste management, or we can say inefficient disposal of waste, is the primary reason that can cause many problems to human health as well as to the environment. We need to understand how appropriate disposal of waste can keep the environment and human health safe.
By waste disposal, we mean proper disposal of broken glass, plastic bags, cell phones, battery cells, etc. Waste disposal involves different processes, including collecting, transporting, dumping, recycling or sewage treatment, among other waste product monitoring and regulatory measures.
So, not one, there are many problems with waste disposal, including landfills, poor waste disposal systems, old technologies being used, toxic waste, etc. We’ll discuss these problems along with the solutions further in this article.
Let’s first start with the waste disposal problems.
What Are the Waste Disposal Problems?
As mentioned earlier, waste disposal involves collecting, transporting, dumping and recycling or depositing unwanted, damaged, or used substances and products. So this leads to various problems associated with waste disposal.
1. Landfills Are the Major Problem
The majority of landfills don’t have adequate on-site waste management, which adds to the environmental risks. Long-term landfill leakage and pollution of nearby environmental ecosystems, including groundwater, make garbage management particularly challenging. They also release gases that could be dangerous.
Additionally, the laws and regulations governing landfill operations are frequently slack in monitoring and controlling the various waste kinds, such as medical waste, municipal garbage, special waste, or hazardous waste.
This kind of laxity in the regulations governing landfill waste management considerably increases the toxicity and hazardousness of the landfills to the point where the problems with landfill waste frequently persist for up to 30 years.
2. Poor Laws and Regulations
Nowadays, you’ll find that every other system is being tuned to a profit-making venture, and the same goes for the waste disposal and management system. These systems no longer work for waste reduction; they focus on making profits. Large enterprises in the waste disposal business now manage waste disposal and sewer systems. So, this is one of the major problems with waste disposal.
3. There Is a Lot of Toxic Waste
Most of you might not know, but you use a lot of toxic products like batteries, solvent-based paints, cleaning & polishing chemicals and pesticides & other garden chemicals. So, these products must be disposed of properly to avoid risking our health and environment.
There is a strong chance that these products might contain toxic chemicals like Biphenyl-A (BPA), which is present in plastic toys. So, it’s better that they should be disposed of properly.
Not only the product but the packaging is also one of the major issues with waste disposal. Packaging makes up 30% of MSW and is one of the largest and fastest-growing categories of solid waste; 40% of the waste is plastic, which can never biodegrade. The issue of dealing with waste disposal is made worse by this level of toxicity and inadequate regulatory restrictions.
4. Dependency on Old Technologies
There are still many places where waste disposal and management facilities use old and inefficient technologies to dispose of waste instead of effective disposal technologies. As a result, it has led to an ongoing dependency on the usage of antiquated methods for garbage disposal.
The issue is that most states, especially those that deal with solid waste, are unwilling to advance new technology that would lower the toxicity and amount of garbage or improve recycling. So, this has been one of the major problems with waste disposal.
5. Green Technologies are not Actually Green
There are some recycling technologies, including gasification, pyrolysis and plasma incineration, that are marked “Green”. But that’s not true. They are not 100% green. When the waste is burnt, the toxic materials are released into the environment, which is why it’s not an ideal solution for waste disposal. This is why the “Green” technologies are not completely green.
6. Improper Recycling
Improper recycling is another problem with waste disposal. Most people don’t even know what all things can be recycled and how to separate them from their trash. But we need to understand this.
Mixing up all the trash can spoil the entire recyclable trash and make the recycling process even more difficult. So, it’s important to know what things can be recycled and what should be kept in a different bin.
Solutions to Waste Disposal Problems
Now we’ll look at the solutions to the waste disposal problems. With these solutions, we will not only be able to manage waste but also move in the right direction of achieving zero waste. So, let’s have a look at these solutions:
1. Use of Effective Waste Disposal and Management
If there is effective waste disposal and management strategy, we can have improved solutions for these problems. It makes sure that new and affordable facilities are gradually improved in order to promote higher environmental protection standards.
An efficient management plan would also ensure that landfills are strategically placed to facilitate garbage collection, transfer, monitoring, and recycling. So, the waste disposal plan should be implemented, which can monitor and regulate solid & food waste, sewage sludge, construction waste, livestock waste and clinical waste. In this way, we can effectively overcome waste disposal problems.
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2. Go Eco-Friendly
With the use of more and more unsustainable products, it becomes even more difficult to dispose of them. So, instead of unsustainable products, use eco-friendly products that can easily be recycled or disposed of.
Local authorities and communities should put more effort towards educating people about the importance of waste management. People should be taught how ineffective waste management can affect the environment as well as their health. There should be more and more use of environmentally friendly products.
3. An Approach Towards Waste Transfer and Diversion
Waste diversion is one of the best solutions to waste disposal problems. It can be a hygienic and efficient approach to waste management. Local governments and state waste management facilities must create waste diversion plans to address the majority of waste issues, particularly those involving landfills and sewer waste, to ensure proper and convenient disposal at landfills and waste transfer facilities.
Diversion of garbage collection and transfer routes and establishing equipment requirements are two actions that can be taken to improve the environmental performance of waste disposal operations.
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- SWANA, SWANA (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 01/07/2019 (Publication Date) – Solid Waste Association of North America (Publisher)
4. Recycling Properly
You need to make sure you recycle the waste properly to avoid contaminating the whole recycling batch. This is one of the most effective solutions for waste disposal. Recycling supplies raw materials for making new products conserves energy and keeps waste out of landfills and incinerators.
By doing this, these resources are preserved and used for as long as feasible. Give workers an alternative to the garbage can by providing specific bins for recyclable materials, including paper, plastic, and glass.
Composting is an environmentally-friendly solution for some paper and food waste products. To reduce odour and deter fruit flies, you should purchase a tight-sealing compost bin.
Use compostable bags to make it simple to transport the waste to a drop-off location or your own outdoor compost pile. The cafeteria or break area in your company might be a nice spot to compost.
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6. Monitoring and Controlling Illegal Dumping
Illegal dumping, or we can say fly tipping, is another major problem with waste disposal. This needs to be monitored and controlled so waste management can easily be managed.
Construction and demolition materials can be creatively reclaimed, reused, or repurposed in other projects like landscaping, village houses, recreation facilities or car parks, or roadways with the control and monitoring of landfilling and fly-tipping activities in the field of public works.
These methods can be effectively used to manage the building and demolition waste that occasionally ends up in landfills, greatly complicating solid waste management.
These waste disposal problems and solutions help manage waste management easily and efficiently.