When we engage in improper waste disposal, we have a significant impact on the environment. Examine our solutions to improper waste disposal to see how you may make tiny, eco-friendly adjustments that will have a long-term impact on the ecosystem.
Many of our regular activities result in waste production. This is a concern since we dispose of our regular waste inefficiently over the world. Improper waste disposal can have serious consequences for human health and the environment.
The most serious waste disposal issues include producing an excessive amount of waste, the majority of which is toxic. Landfill management has grown difficult, and we continue to rely on outdated technology to reduce and recycle waste. Some environmentally friendly waste disposal systems are not environmentally friendly, and restrictions are based on vested interests.
Table of Contents
What is Improper Waste Disposal?
Fig.1 An example of improper waste disposal
Source: Vanguard News
Waste disposal is any technique that is used to dispose of unwanted substances or materials. However, incorrect waste disposal occurs when rubbish is disposed of in an environmentally dangerous manner. Incorrect disposal also includes any disposal that occurs as a result of improper management of such items, such as the disposal of spent oil and dangerous chemicals through an illicit discharge.
Trash, hazardous waste buried in the ground, and failure to recycle items that should be recycled are just a few instances. Improper waste disposal is when waste is disposed of in a way that is harmful to the environment. Littering, dumping hazardous waste into the ground, and not recycling items that should be recycled are all examples. Poor waste disposal procedures wreak havoc on the ecology in a given location.
Causes of Improper Waste Disposal
Poor waste management can be caused by a variety of factors, all of which can be addressed with the proper amount of attention. Consider this scenario: you’re working at a retail store and you’re knee-deep in polythene wrapping. What could have caused this?
Let’s look at some of the reasons for inefficient waste management and come up with some solutions to improper waste disposal.
- Lack of Public Awareness
- Refusal to Learn About Compliance
- Inadequate Waste Management Investment
- Inadequate Machinery
- Flawed Regulations and Laws
- Too Much Waste
- Hazardous/Toxic Waste
- Some “green” technologies are not truly green
- Too many Single-Use Plastics
1. Lack of Public Awareness
Lack of public awareness, or more particularly, lack of understanding within enterprises and poor attitudes, is one of the first reasons for inadequate waste management. When something has reached the end of its useful life, it is frequently disposed of carelessly.
Businesses produce a quarter of all of England’s waste, according to the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Professionals in any company must understand that just because something has outlived its usefulness does not mean it may be thrown away without adequate management.
A good waste management strategy necessitates buy-in from the top. It can be impossible to solve any problems without the correct amount of excitement or determination.
Similarly, it can be difficult to find a cause to invest time and effort in waste management if you are unaware of the negative implications of improper waste management on efficiency, the environment, and human health. Some employees will be unaware of the financial advantages that a good waste management plan or system can provide.
This can lead to inappropriate waste disposal since people who do not follow the proper waste disposal guidelines always discard it wherever they please with no regard for the consequences.
Greed can lead to incorrect waste disposals, such as burning tires and plastic wheels instead of retaining them or trading excess automotive tires to maximize profits.
4. Refusal to Learn About Compliance
It is the responsibility of businesses to follow all waste management rules and regulations. In the United Kingdom, there are a number of these regulations in place. When transferring waste to a registered waste carrier, for example, you must produce and fill out a waste transfer note.
That is just one of the current regulations, which have also evolved. Failure to comply with the law or a lack of information about it can result in significant penalties or even jail time for those who are accountable. As a result, you must spend the time necessary to educate yourself and your coworkers about waste management requirements.
5. Inadequate Waste Management Investment
This aspect is similar to the preceding one in that some people will wish to avoid compliance to save money. Because it does not work under the correct environmental or legal regulations, illegal waste sites or fly-tipping is less expensive than authorized waste disposal.
Illegal waste techniques may save money in the short term, but the penalties are never worth it. They also mean you won’t be able to take advantage of the potential revenue streams that come with good waste management. did you know that polystyrene is recyclable and an important resource in the building industry, for example?
6. Inadequate Machinery
This can be a significant problem for businesses. It might be difficult to adopt a fully efficient waste management strategy if there is a lack of waste management technology, such as balers and compactors.
Machines, for example, can provide:
- A reduction in waste volume, allowing for easier transportation and storage.
- Improved operational efficiency by serving as a designated waste disposal location.
- Improved hygiene and safety by providing enclosed chambers for waste while it is baled or compacted.
Businesses can be left badly handling the waste disposal without machinery, which is an effective way of disposing of waste. These could include many excursions to the landfill (and the associated fees) or even flytipping, a crime that could result in a fine of up to £400.
Waste management systems are cost-effective investments for businesses, but how do they appear in practice? Investigating real-world business cases and deployments is the greatest method to learn more about what our solutions have to offer in terms of efficiency and safety. If you’re interested, our guide will show you how to improve your waste management tactics.
7. Flawed Regulations and Laws
Waste disposal and management have evolved into a profitable business. Large waste disposal companies are in charge of sewer systems, incinerators, and landfills. Regardless of the waste reduction regulations, the corporation’s purpose is to produce money. Because they interact with vested interest regulators, this results in inefficient waste disposal regulation.
8. Too Much Waste
We generate an excessive amount of rubbish. Companies that produce one-time products that do not value reuse, recycling, or using environmentally friendly materials are also a big part of the problem.
9. Hazardous/Toxic Waste
When it comes to harmful substance regulation, most state, and municipal governments are fairly lax. Many of the products in your home include hazardous chemicals, and regrettably, many of us use a variety of toxic products regularly, such as solvent-based paints, Pesticides, and other garden pesticides, Batteries, Cleaning and polishing chemicals
They are frequently disposed of incorrectly, posing a risk to our health and the environment. According to research by the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are over 60,000 untested chemicals in consumer products in our homes. And this is exactly what we, as consumers, are responsible for. As a result, pollution from corporations and industry is a major concern.
10. Some “green” technologies are not truly green
Some recycling methods are regarded as “green.” When you check into it, though, you’ll find that they aren’t very long-lasting. Gasification, pyrolysis, and plasma incineration are examples of these technologies. Toxic compounds are released into the environment when the waste is burned, so it isn’t the ideal waste disposal option.
11. Too many Single-Use Plastics
As startling as it may seem, single-use packaging is responsible for ~40% of all plastic waste. Single-use plastics can be replaced with more environmentally friendly alternatives. However, they can still be found EVERYWHERE for some reason.
The fact that regulations are being rolled over and many states/countries are finally banning certain single-use plastics is a positive indication. Unfortunately, this does not miraculously remove all of the previously collected single-use plastics. The largest bulk of plastic waste (40 percent) ends up in landfills, where it decomposes slowly over many years.
Effects of Improper Waste Disposal on Human Health
To show the necessity of implementing solutions to improper waste disposal let’s look at some of the effects of improper waste disposal on human health. They include
- Negative effects on human health
- Animal and marine life effects
- Pests that spread disease
1. Negative effects on human health
Consider the vast bulk of humanity, for whom there is no answer to the inappropriate waste disposal. There may be a system in place, but there is no disposal area to be located. Those who are at high risk include:
- Children and those living near such institutions
- Workers in the waste disposal industry
- Employees who work in environments that produce or come into contact with waste.
Consider the effects of landfill fires on the general public. Whether they come from the air or accumulate in our cellars, landfill gases have been linked to cancer, and respiratory and visibility issues, and the explosion of cans puts individuals in the immediate vicinity at risk.
Failure to implement solutions for incorrect waste disposal can have a significant impact on the health of those who live near contaminated areas or landfills. Workers in these landfills who deal with waste and other staff are at a higher risk. Skin irritations, blood infections, respiratory problems, growth disorders, and even reproductive issues can all be caused by inadequately treated wastes.
2. Animal and marine life effects
It cannot be overstated: our carelessness with waste and waste affects more than just us. Pollution created by carelessly dumped waste and debris has an impact on animals as well. Consumption of styrofoam and cigarette butts has been linked to the death of marine animals. Toxins that seep into the soil can poison animals that eat grass near contaminated sites or landfills.
3. Pests that spread disease
In sewage sites, mosquitoes and rodents are known to reside and breed, and both are known to bring life-threatening infections. We know that mosquitoes find sewage, rain, tires, cans, and other objects to be great hatching grounds, in addition to dead fish. Malaria and dengue fever are two diseases they carry and spread.
Rats can be found in landfills and sewage, where they find food and shelter, and they can spread diseases like leptospirosis and salmonellosis.
Furthermore, the moisture produced by waste serves as a breeding ground for mold. Bacteria can spread and multiply in the right conditions, such as moisture produced by appliances and food leftovers.
Effects of Improper Waste Disposal on the Environment
Let’s also look at some other effects of improper waste disposal before we look at the solution to improper waste disposal. This time, we look at its effects on the environment.
- Soil Contamination
- Air Pollution
- Water Contamination
- Climate change-induced Extreme Weather
1. Soil Contamination
The most serious concern created by incorrect waste removal and disposal is soil contamination. Hazardous chemicals leach into the soil from some wastes that end up in landfills. Here’s what happens when a plastic water bottle is not properly disposed of and is absorbed by the soil:
- When plastic water bottles degrade, a hazardous component called DIETHYLHYDROXYLAMINE (DEHA) is released (DEHA). (A carcinogen that damages human reproductive abilities, causes liver disease, and promotes weight loss.)
- DEHA seeps into the soil and water bodies around it, harming the animal and plant life that depends on it.
Soil contamination causes soil degradation, and hurts plant growth as well as the health of humans and animals who eat such plants. As a result, every home must prioritize recycling. At your local recycling center, you can recycle plastics, metals, paper, and electronic waste. If everyone takes the time to sort and classify their recyclable material before bringing it to a recycling center, the majority of waste will be diverted from landfills.
2. Air Pollution
Hazardous waste, such as bleach and acids, must be disposed of correctly and only in authorized containers with the appropriate labeling. In landfills, some papers and plastics are burned, releasing gas and chemicals that harm the ozone layer. Dioxin-releasing waste is likewise harmful and poses a health risk when it is released into the air we breathe. Add in the methane emissions released by decomposing wastes. Finally, landfill gas created by decaying wastes has the potential to be explosive, posing a threat to adjacent communities.
3. Water Contamination
Water is a great solvent since it can hold a lot of dissolved compounds. As a result, water picks up pollution as it moves through the system. It frequently contains dissolved things such as chemicals and gases.
Hazardous pollutants in the environment seep into the ground, eventually contaminating groundwater. As a result, contamination risks exist at the neighborhood fountain, pond, lake, and even drinking water faucets. This water is used for a variety of purposes, including irrigation of local fields and drinking. Waste-derived toxic liquid compounds can infiltrate into streams and bodies of water.
Marine life that comes into contact with sewage that hasn’t been treated is at risk. It has the potential to devastate and suffocate marine environments such as corals. Humans who consume fish and other marine animals are also at risk from contaminated water.
To begin with, damaging greenhouse gases are produced as waste decomposes. These rise to the surface of the earth and trap heat. Extreme weather reactions, such as storms and typhoons, are a result of this.
Apart from temperature, the amount of precipitation in the air is also greatly influenced. Everything is fair game right now, from acid rain to violent hail storms to global warming. This extends to other sectors, such as thermal and radioactive pollution, as well as subdivisions.
Let’s jump right into the solutions to improper waste disposal.
Solutions to Improper Waste Disposal
Below are the solutions to improper waste disposal.
One of the most obvious solutions to improper waste disposal is recycling. A large variety of materials can be recycled to some extent, and recycling can even provide financial benefits. Wood products, metals such as steel and aluminum, plastics, and especially glasses can all be recycled to reclaim some of the utility of the used product.
2. Waste to Energy Incineration
Waste to Energy (WTE) incineration is one of the solutions to improper waste disposal and is a method of producing energy by burning waste as a fuel. This permits discarded things to have a second utility life by being utilized to generate energy that can then be used by society.
The disadvantage of this method is that it produces more greenhouse gases in the form of CO2. This CO2 generation compares to the greenhouse gas emissions produced by coal-fired power plants.
3. Anaerobic Digestion
One of the solutions to improper waste disposal is anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is the breakdown of organic waste by bacteria and other microorganisms without the use of oxygen or open air. It is regarded as a renewable energy technique that produces methane and other products from waste.
This methane can be used to fuel a variety of engines or converted into natural gas. Anaerobic digestion is a relatively novel technology that is only now gaining traction as a waste management and energy generation method.
4. Composting/Recycling of Organic Waste
One of the solutions to improper waste disposal is composting. Composting is a natural way for biological waste, such as rotten food, to decompose. This procedure is incredibly eco-friendly, and it is now being implemented on a large scale in response to the growing size of landfills. Composting allows organic waste to be quickly recycled and converted into fertilizer for use in farming. Panda specializes in organic waste recycling and will help you set up a composting system to function alongside your regular waste collection.
5. Advanced Technologies
The use of advanced technologies is also one of the solutions to improper waste disposal. There are several other innovative waste management systems in the works. Pyrolysis breaks down organic waste into tiny pieces that may be disposed of more readily using high heat.
Plasma arc gasification is another technique that catalyzes the conversion of organic materials into synthetic gases and solid waste known as slag. After that, the slag can be used as a solid for construction and other applications. These processes are still in the early stages of development and are not widely used.
6. Get in Touch with your Local Government
Getting in touch with your local government is also one of the solutions to improper waste disposal. With various queries, concerns, or suggestions for improving waste disposal in your area, you can contact your local municipality. Be aware that contacting your local government can be a time-consuming process. You can still offer recommendations or request improvements if you have the time and nerve.
7. Opt for environmentally friendly, plastic-free alternatives.
Opting for environmentally friendly, plastic-free alternatives is one of the solutions to improper waste disposal. Do not undervalue the impact of your particular choices. By purchasing products from companies that share your beliefs, you are voting with your pocketbook, supporting the types of companies you want to see in the world. As a consumer, you can “vote” with your wallet to encourage businesses to adopt more environmentally friendly and sustainable practices. Choose locally created, plastic-free, and sustainable products and services whenever possible.
8. Avoiding toxic waste
One of the solutions to improper waste disposal is avoiding toxic waste. Bleach, furniture, carpet, or oven cleaners, air freshener, antifreeze, and all-purpose cleaners, to name a few… You have (or use) at least one of these products as a result of the changes. These chemicals are flushed down the drain when you use them in toilets, sinks, dishwashers, and other places. It all went down the drain.
Although the water is directed to wastewater treatment plants, the majority of toxins still end up in rivers and lakes. The approach is to eliminate any hazardous substances from your daily routine and replace them with ecologically friendly alternatives.
9. Rejecting single-use plastics
Rejecting single-use plastics is one of the efficient solutions to improper waste disposal. Single-use plastics are extremely wasteful, thus getting rid of them is the best option. There are many reusable and environmentally friendly alternatives to single-use plastics, such as:
- Plastic water bottle = Reusable stainless steel bottle
- Plastic bag = Reusable bag
- Plastic cutlery = Reusable cutlery set
- Disposable coffee cup = Reusable coffee cup
- Disposable food containers = Reusable food container
- Trash can = Reusable recycling bins
- Disposable & plastic razor = Reusable stainless steel razor
- Plastic toothbrush = Bamboo toothbrush
- Toothpaste tube = Plastic-free toothpaste
- Menstrual single-use products = Menstrual cup / Reusable pads
- Shampoo in a plastic bottle = Shampoo bar
- Deodorant spray = Ethical deodorant in plastic-free packaging
10. Teach about personal eco-responsibility
Informing others about effective waste management is one of the solutions to improper waste disposal and it can go a long way toward reducing waste and unsustainable habits. Individuals, local governments, and communities should all support and implement waste management education activities.
In conclusion, we can curb improper waste disposal the more people know about the solutions to improper waste disposal. It is necessary that we adopt these solutions to improper waste disposal now so as to reduce and totally eliminate the effects of improper waste disposal as we have seen in the article.
Solutions to Improper Waste Disposal -FAQs
Are there agencies that monitor improper waste disposal?
The Environmental Protection Agencies (EPA) in different countries are responsible for monitoring improper waste disposal and they also help implement the solutions to improper waste disposal in their respective countries.
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A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.