You are on page 1of 5


Definition Waste management is the collection, transport, processing or disposal, managing and monitoring of waste materials. The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and the process is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics. Waste management is a distinct practice from resource recovery which focuses on delaying the rate of consumption of natural resources. All wastes materials, whether they are solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive fall within the remit of waste management Waste management practices can differ for developed and developing nations, for urban and rural areas, and for residential and industrial producers. Management of nonhazardous waste residential and institutional waste in metropolitan areas is usually the responsibility of local government authorities, while management for non-hazardous commercial and industrial waste is usually the responsibility of the generator subject to local, national or international controls.

Waste management concepts There are a number of concepts about waste management which vary in their usage between countries or regions. Some of the most general, widely used concepts include: Waste hierarchy Figure 1.1 shown the waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs" reduce, reuse and recycle, which classify waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization. The waste hierarchy remains the cornerstone of most waste minimization strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste see: resource recovery.

Polluter pays principle - the Polluter Pays Principle is a principle where the polluting party pays for the impact caused to the environment. With respect to waste management, this generally refers to the requirement for a waste generator to pay for appropriate disposal of the unrecoverable material.

Figure 1.1 : The waste hierarchy

Recycle Recycling is a resource recovery practice that refers to the collection and reuse of waste materials such as empty beverage containers. The materials from which the items are made can be reprocessed into new products. Material for recycling may be collected separately from general waste using dedicated bins and collection vehicles are sorted directly from mixed waste streams and are known as kerb-side recycling, it requires the owner of the waste to separate it into various different bins (typically wheelie bins) prior to its collection. The most common consumer products recycled include aluminium such as beverage cans, copper such as wire, steel food and aerosol cans, old steel furnishings or equipment, polyethylene and PET bottles, glass bottles and jars, paperboard cartons, newspapers, magazines and light paper, and corrugated fiberboard boxes. PVC, LDPE, PP, and PS (see resin identification code) are also recyclable. These items are usually composed of a single type of material, making them relatively easy to recycle into new products. The recycling of complex products (such as computers and electronic equipment) is more difficult, due to the additional dismantling and separation required. The type of material accepted for recycling varies by city and country. Each city and country have different recycling programs in place that can handle the various types of recyclable materials. However, certain variation in acceptance is reflected in the resale value of the material once it is reprocessed.

REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE Unfortunately, while big steps are being taken by industry, much of our country's waste problem results from the tremendous amount of trash thrown away by the average UTM students. All sorts of wastes (hazardous and non-hazardous) are disposed of daily. The 3R basics are: REDUCE - Preventing leaks and spills, not using excess amount of chemicals and products, and other simple changes can greatly reduce the amount of waste produced. REUSE - Simple activities such as taking household items to the thrift store, composting, and many more saves tremendous amounts of landfill space! RECYCLE - It is far less environmentally intensive to use materials already refined for manufacturing, as opposed to starting from raw material collection! Everything from aluminum cans to old bricks from remodeling job can be recycled. These are the 3R primary things everyone can do to help minimize the amount of waste created each year. These techniques allow waste management generally saves money, reduces regulatory requirements and paperwork, and saves raw materials and energy. Reusing and recycling diverts materials from the waste stream and converts them into resources.

Why Waste Management Is Important? Waste that is not properly managed can create serious health or social problems in a community. Pests and disease Food waste attracts pests and vermin, like rats. These pests and vermin can start or spread disease in the community. Piles of old garden waste and pieces of old furniture left in yards can shelter vermin and help them to breed. Dengue fever can be spread by mosquitoes that breed in anything that can hold water, like inside old car tyres, litter and even old palm fronds lying on the ground. Poison and pollution Illegally dumped pesticides, motor oil and other chemicals can contaminate land, creeks, and water supplies. People drinking or swimming in polluted water can get sick. Councils are required by law to clean up land contaminated with chemicals that they dispose of. Chemical clean-ups can be very expensive. Human waste and diseases It is very important to keep human waste out of water supplies. Human waste contains diseases that make people sick. Human waste can get into the local water supplies from leaking septic tanks, releasing contaminated water from sewerage treatment plants, dirty nappies, leaking sewerage pipes and people using local creeks as a toilet. Injury and disease People can get diseases like tetanus and leptospirosis if they cut or scratch themselves on pieces of metal, nails or glass. Children can be seriously hurt by playing with old car batteries or household cleaners that they find lying around. Litter Litter can be a problem in any community. Broken bottles and tins, for example, can cause injury if people dont put them into bins. Mosquitoes and other vectors can breed in water trapped in old tyres and bottles. People are more likely to drop litter in places that already have litter lying around. If they see litter on the ground, they may think it is good for them to also

throw their litter on to the ground. As well as community awareness campaigns on litter, councils can reduce litter by providing permanent or temporary bins in places such as: outside community stores at sporting fields at cultural and special events in parks and other family gathering areas. The bins should prevent animals or birds scavenging in the rubbish, and keep out rain and wind. Do a search on the Internet or in your local telephone directory for rubbish bins. Social and economic problems Messy yards and streets can have a bad affect on the attitudes of local people. It can also be hard to get people - such as nurses and tradespeople - to work or live in a community where the environment looks untidy or unsafe. People can get seriously sick from badly managed waste problems. If they have to leave the community to spend time in hospital, the patient and their families can be badly affected by the separation. If waste is managed well, the cost of fixing problems does not become a burden on council finances.