The problem of solid waste generation and disposal is escalating exponentially, and unless we find a sustainable solution, we’ll end up drowning in the garbage we’re creating.
The urban population is growing at a horrible rate, and waste management has shifted from being the developing countries’ concern to a pressing global challenge. Do you still doubt this? Now, see these statistics.
The World Bank’s report shows that large global cities accounted for over 2.01 billion tons of solid waste generated in 2016. This amount is expected to rise by 70% by 2050, surging the figure to 3.40 billion tons. Today, every person generates approximately 0.74 kilograms of solid waste every day.
Now, if these figures are reliable enough to work with, then we must adapt to the dirty truth that the world is getting into a serious waste crisis. Haven’t we seen the developed countries waking up to the problem of plastics choking the world’s waterways?
But, it’s inevitable
As long as the globe is developing, humanity will continue creating solid wastes. Waste generation is inevitable, but how we dispose of it determines how deep our planet is sinking in the waste crisis.
Improper management and disposal of solid waste can expose the public health and the broader environment to unsanitary conditions which may cause pollution and contamination. For instance, insects and rodents can transfer pathogens from the waste to humans, causing disease outbreaks.
Although solid waste management is complex and technically challenging, it can solve a lot of social, administrative and economic problems, thus reinstating the planet’s habitable conditions. In this article, we’ve discussed some safe ways of disposing of solid waste both at households and industrial levels. Read on to learn more.
1. Deep-sea dumping
This is a sustainable solid waste disposal method in coastal cities. However, it’s a costly procedure and unfriendly to the ecosystem.
2. Disposal at sanitary landfills
This is a simple, clean and effective method of disposing of solid waste. The waste is layered and compressed, covered with soil, levelled and compacted. Mechanical equipment excavates a deep trench of about 3 to 5 meters. Microorganisms break down the waste into organic matter to facilitate the degrading process.
This method is the best suitable for combustible solid waste. It can significantly reduce the amount of wastes being disposed of at landfills.
However, incinerating solid wastes is quite expensive, and it’s best suitable in large crowded cities where landfills aren’t available.
4. Biological digestion
The process is also known as fermentation. It involves the conversion of biodegradable wastes into compost to facilitate recycling.
Solid wastes such as glass, rags, paper and metal can be salvaged and recycled.
Whenever you want to dispose of solid waste, these options will make it easy for you. Remember that the planet is under siege, and it calls for individual responsibilities to make it a safe place for us, our animals and the environment.