Negative Effects of Improper Waste Management
Though we all are familiar with common methods of waste management like landfills, incineration, recycling, biological processing or energy conservation; we find ourselves living in a world filled with waste. Renewable energy and recycling took us to newer heights, but the adverse effects of improper waste management continue to plague us.
Some of the catastrophic effects of today’s poor waste management systems are listed below:
- Soil Contamination
Ideally, we would like our plastic, glass, metal and paper waste to end up at a recycling facility. It then returns to us as a renewable product. But the reality is entirely different.
Contamination occurs by spilling and burying hazardous components in soil. So, we need to be watchful of how we process petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, heavy metals and lead.
- Water Contamination
Water is an excellent solvent; it can contain numerous dissolved chemicals. As a result, while moving through, water picks up pollution along the way. It often has dissolved substances like various chemicals and gases.
Rainfall easily mixes to toxic liquid substances and seeps into the water streams to end up in nearby water bodies. Thus, the neighborhood fountain, pond, lake or even drinking water taps are susceptible to the dangers of contamination.
The victims? All living organisms including us, humans.
- Extreme Weather Caused by Climate Change
Firstly, harmful greenhouse gases are created from decomposing waste. These rise up to the atmosphere and trap heat. This adversely causes extreme weather reactions in the form of storms and typhoons.
How else are we impacted? Well, apart from temperature what is also drastically affected is the level of precipitation in the air. From acid rain to severe hail storms or global warming – everything is fair game in the present. This also spreads out into other areas with regards to subdivisions such as thermal and radioactive pollution.
- Air Contamination
On the occasions paper and plastic are burned at the landfill, causing landfill gas, the chemicals released which accumulate and contribute to the ozone layer and also hurt the surrounding human population. Methane gas adds to it as well. Besides, with chemicals such as dioxin out there, the air has been proven to have harmful effects on us.
All of it, especially as far as improper waste management is concerned, play a significant role in causing global warming.
- Harm Towards Animal and Marine Life
Despite strict measures to stop it, we keep seeing the continual dumping of garbage, raw or untreated sewage. Any animal or marine life coming in contact gets impacted in the worst of ways. The inevitable formation of algal bloom and clusters contaminates and eventually suffocates marine life such as coral and fish.
We have seen how consumption of fishing lines, cigarette butts, plastic bottles and styrofoam can kill millions of marine lives each year.
- Human Damage
Consider the majority of the human population where we do not see any scientific waste management system. Such places may possess a system, but there is no disposal area to be found.
Think about the fires at landfills and its effects on us. Whether coming from the air or its accumulation in our cellars, those landfill gases have been exposed for causing cancer, creating respiratory and visibility problems, and the explosion of cans putting people nearby at constant risk.
Additionally, when we come in contact with waste, it causes skin irritation and blood infections. We also contract diseases from flies which are carriers of illnesses after breeding on solid waste. With regards to mosquitoes, we know, besides feeding on dead fish, they find sewage, rainwater, tires, cans and other objects to be ideal breeding grounds. They carry and spread diseases such as malaria and dengue.
With an abundance of disease-carrying pests, it becomes difficult to be vigilant about waste management facilities. Despite all efforts, for example, rats continue their massive infestation on such facilities and sewage systems. They harm crops, spread diseases such as Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, Leptospirosis, Rat-bite Fever and Salmonellosis.
Waste management is our responsibility because we benefit and suffer from it in radical ways. Education and awareness across all communities, irrespective of their social, economic condition, must be ever-present for as long as life inhabits this planet. A butterfly fluttering its wings 900 miles away from you can cause a hurricane right where you live.
At The Eco Fairy, our goal is to help you build a more sustainable life by offering you a line of reusable products. We offer products that last and that will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use.
More info on our website: https://www.theecofairy.com