Impact of Waste and Appropriate Waste Management on the Planet
Waste management not done efficiently can compromise the wider interests of our planet and the health of our people. Polluted air and water is proving hazardous for the human health, impacting our lives severely. Waste should be properly managed. What is being done presently is improper disposal of waste, which is polluting the air and water reservoirs. Time has come when all of us should take individual level decisions, which serve the stakes of the whole planet. We should avoid packaged food and plastic bags, purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, and use can-packaged foods. Another way is making compost – an organic matter – to control waste. More and more such facilities should be made available by the municipalities, for making organic matter from waste (The Mindful word, 2012).
There is a legal aspect also of the hazardous waste dilemma. According to the law of conservation of matter, it can neither be created nor demolished; it can be transformed from one type to another. In our throw-away society, actually nothing gets thrown away; it gets transformed to dust and solid waste of different types, such as hazardous waste, mostly created by the industries. Technology development has further added to the stock of hazardous waste. These have become the stark realities of human life. Waste management needs to be done not on the surface level only by discarding use of plastic and using paper wraps, as used to be the trend earlier, but sweeping change is required (Jakubowski, 2016).
Disposal or storage of waste of any type has gained high importance. We have many ways of disposing waste but all methods of waste management are not equally and fully effective. For example, if we throw the waste into oceans, not polluting our streams and rivers, we are just postponing the impact of waste on human beings, transferring it on sea-life, which would just delay the impact (Jakubowski, 2016).
Landfill is the most traditional way of managing waste although it is a debatable way of waste management. Incinerating waste by ship to be thrown in the sea is a relatively cost-effective method; it also releases social pressure but from environmental perspective, it creates risk for marine eco system. Sludge includes chemicals and metals like zinc and lead. These are scattered amidst inedible vegetation and the outer surface is covered with topsoil. For disposing of liquid waste, it is injected into shallow rocks deep in the earth. There is risk that poorly designed wells can leak the hazardous liquid waste, polluting the ground water. Another alternative to dump toxic material is cement kilns where highly toxic matter is burnt in very high temperature. Hazardous matter should be treated at industry scale where plants can be collectively operated. It would be relatively cost-effective method of waste disposal too, as cost of running the plant would get distributed among participatory industrialists (Jakubowski, 2016).
Another type of waste, increasing in alarming speed, is electronic waste. It is straightway connected to the problem of waste trafficking. Advancement in technology has hugely increased the degree of electric and electronic waste from PCs, gadgets, digital cameras and other such equipment. There has been quick devaluation of such material due to upgrades and obsoleteness in technology. The electronic waste is going to be a major headache in future. Another waste stream is nano materials, arriving slowly and steadily. Nano-bio and e-technologies are going to produce huge stocks of new artificial materials. New innovations in nano technologies in the next two decades will ease the cheaper way of creating huge stocks of such materials. Besides, addition of nano scale valves, switches, pumps, motors and other parts is going to create difficulties in the management of generated waste. Because parts would get cheaper successively, consumers won’t prefer keeping them for future use; possibility is that they would personalize them. The result would be gathering stock of such products that can neither be bundled out nor reused easily (Mavropoulos, 2010).
Awareness needs to be created on global level over using effective waste management techniques. People should be educated to identify various kinds of waste and use of suitable disposal ways. Similar campaigns need to be run to minimize wrong waste management. Governments need to create such infrastructure that helps responsible citizens to enforce and inspire others as well in reducing waste. Severe penalties should be imposed on companies that throw their toxic waste in rivers and streams. Such an initiative at global level can help in controlling pollution. We all are responsible for creating waste; therefore, we all should equally participate in waste disposing and management strides at global level (The Mindful Word, 2012).
In future, our planet is going to be overcrowded and increasingly globalized. The leading challenge of the future for our planet is the common fate of our people. It requires developing a new perspective to live cooperatively, sharing resources and managing waste responsibly. The biggest danger to the planet is emerging from the paradox of shared world economy and division in national societies. The problem is whatever waste management solutions we have within our reach and at our disposal, need to be structured in a global mechanism of serving the purpose of waste reduction, control, and management efficiently. Need of the hour is create such a global mechanism for the world population to be a part of and contribute positively in safeguarding the common interests of the whole planet.
Jakubowski, R. (2016). The hazardous waste dilemma. The Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Retrieved from http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1981/5/81.05.05.x.html
Mavropoulos, A. (2010). Waste management 2030+. The Waste-management World. Retrieved February 13, 2016, from http://waste-management-world.com/a/waste-management
The Mindful Word. (2012). A world of waste: Effect of poor waste management on the planet. The Mindful Word.org. Retrieved February 13, 2016, from http://www.themindfulword.org/2012/improper-waste-management-disposal/