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Waste Management, And How The World Treats It At Present

Waste management is something that many people take for granted. Local councils and authorities arrange for household waste collection and, on the surface, it seems like a routine service. However, as population levels and global industrial output continue to exponentially grow, the issue of disposing waste safely and efficiently could easily become a worldwide epidemic.

Current Waste Management Methods

The efficiency of waste management differs greatly between developed and third-world nations, but many countries use the same methods: landfills and incineration. Landfills are perhaps the most common way to dispose of waste, and they are essentially huge holes in the ground where waste is buried. Unused quarries and pits are typically used for landfills, and it is a very easy solution for waste management. Waste incinerators use high temperatures to combust solid waste, turning it into gas and residue. The residue created is significantly lower in volume, and can be more easily disposed of.


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Issues Facing Waste Management

Although effective, landfills and incinerators have many disadvantages. Landfills have hygienic and environmental risks. The sites attract vermin, litter can easily be blown away and the masses of waste create harmful carbon dioxide and methane emissions. Space is also an issue. Locating suitable sites for landfills, which are far away from residential properties but close enough to be efficient for delivery of the waste, will be more and more problematic as time goes by. Although incinerators take up significantly less space, the gases produced by burning waste create serious air pollution.

The Benefits of Recycling

Recycling waste products like paper, cardboard, plastic and glass ensures that it can be reused and remade into other products, and it also greatly reduces the amount that is sent to landfills or incinerators. In recent years, more and more households have adopted recycling as part of their waste management routine, and many businesses have recycling targets and quotas for their waste. Recycling can seriously minimise the volume of waste that will otherwise be burned or buried.

How it was treated in the past      How it may be treated in the future

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