WASTE MANAGEMENT

Navigating the Road to a Sustainable Mobility

Get moving for our future!

Waste management is the efficient use and disposal of waste. This is a very important concept. It is not only useful in the protection of the environment but also reduces the expense for disposal. Methods such as composting and recycling can help to reduce the amount of waste but also have strong benefits for the environment, such as reducing contamination, deforestation, extraction of resources, and the harm of marine and other wildlife. Proper waste management also reduces the risk of physical hazards as well as the risk of illness due to the spread of infections, diseases and by attracting rodents and other creatures.

 

Waste is a natural occurrence but how we dispose and manage the waste is important and what can be detrimental to the planet. Waste management can also lead to having more money especially for businesses. Many restaurants and businesses go bankrupt due to wastage and increase overhead costs.

 

With reusing, refurbishing, recycling, and composting, we can save money and extend the life of our products.

Waste is an unwanted or unusable by-product that is produced because of activity, mainly human activity.

 

Sources of Waste can be classified into 4 types:

  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Domestic/ Household
  • Agricultural

 

There are different types of waste, regarding its physical state. Whether it is solid, liquid or gaseous, there are different methods to dispose of waste. For example, Liquid Waste are any fluids or substances that are not considered under the hazardous waste but are in liquid state that are not useful such as dirty water, organic liquids, cooking oil, wash water etc.

 

As for Solid Waste, this is the most common and includes paper, plastics, glass, metals, organic waste, ceramics, electronics, etc.

Plastic Waste

Plastics are the most durable and often the most difficult to recycle depending on the type of plastic. Plastics often contain polymer types which all melt at different temperatures thus making it difficult to recycle.

 

Organic Waste

Organic Waste which are materials such as food waste, plants, some paper products, and other organic matter.

Aluminium Waste

Aluminum is very easy to recycle and can be done many times over, in fact there is no limit to the number of times it can be recycled. It also takes 95% less energy to recycle it than to produce it. This also reduces emissions and greenhouse gases.

Energy Waste

Energy Waste: this is a waste of heat, electricity, and fuel.

 

Paper Waste

Paper is the most recycled material. For every Ton of paper recycled it saves 3.3 cubic yards of space in the landfills. Just like plastic there are different grades of paper. The lower the grade such as newspaper is the easiest and more times it can be recycled.

General Waste

General Waste This is any waste that cannot be recycled but is not Hazardous.

 

How is Waste Disposed?

There are many ways to dispose of waste but the 7 major and most commonly used categories of Waste management methods that are used to get rid of the above are:

  1. Landfills - This is the method of burying waste, while monitoring the environmental impacts on air, soil, etc. This is the most popular form of waste disposal but not the most environmentally friendly method. This method is becoming less common recently due to the lack of space and detriment to the environment. There are 3 main categories of Landfills. These are:
  • Municipal solid waste Landfills
  • Industrial Waste landfills
  • Hazardous waste Landfills
  1. Incineration/ Combustion is the disposal method where waste is burned at very high temperatures and converts the waste into gaseous and residues, which helps to reduce the volume of solid waste and the space they take up in Landfills.
  2. Composting this method is used for natural and organic materials such as plants, food waste etc. This method uses microbes to start the decomposition process.
  3. Waste to Energy This process involves the conversion of non-recyclable waste into usable electricity, fuel, heat or to other renewable energy sources.
  4. Special or Hazardous waste disposal is the disposal of hazardous and harmful waste in order to prevent contamination. Hazardous Waste This is waste that is flammable, toxic, corrosive, reactive or dangerous. Biomedical waste is one example.
  1. Fermentation is the conversion of waste by breaking down into acids and alcohols.
  2. Recycling this is the method that converts waste products into new products to increase the usage and life of a product. This also reduces the energy volume of methane gas that is produced in landfills, preserves natural resources and reduces greenhouse gases and one’s carbon footprint.

How to Reduce Waste?

There are many ways to reduce and manage waste efficiently.

  • Reduce- By reducing what we use, we reduce the amount of waste we produce which then saves energy, water, and materials. Eg Buying exactly what you need and not using unnecessary packaging such as bags.
  • Reuse- By reusing a product we prolong the life of our product and thus reduce the amount of waste we produce. For example, using a bag repeatedly or reusing bath water to flush the toilet.
  • Recovery, this is the use of waste to make something valuable or something new, such as using waste material to provide biogas for vehicles.
  • Recycling   - This is the re-processing of one item into other similar items. e.g. plastic bottles get cleaned, melted to form new plastic bottles.
  • Repurposing - This is giving a new life to an item or using a product for another use. e.g. washing a container that ice cream came in and using it as Food storage.
  • Repairing This is fixing an item that is damaged or broken and continuing to use it. e.g. Sewing or patching a hole in clothing.
  • Composting using natural organic materials to make fertilizer.

 

WHY IS WASTE A PROBLEM AROUND THE WORLD?

The amount of waste produced is steadily increasing year after year. It is a massive problem for the planet and causes irreversible issues as environmental, health and economic. The effect of waste is the pollution of the soil, the air and oceans with plastics and hazardous chemicals around the world.

If you are interesting to know how much waste there is in the world when you are reading this article:

https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/waste/global-waste-problem

 

In 2023, the two biggest producers of waste were China and the USA. However, most of the effects were observed in the Southern Hemispher - poorest countries. Most of these countries don't have a suitable recycling solution like in rich countries.

 

 

INDIVIDUAL GOOD PRACTICE

There is a lot of good practice to help to decrease OUR carbon footprint: using less, recycling more, reusing, being more energy efficient and conscious.

 

Being conscious and aware of what WE produce, or buy is the main key. For example:

  • Buying rechargeable batteries.
  • Using LED lights
  • Turning off lights and unplugging when not is use (still consumes energy when is plugged in without using it )
  • Reducing food waste
  • Recycling plastic, paper, metals and cardboard
  • Upcycling product i have already used.
  • Save water.
  • Using organic materials as much as you can
  • Composting.
  • Riding bike and walking more unless of taking care
  • RideShare and carpooling.

FAMOUS GOOD PRACTISE IN SWEDEN & EUROPE

 

👍 The pant/pet system: Can and plastic bottle deposit system that gives people money back: one was created in 1984 for aluminum cans and in 1994 another for plastic bottles. The country recycles more than 1 billion bottles and cans every year.

👍 Close to expiry discount: Food products close to expiry date are offered to consumers at a reduced price.

👍 Doggy Bag: restaurants provide doggy bags or encourage customers to bring their own boxes for take-away. if they are not able to finish their meal.

 

HOW CAN I GET ACTIVE IN MY COMMUNITY?

 

To get involved in your community's efforts you can do different things such as initiating green initiatives like nature walks and organising beach and city cleanups.

Advocate for sustainable practices such as promoting bicycle use, reducing food waste, and using eco- friendly products.

Take it a step further by creating and sharing DIY natural products for cleaning and beauty. Additionally, support and promote ride-sharing programs to reduce carbon footprints.

 

Don’t forget that your active participation can inspire a collective commitment to a cleaner and greener future.

IN MY DAILY LIFE ...

 

In my daily life, I can make a difference by:

👉 choosing to buy sustainable items that are reusable or recyclable, such as investing in cloth bags for my supermarket trips.

👉 composting food and garden waste, which not only minimizes landfill impact but also enriches the soil.

👉 committing to avoid single-use items

👉 opting for second-hand purchases

👉 supporting local markets

👉 going digital for receipts

👉 embracing eco-friendly transportation like biking, contributing to reduce my carbon footprint

👉 practicing mindful habits like labeling and organizing food, taking shorter showers, and repurposing meals

and more!

 

I am actively working towards a more sustainable and eco- conscious lifestyle.

 

 

Try this quiz to see how much you know about Waste Management!

Bibliography:

 

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