Have you ever been curious about how is the garbage disposed off? Or are we so busy in our own world that we do not think about such small but essential thing of our day to day life.
In our routine schedule, there are at least a few things like rough or waste papers, the fruit peel if we eat a fruit, etc. which need to be disposed off as we cannot carry them with us wherever we go, can we?
But do we ever give it a thought as to how this waste is being disposed off or where this waste goes?
Hardly a few people give it a thought but there are also some of us who don’t even care before throwing away the waste on the road or just throw it away out of the window, not caring if it is falling on some passerby walking down the street.
The situation if imagined sounds very funny but this also brings forward a serious issue whether the waste is getting disposed properly or what is the process of waste (sewage) treatment before disposing it or are we ourselves causing pollution?
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Is it really necessary to think about Waste Disposal?
Yes, of course, it is necessary to think about waste disposal procedure after all we are the one producing such waste. We have seen two different dustbins given by the municipal corporation to each and every society.
These dustbins are primarily for the purpose of separating the dry and the wet waste.
Dry waste will include all the waste papers, cardboard papers, plastic bags, or any other polythene containing material, nylon materials, electronic waste, etc.
Wet waste basically involves all the waste generated in the kitchen i.e. the vegetable and fruit peels, used tea bags, egg shells, used flowers, etc.
The separation of these waste products is very important as there are different treatment techniques which the products undergo and these techniques vary on the basis of the waste type.
For example, the biodegradable waste can be buried in the soil with proper treatment as used to generate “biogas”.
What is Waste Disposal?
Waste disposal is also known as waste management. Waste disposal simply means recycling the waste matter for the purpose of reusing it.
This procedure has the main objective of reducing the use of our depleting natural resources. For example, the paper which we throw away as waste is recycled and reused to avoid the deforestation (as wood is a major component of paper).
The classification of wet and dry waste is not the only one classification. There are also other types of waste materials classified based on their hazardous nature.
Some of them are biodegradable waste and non-biodegradable waste, nuclear or radioactive waste, electronic or computer waste, industrial waste which is further divided based on what the industry manufactures, etc.
There are different techniques for recycling different types of waste.
Biodegradable waste is a kind of waste which decomposes in the soil naturally, for example, dry leaves, wet waste, paper, etc.
This waste is dumped in the environment or buried in the ground (soil). Here, the micro-organisms act on the waste resulting in natural decomposition.
The procedure of waste disposal means collecting, transporting and disposing the waste based on the guidelines of recycling.
The major objective of recycling these waste products is to reduce their adverse effects on the environment if left untreated.
Is proper Disposal of Waste Important?
Proper waste disposal is very much important because if we do not dispose the waste properly, it is going to be hazardous to us.
We clean our house every day to keep it clean and maintain a healthy environment. Similarly, it is equally important to keep our environment clean and healthy which can be done by managing the waste properly that is separating the different types of waste and treating it accordingly.
As we already know that waste treatment technique varies as per the type of waste. The best example of the necessity to proper waste management treatment is the example of non-biodegradable waste.
Non-biodegradable waste consists of a vast variety of waste materials like plastic, electronic waste, nuclear waste.
This type of waste material requires different type of treatment as these waste materials do no decompose on their own when buried in the soil.
These waste products in turn damage the soil fertility and the nuclear waste also generates some radiation which is hazardous to the living organisms in its environment.
This itself explains the need of proper waste treatment and it can also be called as recycling or reducing the waste thus, reducing its hazardous properties.
Adverse Effects of Untreated Waste Products
It is estimated that more than 1 lakh tons of waste is generated in India from which a question about its management and treatment arises.
How does so much of waste get treated regularly or if does all the waste get treated or some is left untreated, thus contributing to environmental pollution?
Every day the municipal waste collector van comes in most of the residential areas to collect the garbage.
This garbage is mostly household garbage which will contain mostly biodegradable waste and also some plastic waste. Maximum of this can be recycled and reused.
The problem arises when the industrial or chemical waste is generated. The chemical producing industry will generate all the chemical waste which will include all inorganic, organic, metallic components which are mostly non-biodegradable and hazardous to the human body.
This waste will cause a problem if it is left in the environment untreated due to its hazardous effect.
The environment in which this garbage is dumped will be polluted. If it is dumped in a water body, the aquatic life will be adversely affected.
It is also commonly heard that industries letting out their chemical wastes (oil in nature or heavy metal chemicals) in the surrounding rivers affects the sensitive aquatic life and also due to the smoke coming out of the chimneys of the industries causes pollution, affecting the birds.
Moreover, the chemicals let out in the water body will form a layer over the water surface, which will not allow the fishes to breathe, thus killing them.
Also in some cases, the fishes ingest the waste materials which in turn are ingested by the human beings thus, harming the entire ecosystem.
For example, the Minamata disease in Japan where mercury metal was dumped in the river and this mercury was ingested by the fishes which were in turn ingested by human beings and then suffering from mercury poisoning.
Another example of adverse effects of improper waste disposal is of the Ganges-Brahmaputra river basin which is highly polluted due to the heavy metal waste (lead, arsenic, mercury, etc.) that is dumped into it by the surrounding industries which in turn affects the people residing in the surrounding area.
There are a thousand of such cases in India as well as other countries which show that even when there are so many waste disposal techniques improving day by day, no one is actually implementing them to recycle their own waste therefore, creating the present day situation of our polluted environment.
It is high time where we by ourselves need to keep our environment clean without the government telling us to do so, be it on an individual level (managing our household waste at least separating the dry and wet waste) or on an industrial level, either way it is beneficial to the residents of the particular area and also to our environment.