We are all living in a country that’s grappling with proper waste management, right? Well, waste management is essential yet tricky for industrialised economies and sometimes proves a challenge for some countries.
Most countries are generating millions of tons of waste by the year, and the largest concern remains that of finding effective methods of managing this waste.
Ever wondered why waste management proves to be a menace for any developed and developing country? Waste management starts right from the disposal, which may water down any efforts of proper waste management.
The most effective methods of waste management are those that aim at reducing, reusing, and recycling waste material. Here are some of the most effective methods of managing waste:
- Use of Landfills
- Waste minimisation/Avoidance
Effective waste management starts from the dumping of waste material, and it is important to separate the various types of waste materials.
Proper waste management also requires that the general public understands the various types of waste and whether they decompose.
With waste management being a collective effort by authorities, homeowners, and business owners, proper separation of waste material at the point of disposal helps greatly in waste management.
Various waste products such as plastics, glass, and other packaging materials take different durations to decompose, and some don’t decompose at all. As such, disposal points should have various bins to help separate the various waste types.
Such segregation efforts help separate hazardous waste from decomposable, recyclable, non-hazardous, and other materials. Essentially, segregation makes it easier to take action on each type of waste without much effort.
Most of the waste in our modern societies probably comes from the increasing needs for production, packaging, and shipping. Most of the waste produced today may not be compostable or reusable but is definitely recyclable.
The first step to effective waste management is to identify waste that can be recycled. What follows is setting up dumpsters or bins into which such waste can be sorted. Materials such as PVC, PP, LDEP, and PS are recyclable.
As such, most recycling centres handle plastic, paper, and glass recycling. Cardboard, scrap metal, electronic waste, and food waste may also be recycled.
It is important to note that effective recycling depends on effective segregation and separation of waste materials. This helps eliminate hazardous waste from that which can be recycled.
Composting helps convert organic waste into fertilizer for crop production. Food waste is often composted, and unsafe organic material may also be converted into safe composting.
Other materials that can be composted include sawdust, pieces of cardboard, newspaper, and straw. Composting is a form of reusing and recycling organic waste and also provides soil with nutrients for crop growth.
Use of Landfills
Landfills are a common waste management method that is used for non-compostable, non-hazardous, and non-recyclable waste. Such waste is dumped in a landfill and later buried in the earth.
Such landfills are confined to a small area to reduce the area that may be polluted. Landfills are cost-efficient and reduce the effect of waste on the environment.
This method involves the combustion of waste into base components. Incineration can also be a ‘waste to energy’ process where the heat generated is used to generate energy. The use of filters helps manage levels of pollution.
This method is quite inexpensive and helps reduce waste volume by about 90%.
Waste minimisation seeks to address the frequency of waste formation through production. It is the perfect method of reducing the amount of waste to deal with and helps prevent the increase in waste products.
Waste management is essential for regulating the amount of waste in the environment. As such, methods such as composting, recycling, and incineration help manage non-toxic wastes.
Segregation is also an efficient method that helps separate the various types of waste while the use of landfills and waste minimisation help reduce the volume of waste in the environment, thereby reducing pollution.