The gifts provided by the natural environment are bliss for mankind as well as for the other living organisms. These natural resources including air, sunlight, fresh water, fossil fuels etc. are so vital that life can never be possible without them. However, with the increase in the greed for material goods by the large population, these resources are being used and misused beyond their limits. Hence ,we should need to protect our environment .
Waste management is the complete process of handling, processing, transporting, storage, recycling and disposal of human, industrial and environmental waste. Waste management is a global phenomenon but its ramifications are more prominent in developing countries.
Solid waste management which is a very massive task is getting more complicated with rise in urbanization, overpopulation, commercialization, social and economic growth, etc. Institutional fragility, financial constrains and public attitude towards waste management has made the issue even worse.
There are several methods of waste management and some of the most common methods are as follows:
Landfills: Throwing away waste and garbage in landfills is the most common method of waste disposal. In this process, the odors and dangers of the garbage are eliminated. The garbage is then buried on the landfill sites. Landfills are also the cause of global warming which is why many countries are reconsidering the use of landfills.
Incineration: In this method, municipal solid wastes are buried to convert them into residue, heat, ash, steam and gases. It reduces the volume of solid waste by 30% of the real volume.
Recycling: It is the process in which discarded items are recycled for reuse. The waste materials are recycled to extract resources or convert into energies in the form of electricity, heat or fuel.
Composting: It is a bio-degradation process in which the organic waste i.e. remains of plants and kitchen waste are converted into nutrient rich food for plants. Composting is the method used for organic-farming that also improves the fertility of soil.
Anaerobic Digestion: It is also the process that decomposes organic materials through biological processes. It uses oxygen and bacteria-free environment for decomposing. Composting requires air to aid the growth of microbes.
Waste to Energy: In this process, non-recyclable waste is converted into energy sources such heat, fuel or electricity. This is the renewable source of energy as non-recyclable waste can be used to create energy again and again.
Waste Minimization: The simplest method of waste management is to create less waste. Waste reduction can be done by you and me by reducing the waste creation and recycling and reusing the old materials. Using eco-friendly products and reducing the use of plastic, paper, etc. is vital. Community participation has a direct impact on waste management system.
Gasification and Pyrolysis: These two methods are used to decompose organic waste materials by exposing it to low amount of oxygen and high temperature. No oxygen is used in the process of pyrolysis and very low amount of oxygen is used in process of gasification. Gasification is the most advantageous process as no air pollution is created to recover energy by burning process.
Environmental associations have established several methods in dealing with waste management. Strategies are designed by civic bodies keeping in mind the long term vision. The use of new advanced technologies for treating and disposing solid waste is also initiated. The concept of common waste treatment is being encouraged and promoted as it uses waste as resource as raw material or co-fuel in manufacturing processes.