Every household or business deals with waste on a daily basis. The generated trash sometimes proves a real challenge to get rid of.
People are used to throwing waste items into a bin and wait for it to be taken away. What if the bin isn’t big enough to hold the trash before the professional trash handler picks it up?
As a household or business, it’s important to take reasonable steps to check that the company you pay to handle trash and rubbish removal handle the waste responsibly. You should also make sure they’re legally and professionally allowed to do so.
Why should effective trash handling and disposal be everyone’s priority? Here are just a few points that elucidate how improper waste handling can affect health and the environment.
1. Environmental Contamination
Soil contamination – Improper waste removal and disposal is the number-one reason for soil contamination. Soil contamination not only affects vegetation but also affects humans and animals inhabiting such areas.
Some wastes that end up in landfills or undesignated disposal sites excrete hazardous chemicals that leak into the soil. This creates both short- and long-term adverse effects.
For example, plastics take centuries and centuries to break down. When they eventually do, they release a carcinogenic compound that negatively affects plant and animal life as well as human health.
Water Contamination – When hazardous trash leaches into the ground, it ultimately finds its way into the groundwater. Liquid chemical waste and untreated sewage can also flow into water bodies.
Unfortunately, contaminated water could eventually end up watering local fields or being consumed by humans as well as wildlife. Waste in water bodies suffocates marine habitats. It is also dangerous to animals and humans that consume marine life.
Air contamination – Burning of plastics and other hazardous wastes in landfills emits gas and chemicals that continually hurt the ozone layer. Chances of acidic rain due to poor handling and burning of wastes are quite high. There have even been instances when the landfill gas produced by decomposing wastes has proved explosive.
2. Missed Recycling Opportunities for Waste
Households, businesses, cities, or councils that do not implement proper removal and recycling miss a lot in relation to the generation of income. There is a huge revenue in recycling. It’s also hard not to mention the employment opportunities and innovative products that the recycling process yields.
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3. Disease-Carrying Pests
Many pests carry life-threatening diseases. For instance, mosquitoes and rats are associated with diseases like malaria, dengue fever, salmonellosis, and hantavirus. These pests tend to breed in damp, dirty places.
Moist and dirty areas are great breeding grounds for molds, too. Alongside the pests, bacteria have a huge ability to multiply and spread on poorly handled wastes. All these pests and microbes pose a big health problem to the local population.
4. Extreme Climate Changes and Waste
Poor waste handling is slowly killing the planet. Burning of wastes, as well as decomposing wastes, emit gases that rise to the atmosphere, trapping heat. The greenhouse gases so emitted are the main contributors to the extreme weather changes we’re currently experiencing. Think of the extremely strong storms, typhoons, and smoldering heat and you’ll quickly agree that taking care of our environment is everyone’s responsibility.