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Managing the Garbage we Produce

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  • Last Updated : 17 Aug, 2022
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The environment is critical to the continued existence of life on Earth. The term “Environment” comes from the French word “Environ,” which means “surrounding.” An ecosystem is all of the living and non-living things in the environment, and it is the foundation of the Biosphere, which determines the overall health of the planet.

Garbage  

Garbage is defined as items or materials that should be discarded because they no longer serve any purpose for us or are of no use to us. We consistently generate massive amounts of garbage. Garbage is frequently associated with a strong odor, and a large amount of garbage may emit harmful fumes. As a result, we place such items in dustbins to be transported to distant locations in order to ensure that our environmental factors are perfect and sound. Garbage waste includes vegetable and fruit strips, extra prepared food items, waste paper, and plastic materials, and a variety of other waste items.

Classification of Garbages

Biodegradable wastes

Biodegradable wastes are any organic matter that can be decomposed into a simpler substance with the help of microbes. They are environmentally friendly and include all organic wastes derived from plants, agricultural wastes, and so on.

Non Biodegradable wastes

Non-biodegradable wastes are wastes that cannot be decomposed and cause pollution in our environment. These wastes, which include plastics, paints, metals, and glasses, can be recycled.

Sources of Garbage 

  • Industrial wastes include those generated by power plants, compound plants, concrete production lines, food preparation businesses, and textile industries, with each delivering waste specific to the industry of which it is a part.
  • Domestic wastes include food remains, leafy foods skins, apparel items, used plastic items, and so on, and are generated by family units, offices, and schools, among other places.
  • Commercial: This specifies the type of waste generated by commercial activities such as disposable plastic cutlery, food items, food bundles, textiles, and so on.
  • Agricultural waste includes waste generated by attempted agricultural activities, such as husks, expired medications, compost and pesticide containers, and so on.

Managing the Garbage we Produce 

Waste management entails the safe and efficient disposal of waste as well as the transformation of waste into new products. As a result, waste management is the responsibility of both the government and the citizens. And when either of the two parties fails to do their part, the waste management system collapses. This will eventually result in a full-fledged garbage crisis. As a result, we will look at the waste management strategies that can be used.

Recycling 

  • Recycling is the process of treating and converting waste into new products that can be used as raw materials or for product packaging by manufacturers. Plastics, glass, and paper are some examples of recyclable waste. As a result, recycling lowers the cost and energy required to produce new products. It also reduces the amount of waste disposed of in landfills.
  • Along with dumping and segregating waste, we must go a step further in reducing the amount of garbage we produce by applying the 3R’s principle – reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Reducing, reusing, and recycling. We can save energy, trees, and other natural resources and protect the environment by following 
    • Reduce: Consumption should be cut back. A product should only be used when it is absolutely necessary.
    • Reuse: Instead of throwing away items like old newspapers and envelopes, consider reusing them.
    • Recycle: Glass, paper, aluminum, and plastic can all be recycled and reused.

Composting

Composting is the decomposition of organic waste into manure. Food and plant wastes are among the wastes that can be decomposed. As a result, they are appropriate for organic farming. Composting is the long-term accumulation of organic materials so that microbes can begin breaking them down. This is one of the safest waste management methods, but it is a little slow.

Incineration

  • ‘Incineration’ means ‘to reduce to ashes.’ Incineration is the process of burning a substance at a high temperature (greater than 1000°C) to produce ash.
  • Incineration takes place in an incinerator. The Municipality of a City disposes of waste on a large scale by using incinerators.
  • In the incinerator, solid waste is burned at high temperatures. All organic matter in waste is extracted as carbon dioxide and water vapor.
  • Household waste, chemical waste, and biological waste are all destroyed through incineration. Incineration significantly reduces waste volume. This is due to the fact that when a large amount of waste material is burned, only a small amount of ash is left behind, which can be disposed of in a landfill.

Landfills 

  • The most common waste disposal strategy today is to dump waste in landfills. This strategy entails collecting biodegradable waste and compacting it before burying it beneath the ground.
  • Landfills, on the other hand, will be located in a confined area far from civilization. Furthermore, they are only appropriate for lands with deep groundwater levels. As a result, finding suitable landfill sites is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • This strategy is based on the idea that bio-degradable materials will decompose naturally. Furthermore, the gas emitted by landfills can be used as fuel.

Bioremediation

  • Bioremediation is a biotechnological process that reduces or eliminates contamination. It is a waste management technique that employs organisms to remove or utilize pollutants from polluted areas.
  • When it comes to executing the Bioremediation process, microorganisms such as Bacteria and Fungi play a key role. Bacteria are the most important microbes in this process because they convert waste into nutrients and organic matter.
  • Even though this is an efficient waste management process, bioremediation cannot eliminate all contaminants. Bacteria can easily digest contaminants such as chlorinated pesticides and clean up oil spills, but microorganisms are incapable of destroying heavy metals such as lead and cadmium.

Plasma Gasification 

Plasma gasification is the process of converting waste to synthetic gas by subjecting it to high temperatures. An electrically powered plasma torch is used to vaporize organic matter into synthetic gases for this purpose (carbon monoxide and hydrogen). Slag is produced as a byproduct of this process.

Sewage treatment 

  • Sewage is the dirty drain water containing urine and feces that is carried from our homes by underground pipes (called sewers).
  • Sewage treatment generates clean water, which is discharged into the river. The organic matter in sewage is ‘digested’ in sewage treatment plant digesters to produce sewage gas’ (a type of biogas) and ‘manure.’
  • Untreated sewage that is dumped into a river can pollute the water. Sewage is thus disposed of by treating it at a sewage treatment plant (or sewage works).

Frequently Asked Questions 

Question 1: Explain garbage disposal. 

Answer:

Garbage is typically deposited in roadside bins or given to garbage collectors. Municipal workers collect garbage from dumping sites and transport it to landfill sites away from residential areas. The garbage is separated, and recyclable items are sent to be recycled. The remainder of the items is left on the landfill site, which has been covered with soil.

Question 2: Mention the sources of garbage created. 

Answer:

  • Sewerage and kitchen waste are examples of household waste.
  • Coal, paper, and ash are examples of industrial waste.
  • Agricultural waste, including the husk, fibers, and straw.
  • Community waste, such as that generated by shops, offices, and hospitals.
  • Wires, broken computers, and batteries are examples of electronic waste.

Question 3: What are the biogas generation measures to manage the garbage? 

Answer:

Biodegradable waste, such as food, animal waste, or natural industrial waste from various food packaging industries, is sent to bio-degradation plants. They are converted to biogas in bio-degradation plants through degradation with the assistance of bacteria, fungi, or other microbes. The natural issue serves as food for the small-scale animals in this case. Debasement can occur either vigorously (with oxygen) or anaerobically (without oxygen). This procedure produces biogas, which is used as fuel, and the buildup is used as manure.

Question 4: Explain the vermicomposting method of waste disposal  

Answer: 

Vermicomposting is the process of converting organic matter into nutrient-rich manure by using worms. Worms eat and digest organic matter. The by-products of digestion excreted by the worms enrich the soil with nutrients, promoting the growth of bacteria and fungi. It’s also a lot more efficient than traditional composting.

Question 5: Explain the waste compaction method of garbage disposal. 

Answer: 

Waste materials like cans and plastic bottles are compacted into blocks and recycled. This process prevents metal oxidation and reduces the need for airspace, making transportation and positioning easier.

Question 6: Explain the disposal of solid waste. 

Answer:

Solid waste is typically disposed of through incineration, a process in which waste materials are heated to extremely high temperatures and reduced to ash, flue gas, and heat.

Question 7: What exactly is waste disposal?

Answer:

Waste disposal is the process of destroying or recycling unused, old, or unwanted household, agricultural, medical, or industrial waste.


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