History of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) - Research Paper Example

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History of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Name Tutor Institution Course Date Abstract Waste management is a big environmental challenge today. There is a great evolution from use of open dumps to landfills, this has helped in improving waste management and further encouraged recycling and reuse of materials…
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History of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)
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Download file to see previous pages Introduction Open dumps and landfills have been used over the years as a place for waste disposal. Open dumps were used back in 1950’s and 1960’s. However, they unhygienic and had a lot of negative impact to the environment. Therefore, most of them were illegally created. Later, in 1970’s early landfills were created to cover the dump sites so as to reduce it impact to the environment. However, this early landfills lack proper equipments and designs that enabled the waste to be disposed off properly. This brought more research and modern landfills were created. These landfills are well deigned, planned and monitored thus improving waste disposal method. Further, these landfills also act as sources of energy and revenue to municipalities. 1. Open dumps are abandoned piles of garbage, household appliances, bags of yard waste, used tires and demolition debris such as shingles, lumber, asbestos and pipes in large quantities. There are commonly found in backyard, forests, abandoned swimming pools and buildings. Generally, open dumps are created when making building foundations (Binder et al, 2007). Open dumps are usually not permitted thus illegal. Often, if open dumps are allowed they tend to grow very large. 1a There are many problems associated with open dumps as it possesses safety, health and environmental threats. These environmental threats include; air pollution: open dumps has garbage’s of from different source which react to produce toxic gases. These toxic gases are inhaled by humans and animals around the area thereby causing respiratory diseases. Open dumps also cause water contamination in rivers, streams, lakes and even ground water. This leads to drinking water contamination thus resulting to water scarcity as water is a scare resource. Furthermore, open dumps cause a lot of damage to the natural ecosystem that is the plants and wildlife habitats. They cause soil contamination, which does not work well with the plants and animals. Evidently, local communities near open dumps have high prevalence of diseases such as malaria because open dumps carry disease carrying mosquitoes, rodents and flies. Moreover, open dumps cause a loss of aesthetic value of a location. Due to the many types of garbage in the open dump it makes the area unattractive, smelly and unbearable environment. Lastly, open dumps cause fire and explosion which in turn cause severe damage to the environment. These also decrease the quality of life of residents and local community living around it. 2 Early landfills were constructed without much technology and designing put to it. They were constructed in the 1970’s, to control the problem of odors as a result of sanitary landfills. They mainly entailed installing cover system in formal dumpsites to deal with the problem of windblown refuse and often fires caused by the open dump sites. These early 1970’s landfills were constructed without leachate and liners collection systems (Reno, 2008). Lack of leachate collection system becomes one of the major problems associated with these landfills. 3 Leachate is the liquid that comes from dew and rain, and natural moisture penetrates through waste. It moves through the waste dissolving salts, picking up organic components and leaching heavy metals. Furthermore, landfill leachate has an organic strength greater than 20 to 100 times that of raw sewage. Consequently, this makes it a potentially potent polluter of groundwater and soil. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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