Wastes are the materials we come across in our day to day life.
Wastes are the materials we come across in our day to day life. These are the substances that are not reusable or can be recycled for any further use. The waste materials can be in any form ranging from solids, liquids, or gases. The waste substances are the leftovers of the stuff humans use and can be classified into domestic, clinical, construction, nuclear, industrial, agricultural, commercial, etc. Irrespective of any state, waste has different properties. It can either be toxic and hazardous or inflammable or flammable. To maintain the environment these waste products need to be treated. If left untreated, they pollute the environment giving rise to various infections and also lead to damaging the atmosphere.
The regular practice of throwing waste on the street was first forbidden during 320BCE in Athens. In early Rome, the waste disposal in front of any home was supposed to be cleared by the respective property owners. If a larger gathering concerning the state events was observed then it was the duty the state authorities to organize proper waste collection and disposal. Generally, the waste was dumped very near to the city in open pits but as the population started increasing, the waste disposal methods improved and waste was started to be transported to places which were far away from the cities into isolated areas to ascertain no harm to the society. During the medieval period, the effort that was put forth in the sanitization task considerably reduced. In bigger cities, it was the duty of scavengers to collect the waste and dispose of waste in the exteriors of the cities but, in small towns, the people still used to dump waste on the streets. In the year 1714, the department concerning the waste disposal made sure that the scavenger is made official in every town and city of England. Though in the 18th-century, waste collection and segregation methods were still crude but yet the collection of garbage was carried out in Boston, Philadelphia, and New York cities of America.
The municipal solid waste is also called as trash or garbage. This comprises of all the items that are rejected and discarded in public. The solid waste consists of recyclable waste and non-recyclable waste. The different types in which the solid waste can be classified are:
Overpopulation, urbanization and the growing technology are among the few reasons for solid waste pollution. The rising population have lead to the production of more waste, with every passing year people have several kinds of stuff to use and discard. Technology has a very vast impact on the growing population. Example, earlier there was the use of more glass jars and containers that were returned back to the supplier preventing from more wastage being formed, but now these glass materials are replaced with plastic and cans that cannot be recycled and are non-biodegradable and ultimately has given rise to more solid waste accumulation. Though this practice has eased the lives of the people but, the rise of non-biodegradable waste have lead to polluting the environment.
The properties and characteristics of solid waste differ depending upon their source and structure. The two main criteria include hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste. The hazardous waste can cause damage to the individual or community on immediate exposure. The collection, treatment, or disposal of such waste require special techniques since if it is manhandled then it may cause serious health issues among the individuals that come in contact with it and damage the environment as well. These are the waste generally coming from the construction areas or industries that deal with chemicals or any materials from hospital waste like syringes, bottles containing medicines, etc. such waste needs to be carefully handled since if not handled and disposed of properly can contaminate the whole of the area where it is dumped and also can disrupt the quality of the groundwater, lakes and other water sources. Even the waste from any radioactive sources is also considered hazardous and frequent exposure to such waste can cause serious health issues among society and can also give rise to new diseases. Few of the radioactive waste need many years before they completely decay therefore, the control of these waste is of utmost importance. Some waste is also carcinogenic and some have the capacity to change the biological structure of the species. Such waste is also called as mutagenic. A number of chemical waste tend to change their property on exposure to the environment. These are called reactive waste. These might even cause explosions and are very dangerous while other wastes that can ignite in low temperatures might cause fire hazards. Most of the non-hazardous waste comes from the community and includes materials concerned with day to day life. These are also called the Municipal solid waste (MSW) or refuse. These are also of two varieties that are the garbage and the rubbish. The garbage includes the waste items that can decompose basically the food waste. And the rubbish includes all the dry materials like wood, paper, etc that can be recycled. Another variety of rubbish is the trash that includes all the bigger items like sofa, refrigerators, etc and requires extra care while collecting and disposing of.
Nowadays the problem of solid waste pollution is more in developing countries rather than developed ones. If the solid waste is not managed properly then it might lead to more and more diseases. There are several reasons why the management of solid waste is not done properly. Some of the reasons include:
Due to these factors, solid waste management is poor and leads to several environmental problems like:
Solid waste management includes the proper collection, transport, and treatment of the waste that can cause possible health hazards and disrupt the quality of the environment. Once the waste is collected from the source, it is further separated and segregated as per non-hazardous and recyclable objects and hazardous waste which needs to be processed, treated and disposed of accordingly. Among all management of radioactive waste is of utmost importance since the radioactive substances stay in the environment for thousands of years before they completely decay. The transport of hazardous waste is generally done by the treatment, storage, and disposal facility (TSDF). In recent years laws are passed for proper dumping of the respective waste to decrease the damage caused to the environment. The transports responsible for carrying these waste are labeled properly to make sure it is disposed of accordingly. Most of the time the hazardous waste is carried by trucks. The waste management follows two main criteria that are, firstly, the reduction of the production of waste at the source and secondly recycling the waste such that it is useful in other domains. Once these criteria are observed, the leftover waste is properly disposed of.
Any solid waste from discarded materials from the household, industries, commercial, agricultural, and water treatment plants are considered as solid waste.
We can reduce the formation of solid waste by:
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