Health and Technology

Raising Global Concerns on Turning Waste to Energy

Several aspects including economic factors, rules and regulations and general sanitation practice across the world impact how the practice of disposing waste varies from one country to another.

Developing countries are less inclined to have regulations on sanitation and waste disposal, as compared to developed nations where more structured and strict laws and regulations are executed. Non-hazardous residential wastes are the responsibility of the local governments; while the non-hazardous commercial wastes are the responsibility of the industry.

Consumerism is not a bad concept at all, rather the abuse of the good things, that is. Over the years consumers tends to become more gluttonous and wasteful, taking more than what is needed. The Three R’s of this world’s sustainability are Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It is the practical approach and more dedicated way in reducing the strain on resources that are now depleting. Governments, organizations and more environmental movement calls for everyone’s involvement to practice and install solutions for a greener world. The past years have brought issues on the use of fossil fuels such as pollution, hydrocarbons, and general environmental impact. Looking closely at the events worldwide, humans had great contributions on the catastrophes happening around the world. To name a few: the killer tsunami in 2004 in Indonesia and Thailand killing almost 150,000 people, hurricane ‘Katrina’ in the US, typhoon ‘Ondoy’ in the Philippines, and the powerful earthquake that shook Haiti. In relation to these events that squandered thousands of lives, humans had to be more responsible, taking accountable for its actions. Sometimes catastrophic incidents are not caused by natural occurrences. Some of these are caused by humans. Here are some proofs.

1. Aside from underwater explosions, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, detonations of nuclear devices at sea can lead to the formation of tsunami.

2. Hurricanes may be formed due to warm ocean and low atmospheric stability. Carbon dioxide emissions produce greenhouse effect that warms the atmosphere which then warms the sea. This incident leads to ‘fish kill’ (happening in the Philippines).

3. Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon or occurrences. However, study shows that even mining contributes to the movement of the earth. One damaging earthquake noted is the one from Australia. The quake triggered by changes in tectonic forces was caused by a 200-year underground coal mining.

4. Waste management improper handling can cause severe flooding. Heavy rains, improper waste management and illegal deforestation are evident sources of flooding.

Waste materials are discarded when the source is considered no longer useful and had served its purpose. Waste as they may be, they can often be turned into something useful or a resource that can generate energy. Solid waste is either thrown or burnt on open dumps or landfills just outside the city. Either way of disposing waste, both are harmful, creates pollution, foul smell due to decomposing biodegradable substances and loss of soil quality due to non biodegradable substances. Most hazardous waste is the biomedical waste for it contains pathogens. E-waste (such as computer parts, batteries, discarded or unused mobile phones and many more) automobile exhausts, and poisonous gases from industries as likewise major threats to mankind. The following are activities needed to undertake in waste management programs.

1. Recycling

2. Sanitary Landfill

3. Waste Prevention

4. Waste Segregation (bio and non bio degradable)

5. Combustion

Every person’s role in waste management is very important. Although not seen at once, if everyone contributes, essentially the effect is not only seen in the community level and waste will no longer be a misplaced wealth.

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