Waste management is very important to our everyday life. There are many different processes and depending on where you live there are different waste management methods. By understanding the different waste management methods can help us improve the current systems and secure a better future.
What is Waste Management?
Waste management as the name itself suggests is composed of the various activities that are carried out to manage waste. It consists of several processes ranging from the collection of waste material to regulating recycling procedures.
The ‘waste’ in waste management basically refers to the unwanted or unusable material that is produced as a result of everyday essential activities of humans and occurs in different forms.
Waste can be liquid, solid, or gas. Besides the state of the matter, waste can be categorically differentiated according to its origin; household waste, biological waste, commercial waste, or industrial waste. Other than these basic types, there is also a type of waste known as hazardous waste. This type of waste poses a severe threat to the environment and human health and different waste management methods are designed specifically for handling them. Often these hazardous waste products contain toxic chemicals and are radioactive, so extra care is given for their safe disposal.
Similarly, there are a variety of different waste management methods. Each is best suited for a specific task. But before we discuss these different types, let us answer a very important question first.
What is the aim behind waste management?
The aim of waste management is quite straightforward, that is to minimize the dangerous effects of waste on the environment and human health and to deal with waste as effectively and sustainably as possible. Waste management is also a useful way of energy generation as we will discuss later on in this article.
Okay, let us get started with our discussion on some common waste management methods. Also, if you want to understand the importance of waste management more thoroughly, here is a dedicated article on the importance of waste management.
What are the different waste management methods?
There are a few different types of waste management methods and it is important to understand them. By understanding the different waste management methods, we can then do better and even figure out ways to minimize waste. Here are 5 different waste management methods from the conventional combustion, incineration, and dumping at the landfills or into the ocean.
Waste Management Method #1: Recycling
This is one of the most effective and useful methods that has gained popularity as a result of the introduction of environmentally friendly policies on governmental levels. In many areas, the local authorities are responsible for the collection of recyclable waste material. There is a proper system designed for setting up separate receptacles for each type of material that greatly reduces the risk of them mixing with those waste types that need to be discarded away. Once the materials are sorted out, they are transported to industries where they are required.
Recycling is essentially the first procedure that waste materials undergo after which it is decided what will happen to the other waste products.
Composting: One of the popular waste management methods
Composting has become another popular waste management method when it comes to the handling of household waste. In this method people who own a garden make use of their food waste as compost instead of discarding it. Organic materials such as fruit rind, onion peels, and shredded paper are collected in a suitable container and the material is left to decompose. Once this task is completed, it can be added to the soil as a means of providing natural nutrients, which assists in the development of the plants and allows gardeners to grow fruits and vegetables. Small farmers also use this technique for making fertilizers.
Alternative method: Animal Feed
Another important way of converting waste material into something useful is by converting it into animal feed. This waste management method is effective mostly on domestic levels but it is also applicable to farms. Household waste for example vegetable peels and food scraps are fed to small animals such as hamsters and rabbits. Similarly, large meat bones are given to dogs. Other animals like pigs are indiscriminate when it comes to their diet and it is safe for them to eat most domestic waste types.
Raw Material For Companies
Another very significant method of waste management is in the production of firewood. Not only this waste is also commonly used by construction companies as they are essential when it comes to refurbishing a home or replacing furniture. These companies have departments that serve the purpose of collecting discarded furniture which is then easily cut up into more manageable pieces and used as firewood.
Important Conversions Waste-To-Energy
This is a very useful waste management method that basically calls for the conversion of non-recyclable waste items into usable ones. This process often results in the production of energy and can be used as a sustainable power source.
What are the benefits of waste management?
One of the prime advantages of waste management is that it results in better environmental conditions, ensuring that the air remains fresh at all times. It helps remove harmful and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and methane from the atmosphere. Secondly, it creates employment opportunities and thus regulates the economy. Moreover, it serves as an effective method of energy conservation since it allows the recycling of useful products which can then serve as new energy resources.
So these were some of the waste management methods.
Out of them recycling and reusing are considered to be the best waste management method, for obvious reasons because recycling not only allows us to get rid of waste material that we no longer need but effectively converts it into something that is useful and is required as raw materials for industries. It is almost like a win-win situation.
Learn more about waste management in general here!