Solid Waste - Essay Example

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Running Head: MITIGATION STRATEGIES AND SOLUTIONS Mitigation Strategies and Solutions on Solid Waste Name School Abstract As the global populace escalates, concerns on the mounting waste generation rise as well. The world’s waste, when not properly disposed of will directly or indirectly harm society and the environment…
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Solid Waste
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Download file to see previous pages This author will discuss solid waste concerns; will provide details on the factors that contribute to the problem, as well as the factors that are affected by it; will tackle the positive and negative impacts; will present and evaluate the present sustainability strategies and solutions; and will discuss the required government, societal and global support. In addition, this author’s personal plan to reach sustainability will be discussed, showing how each goal should be conducted. Solid Waste Solid waste, as defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is any type of refuse, or slush coming from treatment plants of wastewater and water supply, or mire emanated from pollution control facilities and other throw-away materials from residential, commercial, industrial and institutional sources, and from mining and agricultural operations. Almost all of mankind’s activities create wastes. In 2006, American residents, industries, and institutions actually generated over 250 million tons of municipal solid waste. The average American produces waste on a rate of approximately 4.6 pounds per day. Moreover, a yearly 7.6 billion tons of industrial solid waste are produced and discarded from the U.S. industrial sector (U.S. EPA, 2003). Solid waste management comprises waste reduction, recycling, incineration, composting and landfills. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that one-third of solid waste is recycled; one-seventh is incinerated; and one-half goes to landfills. The greater part of environmental harm and ecosystem damage is caused by the behavior of mankind. The growing waste generation, alongside the escalating population and excessive production of material goods will unconstructively affect the human health and the environment (Chase, et al, 2009). With the American households and businesses continuously generating trash, creating an effective national waste management program is difficult. On the local level, states and municipalities, in accordance with the requirements, requests and concerns of individual communities, have implemented solid waste programs for waste collection, transport and disposal, together with waste reduction, reuse and recycling. On the other hand, the responsibility of EPA in waste management is to set objectives and provide leadership, technological assistance, education and training (U.S. EPA, 2003). Factors that Contribute to or are Affected by the Problem In 2001, paper products comprised the biggest factor of municipal solid waste or MSW (36 %); yard wastes made up the second-biggest factor (12 percent); food scraps, glass, metals, synthetics, and lumber formed 5 to 12 % of the entire municipal solid waste; leather, rubber, and fabrics constituted 7% of MSW; and other various wastes comprised more or less 3 % of MSW (U.S. EPA, 2003). As the economy develops and the population increases, waste production amplifies as well. Improper solid waste management through uncontrolled dumping and incineration can cause health and environmental hazards, such as water contamination; breeding places for insects and rodents; flood increase from drainage obstructions; greenhouse gas emissions; disease outbreaks; and fire risks (U.S. EPA, 2002). Benefits of Formal Recycling and Composting Programs Well-managed recycling and composting programs could be advantageous to both the ecology and the economy. Organized disposal programs could ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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