Advantage And Disadvantage Of Waste Management

Waste Management (or Waste Disposal) techniques have been in place ever since man learnt to live in communities and settle at one place. However, with the growing population, technologies, and urbanisation, we have not been able to upkeep the waste management methods and thus this has created a problem of large dumping of wastes which are a cause of concern as on date. For instance, there are various methods and techniques by which the waste is disposed of. Some of them are Landfills, Recycling, Composting, etc. Furthermore, these methods are much useful in disposing of the waste without causing any harm to the environment.

Waste is produced by human activity, for example, the extraction and processing of raw materials. Waste management is intended to reduce adverse effects of waste on human health, the environment or aesthetics. Waste management practices are not uniform among countries (developed and developing nations); regions (urban and rural areas), and residential and industrial sectors can all take different approaches. A large portion of waste management practices deal with municipal solid waste (MSW) which is the bulk of the waste that is created by household, industrial, and commercial activity.

Waste Management helps in reducing pollution and by adapting to efficient waste management techniques, emission of gases like Carbon dioxide and Methane from wastes can be reduced to a large extent. Waste Management helps in the prevention of contagious diseases. We saw that recycling is a method of waste management and it has a lot of benefits. When products are recycled, there is no need to produce new products which saves raw materials. The energy consumption will also be much less. It is a big industry as it contains various stages and procedures. Human resources are required in large numbers at every stage. Thus waste management as an industry creates several job opportunities. People with less education and skilled labor can also be utilized in high number in this sector.

Traditionally, the waste management industry has been a late adopter of new technologies such as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, GPS and integrated software packages which enable better quality data to be collected without the use of estimation or manual data entry.

Advantage of Waste Management –

  • Keeps the environment clean and fresh: The greatest advantage of waste management is keeping the environment fresh and neat. These waste disposal units also make the people go disease-free as all the resultant wastes are properly disposed and taken care of. More number of waste disposal units can be placed in all the tier-1 and tier-2 cities so that the waste disposal process can be prepped up. Also a point worthy of our consideration here is that this advantage can be taken into account only if extensive and proper safety measures are implemented along with proper waste disposal techniques.
  • There is no use in simply implementing a half-baked technique which, if no use to both the people and the environment. This is the best effects of proper waste disposal.
  • Saves the Earth and conserves energy: This characteristic of waste management includes specifically the recycling aspect. As recycling of waste helps in reducing the cutting down of trees. This cutting of trees is mainly done for the production of paper. Though the paperless office is the new trend that is practiced widely but with the help of recycling we can conserve energy and lower the consumption of earthly resources.
  • By using this method, we can use recycled waste to make quality papers rather than relying on trees. Also, recycling needs only a minimal amount of energy for utilization and complete processing. The resultant product we obtain is a renewable source of energy and is eco-friendly.
  • Reduces environmental pollution: As explained above, waste management if done in a proper manner not only eliminates the surrounding waste but also will reduce the intensity of the greenhouse gases like methane, carbon monoxide which is emitted from the wastes accumulated. The depth of the existing landfills and incineration will be curbed, thereby cutting down the harmful factors that affect the environment.
  • Creates employment: A large quantity of manpower and skill is needed for the various processes involved in waste management. Starting with the collection of the waste to where it is disposed, a lot of job opportunities are created through the management of waste. This claim is evident from the labor statistics provided by the US government, according to which around 3.1 million new jobs are produced due to the waste management factor.
  • Health: If human beings are exposed to waste, the health of humans can be affected negatively and can result in a lot of diseases and illness. As we all know, activities carried out in the management of waste include waste collection from different landfills and the transportation of waste to places where they can be safely disposed without causing any harm to our health.

Disadvantages of Waste Management –

  • Finance: Waste management on a large can require a lot of man power and technology to be carried out successfully. There is the need for planning and implementation of the many processes and activities involved in the management of waste. Also, a lot of varieties of waste need to managed and there is the need for different methods of waste management for the different types of wastes; this means a higher cost for the management of waste.
  • Health of Workers: The management of wastes and all of the processes involved can lead to a number of fungal and bacterial infections and diseases on the part of those working in the waste management sector.
  • The sites are often dangerous: As the waste management sites include the landfills to recycling units under its aegis, these sites are highly susceptible to fungal and bacterial growth thereby leading to various diseases. Even the debris formation will be accelerated by such bacterial growth, which makes it totally unsafe for the workers who work there. It also causes widespread pollution and releases harmful chemicals. These chemicals, when mixed with drinking water or any other consumable item pose a high amount of danger to human health.
  • More problems: Though waste management creates employment, it only has the ability to produce low-quality jobs. These jobs include right from sorting the garbage collector to the intensive and laborious jobs that are needed in the factories and outlets. Daily basis collection of garbages will make the streets look unpleasant and unhygienic leaving excess debris on the streets to rot up. Even after the successful completion of the final stage, many chemical stews will be left behind which needs to be properly and completely disposed, otherwise, they will also pose a threat to the environment which makes the ultimate purpose of waste management go redundant.

Also, in the areas where these management units are present, it is noticed that the groundwater gets affected. So, it too causes a considerable extent of water pollution and land pollution.

While waste transport within a given country falls under national regulations, trans-boundary movement of waste is often subject to international treaties. A major concern to many countries in the world has been hazardous waste. The Basel Convention, ratified by 172 countries, deprecates movement of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries. The provisions of the Basel convention have been integrated into the EU waste shipment regulation. Radioactive waste, although considered hazardous, does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Basel Convention.

The Journal of Waste management says that the revenues generated by the waste management would top by $60 million by 2018. But, there are only a few people who sincerely consider this as an industry into various facets of waste management like recycling and reusing, and reap the benefits. Now many companies are looking forward to associating themselves with this industry and are ready for a long term investment.

 

Information Sources:

  1. thewisdompost.com
  2. content.wisestep.com