Waste to Resources and Protect the Environment

Happy Khatun

Waste is any substance which is discarded after primary use, or is worthless, defective and of no use. Wastes are useless, unwanted and countless materials. Most human activities generates waste. Everyday huge amount of waste produced in the whole world. Waste created by our daily life activities. Destructed or destroyed materials are known as the wastes materials. This materials are uses in the one-time then throw down into them. There are many kind of wastes in the whole world. And all wastes products are not fully destroyed in the ground. Some wastes are not destroyed and exist in the ground and then destroy our environment. Waste depends on the eye of the beholder, one person’s waste can be resource for another person. Sometimes wastes are not the wastes, it’s considered to secondary products. Waste is a valuable resource when it converted into useable new products.

Waste is one of the biggest challenges faced by our society. C40’s research for Climate Action in Megacities 3.0 revealed that C40 cities are taking over 1,039 actions in the waste management sector. With almost 50% of them being transformative or deployed city-wide, focusing on source separation policies (>60%), reuse schemes (>60%) and electronic waste recycling (>50%). Waste management comprise the collection, transportation, treatment, recycling, disposal and monitoring of solid waste. Solid waste is managed to avoid its adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The circular Economy philosophy of resource management aims to change current practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all materials are designed to become resources for others to use, and to shift to a new practice. In 2011, about 24,000 tonnes of the household waste was collected and of the 1% was reused 937% in 2014), 60% energy-recovered and only 6% went to landfill. The city aims to recycle 50% of the household waste by 2018. Currently, Oslo is drafting a new waste strategy for the 2015-2025 period with enhance goals and a closer linking to the circular economy.

Todays, efforts to turn waste into resources can be divided into two groups: that focus on changing the production system (e.g. Cradle to Cradle, Circular Economy, Industrial Ecology, Zero Waste in Industry) and those that focus on improving waste management (e.g. Integrated Sustainable Waste Management, Zero waste in Society).

This figure shows that, extracting of raw materials- designed and production- packaging and distribution- use and maintenance- disposal- Waste to resource system. Local authorities are responsible for the collection and treatment of waste. Extracting of raw materials in the world that are accumulated. Then the waste transportation and separation in them. The waste hierarchy is the evaluation of process that can protect the environment.

Alongside energy consumption and resource, from most favorable to least favorable. Agreed good waste management systems are that priorities actions at the top of the pyramid with the goal of minimizing actions at the bottom. Waste prevention and minimization is the part of the waste hierarchy and it’s based on the concept. This concept are, if create less waste, consume the fewer resource. Reuse means using a product more than once. Repairing products or materials, selling them on or donating them to charity or community groups also reduces waste.

Recycling is the wastes products turning them into new products. Recycling prevents waste from being sent to landfill and makes waste into new goods or products. Energy recovery from waste is the conversation of non-recyclable waste materials into usable materials, into usable heat, electricity, or fuel, through a variety of process including combustion, gasification, anaerobic digestion, and landfill gas (LPG) recovery. This process called Waste-to-energy (WTE). Critics argue that incinerators destroy valuable resources and might reduce incentives for recycling. Disposal is the process of waste management and this process of the disposal of waste through the landfilling, incineration, and other finalist solutions. Disposal of waste in a landfill involves buying the waste.

The wastes we are producing everyday can be turned into something good. Such as electricity or fuel. The solid waste can be converted into gas. Municipal solid waste management strategies can both provide effective mitigation of GHG emissions through landfill gas recovery and improved landfill practices, and can avoid significant GHG generation through controlled composting, integrated waste to energy facilities and/or expand collection services. In addition, waste minimization, recycling, and reuse represent an important and increasing field of actions for GHG emissions reductions through the conservation of raw materials, improved energy and resource efficiency and fossil fuel avoidance.

Two of the 3Rs (2R=Reduce and Reuse) are considered high priority for development. Waste prevention, reduce, and reuse vary across countries and regions. Waste prevention in Directive 2008/98/EC in the European Union (EU) includes the reduction of the quality of toxic substances in materials and products. This is the good for our environment.

Good waste management and waste to resources systems aim to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and generate the minimum amount of waste. Plastic recycling is a process that can contribute to both the economy and the environment of a country. It’s a great system to manage plastic wastes in a way that can be used to produce different kinds of valuable products.

High production potentially, low production cost, availability to cheap labor and raw materials, high demand for Bangladesh plastic in the international market have made the sector more effective. Successful examples of countries, such as India, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, the USA, and many other developed and developing countries, are making use of high technologies to produce different types of products by using recycled plastic. Bangladesh can follow these countries to make the best use of their resources.

Waste management is a key player in maintaining a business ISO14001 accreditations. Companies are encouraged to improve their environmental efficiencies each year. Poor waste management contributes to climate change and air pollution, and directly affects ecosystems and species. The waste management strategy was also driven by the city’s long-term GHG emissions reduction and waste reduction goals. Oslo and Cambia as received the Norwegian Research Council’s innovation reward in 2012 for their approach of system thinking around waste and their biogas/bio fertilizer production plan.

Plastic waste has become blessing to many countries, like Germany, South Korea, Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, and others because they use recycled plastic as a resource to produce new products. Plastic waste is the harmful to the environment, but recycled plastic can be a profitable resource for a country. Recycling means the reprocessing and re-fabricating of a material that has been used and discarded by a consumer and that otherwise would be destined as solid waste. This recycle is called post-consumer recycling. When the waste convert to resource, it reduces the production of waste and save the natural environment.

The Zero Waste Program is a policy initiative to reduce waste and increase access to recycling and composting. Zero waste is defined by San Francisco as sending nothing to landfill or high temperature destruction (incineration). Reduction in landfill waste results in GHG emissions savings, contributing towards San Francisco’s carbon goal of 80% by 2050. This plastic packaging is recycled and the food waste is supplied to a biological treatment plant with capacity of 50,000 tons/year, which produces enough biogas and bio-fertilizer to run about 150 buses and provide about 100 medium-sized farms with bio-fertilizer yearly.

Waste to resource systems shows that waste converted to the useful products and become a  resources. Huge amount of waste converted to valuable resource by various processes and protect the environment. It protects our natural environment and promote the sustainable development. Ultimately, whether waste will constitute a problem or a resource all depends on how we manage it.

Author is a Student of Environmental Science and Engineering; Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University

Email: happynu52@gmail.com

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