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How is Waste Managed Around the World?

It is apparent that the world, at large, is experiencing a lot of problems when it comes to proper waste management. According to data from the World Bank, the rate of waste generated is only expected to increase.

In 2016, the world’s cities generated approximately two billion tonnes of solid waste. This amounts to a potential footprint of 0.74 kilograms per individual per day. Unfortunately, as a result of the high rates of population growth coupled with urbanisation, our annual waste generation is only projected to increase dramatically.

To be more precise, the World Bank estimates that we will be generating around 3.4 billion tonnes of waste in 2050. This implies that something needs to be done, and very quickly.

Poor rubbish disposal not only affects the environment, but equally negatively impacts on the overall health of the population. Compared to the residents in the developed world, those in developing nations, typically the urban poor, are relatively more severely impacted by poorly managed rubbish.

What’s more, research indicates that more than 90% of waste is usually disposed of in unregulated dumps in low-income parts of the world. Sadly, all these practices result in serious safety, health and environmental consequences. Waste that is poorly managed serve as ample breeding grounds for disease vectors and equally contribute to global climate change via methane creation.

How is waste management handled around the world?

Waste management is the general term used to describe the process of collection, transportation, disposal and monitoring of rubbish. Waste, on the other hand, refers to all types of material rubbish that are produced through human activity. On most occasions, waste is managed to get resources from it. The rubbish to be handled includes all types of matter, including solid, liquid, gaseous as well as radioactive materials.

It is imperative to note that the methods employed for waste management greatly differ for developing and developed nations. Equally, the method for the management of waste may differ for residential and commercial areas. In metropolitan and rural settings, the management of waste is the sole responsibility of the local government. On the other hand, the waste generated by industries should be managed by the firm itself, provided it is non-hazardous.

There are certain common methods used by nations to handle waste management including:

  • Incineration

This is a waste management practice which involves the burning of organic substances contained in waste materials. Typically, the aim is to convert the rubbish into heat, flue gas and ash. In some instances, the heat produced through incineration is used to generate energy. The method is highly versatile and is essential for disposing of nearly all sorts of matter. However, incinerating waste can also be a problem.

Equally, it is the most accepted procedure for disposing of perilous materials. It is a common practice in countries with inadequate land such as Japan. Sweden and Denmark heavily rely on this concept to produce heat and power to support their district heating schemes. Other countries that heavily rely on incineration for the disposal of municipal wastes include France, Germany, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

  • Landfills

This is arguably the most widely used method for the disposal of waste around the globe. It involves burying of the rubbish in a certain piece of neglected land. Underdeveloped countries have poor systems for landfill management, a phenomenon that can potentially cost the government lots of money in terms of both health and environmental impacts.

Poorly handled landfills can lead to the production of hazardous gases, which not only kill surface vegetation but cause the greenhouse effect. Developed countries have effective, sanitised and economical landfill management systems and this significantly reduces the associated impacts on the environment. One principle, which is a must for an up to date landfill, is the creation of an efficient leachate lining. Equally, there should be a functional gas extraction system which helps to extract the gas from the borrow pit.

  • Recycling

This is another widely used method for waste management around the globe. It involves the conversion of waste materials into new materials and products which are usable. When correctly applied, it can potentially prevent the waste of useful materials and reduce the utilisation of fresh raw materials. It is a key part of modern waste reduction campaign and is the third component of the 3Rs waste hierarchy, which includes Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Thanks to the technological advancements, nearly every type of material can be recycled. Tyres, metal, plastic, glass, paper, electronics are all worthy recyclables.

  • Reduction and avoidance technique

This is also another method for waste management and is most commonly referred to as waste reduction procedure. It involves using second-hand items as well as repairing broken products rather than purchasing new ones.

  • Education and awareness

We have come to realise that for waste management to succeed, everyone must be onboard. The education regarding proper waste management is extremely critical to the perseverance of the security and health of humankind. A number of organisations, learning institutions, vocational training centres around the globe are currently working tirelessly to ensure that the general public is aware of the dangers of poor waste management as well as the potential benefits of good waste handling procedures.

These are just some of the widely accepted techniques the countries of the world are using to manage their waste. However, underdeveloped nations are still lagging behind and often find it difficult to adopt some of these practices. However, given that waste management has become a global concern, developed nations must come to their aid to ensure we have a sustainable and healthy environment.

Before we can begin to tackle the recycling issue on a global scale, we must start locally and grow. Paul’s Rubbish Removal has been helping Sydneysiders with responsible rubbish removal of all types. We hand remove and collect your unwanted rubbish for you and then safely get rid of it for you.

Simply call us on 0407 125 125 for more information and get a free quote for your undesired rubbish.

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann

Sarah Ann is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!

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