Improper disposal of waste products continues to affect resources worldwide. Countless conservation efforts and information campaigns have been launched to make people more responsible for the rubbish that they throw away.
Besides recycling and minimising single-use plastic, there is also a movement to lessen the actual trash generated by individuals, homes and establishments. This will take a long time before coming into fruition, but what is important is that the groundwork has already been laid.
Let’s take a look at the different waste disposal methods being used today.
This is the most popular method of waste disposal in most parts of the world. Rubbish is collected daily and then sorted before going to a waste treatment plant. Here, they undergo a process that eliminates the odour and other possible hazards before being buried deep into the earth.
Landfills are lined to prevent the decomposing rubbish from leaching into the soil and groundwater. It is not 100% safe and advisable, but it is what most developing countries can afford. Besides contamination, landfills can also pose health risks to people living near the site. Unfortunately, this is also their source of livelihood. People pick through the trash for things they can reuse or sell before these are covered by soil.
Cars that are no longer usable can be brought to a car scrap facility for proper disposal. People scrap cars when the vehicle is beyond repair or has failed tests for road-worthiness. Scrapping is the last resort for damaged cars. Vehicle recyclers or the scrap yard facility will evaluate the vehicle, cast off usable parts, and find a value for scrap metal from the car.
Car scrapping in the UK is done only in authorised areas. Car scrapping will ensure that vehicle parts are properly recycled and that the process is safe for the environment.
This method of waste disposal involves burning of solid wastes at high temperatures to convert them into gaseous products and residue. This method lessens the volume of solid wastes by up to 20 to 30%. This reduces stress on the landfills and decreases the space they take up.
Incineration or thermal treatment converts waste materials into ash, gas, heat and steam. Countries with limited land area go by this method of waste disposal. Unfortunately, it is also not a good disposal option for the environment. The process of burning releases carbon dioxide into the air and contributes to air pollution.
Recycling and Recovery
Recycling and recovery of waste materials are growing in popularity everywhere. The recovery process involves picking out usable parts and objects and converting them into something useful. These items are processed to extract material resources and convert them to usable energy, heat, fuel or electricity.
On the other hand, recycling is a means to create new products to prevent energy use and consumption of new raw materials. The long and tedious process of recycling lessens energy use, reduces landfill waste, pollution, greenhouse gas emission, and preserves natural resources. It takes more effort to do, but it is the best way to protect nature and cause no harm to the environment.
For rural areas, composting is highly encouraged. Composting is the natural bio-degradation process wherein organic wastes such as plants and kitchen wastes are turned into natural fertilisers. Composting allows organic materials to decompose through a slow and steady process. It is one of the most viable methods of organic waste disposal, but it does take up space and requires time.
These are the current waste disposal methods used all over the world. They are stopgap measures and still cause harm to the environment. The best way to help would be to truly minimise the waste produced.