When it comes to Waste Management, most think it is a complex process. It is good to understand what Waste Management is, the importance of proper waste management and what are some methods of waste disposal.
What is Waste Management?
Waste management is the collection, transportation and the disposal of all forms of waste such as garbage and other waste products including sewage. It is composed of all processes involved in collection of waste, proper transportation of waste and the best method of disposal for each category of waste. It factors in use of proper materials and methods of handling waste as well as compliance with health codes while considering environmental regulations.
The importance of waste management cannot be under estimated and every home owner, business owner and individual needs to be aware of what waste they have to be able to dispose of it in the best way. Improper waste disposal leads to air, water and soil pollution, doing great harm to our environment. By properly disposing waste we can conserves our environment and get rid of harmful materials properly while encouraging recycling and reuse of materials.
What are the methods of Waste Disposal in Waste Management?
Unlike in the olden days, people used to bury waste in a small hole in the outskirts of their homesteads or if need be, burnt it. These days, with all the complex materials we use in our day to day lives, this may not suffice to sufficiently dispose of all categories of waste.
Here are some of the main methods of waste disposal;
A landfill is a site allocated for the main purpose of disposing garbage. It is a big hole dug in the ground with the aim of dumping rubbish. Once full, the landfill is then covered. Currently, landfills are quickly reaching maximum capacity and this is why there is need for us to reduce our waste and start reusing and recycling waste as part of our daily routine. The challenge of landfills is that once some materials breakdown, harmful substances and chemicals are released into the soil and can harm the surrounding soil and environment for many years down the line. This is why most items selected for dumping in landfills is now restricted.
- Recovery and Recycling
Recovery of waste is where discarded items are converted into energy in the form of heat, fuel or electricity. Recycling is the process where waste materials are turned into new products to save on the energy and process of having to dispose of them. The advantage of recycling is mainly to reduce the size of landfills by making use of waste, save on energy that would have been used to dispose it to minimize the effect of greenhouse gases, land and water pollution
This is also known as combustion and it is a method disposal technique that involves burning of waste at very high temperatures. The advantage of incinerating waste is that it reduces waste by at least 30% which reduces greatly the volume of waste unlike landfills. This is an ideal method of disposing solid waste in some countries and through this, the waste can be converted into gas, steam and heat.
Composting is the process of taking garden, kitchen and plant remains and turning it into a nutrient rich material for compost. This waste is left to sit in one place for months and microbes turn it into compost which can be used for providing plants with vital nutrients.
- Plasma Gasification
This is a relatively new types of waste disposal where organic matter is turned into a synthetic gas by use of a plasma torch. It is still in the early stages of development and one main advantage of this method is that there is almost no waste product left behind.
- Energy Recovery
This is the process of turning waste that cannot be recycled into electricity, fuel or heat, turning it into a renewable energy source.
This process is where we all work to reduce the amount of waste we create. This combined effort will help eliminate the need for waste disposal and lead to a better, cleaner environment.
Waste management is important for the preservation of our environment