Waste management (or waste disposal) is the managing of waste by disposal and recycling of it. Moreover, waste management needs proper techniques keeping in mind the environmental situations. For instance, there are various methods and techniques by which the waste is disposed of. Some of them are Landfills, Recycling, Composting, etc. Furthermore, these methods are much useful in disposing of the waste without causing any harm to the environment.
Waste can be solid, liquid, or gas and each type has different methods of disposal and management. Waste management deals with all types of waste, including industrial, biological and household. In some cases, waste can pose a threat to human health. Waste is produced by human activity, for example, the extraction and processing of raw materials. Waste management is intended to reduce adverse effects of waste on human health, the environment or aesthetics.
Waste management practices are not uniform among countries (developed and developing nations); regions (urban and rural areas), and residential and industrial sectors can all take different approaches. A large portion of waste management practices deal with municipal solid waste (MSW) which is the bulk of the waste that is created by household, industrial, and commercial activity.
The Process of Waste Management –
Waste management begins from the point of collection. It is necessary to segregate wastes from the point of collection so that the process becomes easier. The transportation of wastes is the next step and it is different for liquid, solid, organic, hazardous and infectious wastes. Disposal of wastes is the final step in waste management whereby incineration, burying, recycling and treatment of wastes is done.
Disposal Methods of Waste Management –
Landfill: A landfill is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial. Landfill is the oldest form of waste treatment, although the burial of the waste is modern; historically, refuse was simply left in piles or thrown into pits. Historically, landfills have been the most common method of organized waste disposal and remain so in many places around the world.
Recycling: Above all the most important method is the recycling of waste. This method does not need any resources. Therefore this is much useful in the management of waste. Recycling is the reusing of things that are scrapped of. Moreover, recycling is further converting waste into useful resources.
Composting: Composting is the converting of organic waste into fertilizers. This method increases the fertility of the soil. As a result, it is helpful in more growth in plants. Furthermore it the useful conversion of waste management that is benefiting the environment.
Incineration: Under this method of waste management, public solid wastes get buried for converting them into heat, residue, steam, ash, and gases. It decreases the amount of solid waste by around 31% of the actual quantity.
Importance of Waste Management –
Waste management is aimed at protection of the environment and to enhance the safety of surrounding environment for humans and animals. Hazardous wastes are disposed far from reach of humans and animals to prevent harm. Environmental pollution is a major public health issue that is prevented by proper waste management because fewer wastes end up in the environment. Recycling as a waste management process enables saving of resources and prevention of accumulation of wastes.
Waste Management helps in reducing pollution and by adapting to efficient waste management techniques, emission of gases like Carbon dioxide and Methane from wastes can be reduced to a large extent. Waste Management helps in the prevention of contagious diseases. We saw that recycling is a method of waste management and it has a lot of benefits. When products are recycled, there is no need to produce new products which saves raw materials. The energy consumption will also be much less.
Waste Management is a big industry as it contains various stages and procedures. Human resources are required in large numbers at every stage. Thus waste management as an industry creates several job opportunities. People with less education and skilled labor can also be utilized in high number in this sector.
Areas with developing economies often experience exhausted waste collection services and inadequately managed and uncontrolled dumpsites. The problems are worsening. Problems with governance complicate the situation. Waste management in these countries and cities is an ongoing challenge due to weak institutions, chronic under-resourcing and rapid urbanization. All of these challenges, along with the lack of understanding of different factors that contribute to the hierarchy of waste management, affect the treatment of waste.
Traditionally, the waste management industry has been a late adopter of new technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, GPS and integrated software packages which enable better quality data to be collected without the use of estimation or manual data entry.