Waste management is something that every household, business, education and medical institutions should learn or implement. In the United States, a study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that an American would produce about .75 tons of waste every year. About 90 % or 325-375 million tons of toxic wastes are being dumped by industrialized countries every year. United Nations received reports of waste management problems from about 60 % of countries in the 1992 Earth Summit.
It is not about just the environment that we would have to worry about. Wastes not properly disposed can cause huge health risks to people or communities surrounding the area where the wastes were disposed. The United Nations Development Programme estimates that there are five million fatalities every year because of not properly disposing wastes.
Improper waste disposal could increase dangers of increasing vermin and pests. They could spread in the community, a common disease called dengue brought by mosquito bites is very dangerous disease often times associated with stagnant water and piles of garden wastes. People could also be vulnerable to leptospirosis or infection that you could get from vermin urine and feces. Litters like broken glasses or scrap of metals can also cause tetanus.
Another danger about improper waste management, would be hazardous materials and poison which could affect the environment and the community. Medical or health care wastes can have radioactive isotopes which could get into water and result into polluted bodies of water where your kids swim. Aside from health care wastes, human wastes can also be very dangerous when disposed improperly, especially if they come from people who are suffering from certain diseases. This could also contaminate sources of water.
Unkempt yards and streets could also give an impression about the people who live in the area. It could affect the economy of the community, it is unlikely that entrepreneurs would like to invest in a community that does not invite security and safety.
Most people think that waste management is all about spending sizeable amount. Actually, it does not have to be like that. Not managing and dumping wastes irresponsibly tends to be more costly. Think about the loss of income from not trying to save on equipment and appliances.
Disposing hazardous wastes is another major problem. Hazardous wastes are actually very much present in our household. According to U.S. EPA, there are about 1.8 million tons of household hazardous waste being disposed every year. And most homeowners are not even conscious that they are storing hazardous chemicals in their cupboards.
Waste management could actually be summed up in three simple words: reduce, reuse and recycle. In United Kingdom, the country’s recycling efforts was able to help reduce 10-15 million tonnes of CO2 emission every year. Homeowners and other institutions could start by segregating trash, monitoring quantities and kinds of wastes being disposed, and making sure that they are being transported out of your site properly.
Waste management training could be given to employees, workers and staff. Having a waste management plan and people committed in carrying it out, will make the plan successful.