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Effects of

Improper Waste
Disposal

Introduction
Improper waste disposal is the disposal of waste
in a way that has negative consequences for the
environment. Examples include littering,
hazardous waste that is dumped into the ground,
and not recycling items that should be recycled.
When solid waste, from food remnants to
chemical by-products from manufacturing, isn't
discarded properly it can have far-reaching
consequences for the environment and its natural
vegetation and inhabitants, as well as for public
health.

WASTE PRODUCTION
According to the municipality, 223 t/d waste are
produced by 650,000 inhabitants in Hargeisa;
therefore, per-capita production results equal to
0.35 kg/d.
A waste composition analysis was conducted on
Hargeisa urban solid waste since data referring to
waste composition were not available. On the
whole, 129.1 kg of waste were collected and
analyzed

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They were characterized by an average density
equal to 172 kg/m
. This low value can be justified considering that
analyses were carried out during the dry season;
density would surely have been higher during the
rainy season.
The following Table 1 reports identified waste
fractions and their percentages on the whole
waste.

It is possible to observe that the highest


percentage is represented by the less than 2.5
cm fraction (28.9%). Organic matter percentage
is not very high (21.2%) compared with usual
values registered in Developing Countries (up to
50%; Cointreau, 1982); probably because it is
commonly eaten by animals and it was dry at
the moment of the analysis.

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Paper and cardboard reach a significant percentage,
equal to 19.9%, but within ranges reported by Cointreau
(1982), from 15 to 40%. On the contrary, plastic
percentage (16%) is significantly higher than data usually
reported for Developing Countries, varying between 2
and 10%.
Moreover, PET and other kinds of plastic were weighed
separately. In the whole waste, PET fraction is equal to
3.1%, whereas other plastics fraction reaches 12.9%.

Effects of waste and poor


waste disposal.
Imagine we all throw garbage, junk and rubbish
away anyhow. Imagine there was no authority to
supervise waste management activities from all
thesources mentioned earlier. Imagine we all just
sent our rubbish to the landfill, or just dumped
them in a nearby river. What do you think will
happen? A disaster!

Environmental Effects
Surface water contamination
Soil contamination
Pollution
Leachate

Economic Effects
Municipal wellbeing
Recycling revenue

Surface water contamination:


Waste that end up in water bodies negatively
change the chemical composition of the water.
Technically, this is called water pollution. This will
affect allecosystemsexisting in the water. It can
also cause harm to animals that drink from such
polluted water.

Soil contamination:
Hazardous chemicals that get into the soil
(contaminants) can harm plants when they take up
the contamination through their roots. If humans
eat plants and animals that have been in contact
with such polluted soils, there can be negative
impact on their health.

Pollution:
Bad waste management practices can result in land
and air pollution and can cause respiratory
problems and other adverse health effects as
contaminants are absorbed from the lungs into
other parts of the body.

Leachate
Liquid that forms as water trickles through
contaminated areas is called Leachate. It forms very
harmful mixture of chemicals that may result in
hazardous substances entering surface water,
groundwater or soil.

Municipal wellbeing
Everyone wants to live and visit places that are
clean, fresh and healthy. A city with poor sanitation,
smelly and with waste matter all over the place do
not attract good people, investors and tourists.
Such cities tend to have poor living standards.

Recycling revenue:
Cities that do not invest in recycling and proper
waste control miss out on revenue from recycling.
They also miss out on job opportunities that come
from recycling, composting and businesses that
work with them.

Play your part!

Usually proper solid waste management practices


are in place, but particularly in low-income areas or
developing countries, those standards aren't always
practiced or, in some cases, are non-existent.

Types
The solid waste that can create such a problem falls
into nine categories. There is garbage, which is your
rotten banana peel or other food-related waste that can
decompose. Then there's the stuff that doesn't decay,
like glass and metals. Ashes from manufacturing
operations and large debris like trees, as well as
chemicals(plastics) from industrial, and agricultural
ventures, are thrown into the mix.

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As unpleasant as it is, dead animals and sewage
are among the types of waste that those in the
disposal business concern themselves with.
Looking at the types of waste, it's easy to see the
negative side effects associated with not
discarding it in a responsible manner.

Methods
Ninety percent of solid waste goes straight to the landfill.
Incineration is the next most popular method of disposal,
followed by composting to a much lesser extent. The dangers
from landfills come into play when the site is in a place where
it shouldn't be such as near wetlands. The other danger is a
lack of monitoring the site. Usually, standards dictate that a
plastic liner or clay soil be utilized to keep waste from seeping
into the groundwater. In the case of incineration, problems
usually arise when toxic materials, like batteries, aren't set
aside and recycled and are instead burned releasing pollutants
into the air.

Groundwater Contamination
If waste isn't discarded properly on land, when it rains the
waste is soaked and is then carried through the landfill,
eventually making its way into the water you may drink.
Especially dangerous chemicals are volatile organic
compounds, or VOCs, which usually come from household
cleaners and industrial solvents used in operations like dry
cleaning. These compounds have been linked to everything
from cancers to birth defects.

Disease Outbreaks
Another danger, especially with open pits, comes
from the spread of diseases--usually carried by
rodents and bugs. An example of this is malaria,
which festers in open areas with standing water and
particularly hot and muggy temperatures. In
addition, there may be a propensity for people to
scavenge wastes in landfills and open pits, which
again can create unsanitary conditions and aid the
spread of disease.

Habitat Destruction
Disposal locations may encroach upon
existing habitat for native flora and fauna,
especially when sited in areas near wetlands.
In some cases, people have taken steps to
reclaim the land by capping the landfill and
later attempting to grow vegetation on it.

Climate Change
As waste begins to break down, methane
is produced. Methane is considered a
greenhouse gases that is responsible for
some of the spike in the earth's
temperatures.

Air Quality
When wastes are burned, especially toxic chemicals
like dioxin, they're released into the surrounding
environment and can then cause serious public
health risks.

Conclusion
In Somaliland, wastes both liquid and solid pose
serious threat because they ferment creating
conditions favorable to the survival and growth of
killer microbes.
The unscientific disposal of wastes is risky and
residents suffer in areas where there is no proper
waste disposal method. This is because waste
disposal sites are hazardous to public health as
improper waste management attracts all types of
insects, birds, animals, etc. which act as vectors
or agents for the spread of diseases.

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Assuming just a kilogram of city waste harbors
billions of pathogenic (disease causing
microorganisms) or one gram of a healthy human
waste contains 10 million of pathogens, how long
it will take your body to fight off diseases cause by
those invading enemy armies?
For those of you who still stick to the old taboos
and hence think that discussing topics like the
safe disposal of wastes are off the limits, it is
worth to say like it or not it is a glaring reality that
is out there!

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In short, if Somaliland has to catch up with the rest
of the global community in health and sanitation,
its authorities must initiate and implement water
and sanitation management programs.
And finally, it is probably a high time to let the
public directly elect mayors so that they have
authorities who are really accountable for city
problems.

References
http://somalilandtimes.net/sl/2008/314/080.shtml
CeTAmb Research centre on appropriate
technologies for environment management in
Developing Countries