Research shows that Americans alone produce over 220 million tons of waste on an annual basis. Simple math will tell you that no country in the world can exceed this number. Because of this, the government in conjunction with environmental associations has developed a number of methods to deal with the problem of waste.
Waste management which is a rather complex approach brings together over 20 different industries. By definition, waste management refers to the collection, transportation, and the disposal of garbage and other waste products such as sewage. Through waste management, solid waste is treated and other solutions for recycling are explored for those items which do not necessarily need to go to trash.
Waste management is organized at the state level where it is further devolved into the different counties. For instance,falls under the state of California. When followed through to the grassroots level, waste management brings in households and business owners as among the key stakeholders in the process.
Methods of Waste Disposal
In the current classification, there are 8 major groups of waste management methods which are further divided into numerous other categories. The groups include reduction and re-use, recycling, animal feeding, fermentation, composting, incineration, landfills, and land application. Some of these techniques can be employed right from the homes while others will need transportation of the waste to a designated center.
This is one of the common methods used in waste disposal today. It usually consists of throwing garbage in landfills and burying the waste in the land. The temporal problem this solves is the elimination of waste from common areas into one designated area. Normally, before the waste is buried into the ground, a process is used to treat it so as to eliminate any toxicity. The lack of available space and the presence of landfill gases such as methane has made this disposal method relatively unpopular.
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Also known as incineration, this disposal method involves burning of solid wastes at extremely high temperatures to convert them into gaseous products and residue. The advantage with this method is that it reduces the overall volume of waste thereby decreasing the space taken up. Countries such as Japan and the United States have embraced this method to ease pressure on available land.
Recycling and Recovery
While recycling converts waste products into newer products for another round of use, resource recovery is simply taking the discarded items and reusing them either as they are or extracting some materials from them which are still useful. Recycling helps in reducing energy usage because the process doesn’t begin from scratch as it would have been with fresh manufacturing of components.
This is a rather simple and natural biodegradation process which converts organic waste into nutrient rich foods for plants. It is one of the common practices in organic farming and it has been praised for its ability to turn unsafe organic compounds into safer compost. That notwithstanding, it takes a bit of time and also space.
The bottom line is for everyone to be sensitive on waste management right from the household to the government administration personnel. Where waste minimization can be done, it should be pursued with all zeal.