Waste Management: An Effective Solution for Sustainable Environment

Farzana Akter 

The world is moving forward with technology and man is the best creature of creation. In order to facilitate our work, we are discovering new ways that make our life easier. The overproduction of waste has been causing negative impacts on our environment. The world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste a day. Over population growth and urbanization are the biggest reason. We leave hundreds of rubbish around us all the time and never realize how harmful they are to the environment and our health. Compared to the developed world, we can understand how careless and irresponsible we are.

Waste is something that is unwanted and unused material. It is also called as trash, garbage, rubbish, junk etc. Daily we are creating waste products by our activities. From packets of chips to vegetables, everything is covered by waste. Like food waste, paper, glass, metals, fertilizers, effluent water etc. From small jobs to big jobs, waste is created. Consciously or unconsciously we produce waste because it is a part of our life. There are several types of wastes. Waste can be biodegradable or non-biodegradable. Biodegradable are decomposed on environment naturally and non-biodegradable don’t decomposed rather they remain on earth for millions of time. The physical states of wastes are solid, liquid and gaseous.

All these wastes are created by us, human kind. The rapid increasing of people are the main sources of wastes. In japan, the urban drains are as clear as, they cultivate fish there and these fishes are seen within naked eye. If the environment is safe that means we are safe. For our health it is mandatory to keep environment free from pollution. But at the same time we are creating our own problem by our own activities. It is a fact of shame. By several ways environmental became polluted with wastes. Three main elements of environment are soil, water and air. They became contaminated by different types of wastes. Plants get contaminated when hazardous chemicals gets into them through soil. Agricultural wastes like fertilizers, pesticides containing DDT, Endrin, Dieldrin, etc. harms soil in a huge amount. Thus vegetables and fruits gets contaminated. Industrial waste contains harmful chemical composition of water negatively causes both water pollution and soil pollution. Then affect ecosystem, plant, animals, and makes environment imbalanced. Air pollution can occur due to poor management and causes health issues like respiratory problem and others. We see in our country, the garbage is left in the open in the form of huge piles. Undoubtedly it causes air pollution and soil pollution. Even the people around can’t travel. Some powerful greenhouse gases like methane are produced from wastes. Now let’s move on to our health. Why don’t we do anything in life, our main purpose is to live a healthy life. But the fact that we create so much waste is the cause of various diseases in our body like malaria, cholera, asthma, eye irritation, respiratory problem etc. Even from the hazardous wastes some harmful metals like Pb, Hg crest chronic health diseases like cancer, heart disease, brain damage.

We can live a healthy life, at the same time we can protect the environment. If the amount of waste that is produced remains in our environment, the survival of the fauna will become vulnerable. Then what should we do? Now here comes a term, management. Yes, waste management is the current burning issue which makes our life better and healthier. Waste management includes the collection, transport, valorization and disposal of these. Waste is not waste but it becomes resources when we are able to manage them properly. In fact waste management is a process by which wastes are converted into resources and energy and save our environment. Through waste management, we can turn waste into energy. There will be no shortage of raw materials for our energy production and we will benefit in many ways by keeping the environment free from pollution. This is a very good initiative.    

Though, the 5R is Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recovery, Recycle and final position of waste is disposal. The 10R system can be used for sustainable waste management. It’s beneficial for business. At the increasing rate of wastes in our society is getting high, we should focus on this. There are some technologies by which waste has been disposed. These are the sustainable solutions for waste disposal & management.

1. Incineration:  It’s a waste treatment process. Incineration of waste materials converts the waste into ash, flue gas and heat. It is also called as a thermal treatment. Where waste materials are turned into ashes. That is too much costly compared to our country.

2. Landfilling: Landfilling is the term used to describe the process by which solid waste is placed in the landfill. This takes a specific land and it is also costly to develop. It is carefully designed and well managed by the specialist. This is also called as sanitary landfilling.  

3. Composting: Composting is a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. Comparatively low cost. It reduces odor pollution. 

4. Dumping: Dumping is an old way of disposing off wastes. It is an easy method of disposal of dry refuse. It could be ocean dumping, sanitary dumping (landfilling) or open dumping. At present, ocean dumping is creating a threat to the environment. As a result, sea water is being polluted as well as marine life and biodiversity are being destroyed. Millions of animals are being killed, they facing a lack of oxygen. It should be banned immediately.       

The main advantage of sustainable waste management is to lessen the impact on the environment, by improving air and water quality and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, reducing food waste also helps reduce the heavy environmental cost of producing more. Besides creating jobs, improved waste management leads to a better quality of life for local populations, by improving hygiene conditions and reducing health risks related to illegal dumping and inadequate garbage collection. Main benefit of waste management is to make environment clean, fresh and healthier, as pollutants are exerted from wastes. Our coastal and Marin environment will improve its condition by waste management.      

Waste would be resources if we could manage or utilize properly, it will be energy for us. Day by day gradually our stored raw materials are getting insufficient than before. Scientists say that one day all our natural resources will run out. Precaution should be needed and may we find alternative sources. Waste can be converted into raw materials for other products and energy. Biogas is the perfect example for this. This gas produced from biodegradable wastes turn into energy or fuel. By composting of wastes we might made organic fertilizer which doesn’t make soil pollution. Recycling of paper makes tissue paper. Apart from all these, our government has to take necessary steps in this regard. The mayor of the city corporation has to play a responsible role. One example of this is the mayor of Jessore City Corporation Johirul Islam Chaklader Rantu. He had taken a great initiative. For him it is possible to be a clean city. Waste Concern Consultants has designed the country’s first Regional Integrated Landfill and Resource Recovery Facility. Jessore has become a role model in garbage recycling through proper waste management. Like Jessore every city should take step and government should have a look and be concern about waste management. Moreover, it is essential that the general people of our country should be aware first. Thus we can lead a very healthy life in a healthy environment.

Author is a student of Environmental Science and Engineering Department at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh      


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