Proper waste management is very necessary for the well being of the surrounding ecosystem. The earth has a population of nearly 8 billion. According to a source, the average person in the United States produces at least 5.91 pounds of waste per day.
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In 2016 alone, the world produced a massive 2.01 billion tons of waste. Phew, that’s a lot of waste! Also, the World Bank estimates that waste generation will exponentially rise to 3.40 billion tons in 2050. Furthermore, 33 percent of this waste is mismanaged in either way of dumping or burning.
Due to the rising consumption of the population, the waste produced also increases at unprecedented rates. Here are some of the negative effects of improper waste management.
1: Contamination of the soil, water, and air
As you’ve read above, 33 percent of the world’s waste ends up either burnt or dumped. This ultimately leads to increased environmental degradation along with numerous health risks. In 2016, the amount of carbon-dioxide released into the atmosphere was at least 1.6 billion metric tons.
Despite this, the wastes which rot can generate methane, another greenhouse gas. Also, incineration releases a lot of toxic gases into the atmosphere which also includes dioxins and furans. These gases just worsen the climatic conditions and contribute to global warming on a large scale.
Dumping is the most sought after method of waste disposal. Tons of wastes that are put in landfills cause a ton of problems. These include leachate leaking that drastically alters the chemical composition of the soil. Did you know that extensive soil pollution affects the water we drink? 96 percent of the water available to drink is groundwater. A lot of pollutants find themselves deep in the soil where there is groundwater. Thus, affecting the water we drink. This can further join river bodies from which its impact on health can be lethal.
2: Improper waste management negatively impacts human health
The ecosystem around a waste disposal site is the unhealthiest one a person can be. The air quality is worse filled with smell and pollutants that can cause lung infections which can also lead to severe pneumonia or bronchitis. Harmful chemicals fill in the water they drink and also the food they eat. Consequently, this can be very dangerous. Here’s an example –
Large waste disposals and dumpsites attract various parasites, insects, and bacterias that evolve a lot of diseases. Houseflies, for example, who roam around the dumpsite affect the health of many people living around it. Don’t ask why! Thus, inviting numerous diseases that include food poisoning, cholera, typhoid, etc.
Improper waste management not only affects the people surrounding the dumpsite but also the world in the form of acid rains, floods, etc.
3: The impact on animals
In most of the developing countries, 70 percent of industrial wastes are dumped into the water. The impact on marine life is unbearable. A shocking 100 million marine animals die each year of plastic waste alone. According to a source, 14 billion pounds of trash end up in the oceans each year.
If these figures continue to go up, then we’ll have no seafood in the next 27 years. Very soon we could be watching plastic wastes instead of fishes in the ocean!
4: Negatively affects the economy
Improper waste management negatively impacts the local economy in a number of ways. A loss for the tourism industry is immense. Along with it, the land’s value drops down drastically.
A lot of industries will experience huge losses if waste production cannot be minimized or a proper waste disposal method is not found out. For example, if we see more plastic instead of fish, the marine industry will die which will be taking away all the jobs included in this sector. Thus, an economic loss at global levels.
5: Improper Waste Management Also Impacts Social Life
The people living around a waste disposal site face a huge disadvantage. Along with a lot of health and economic problems, they face social disadvantages as well. Society develops a negative perception of them. This becomes a hindrance to the country’s economy as well.
The present rates of environmental degradation urge fellow human beings to find newer possibilities of sustained life. Our consumption patterns are changing for the worse and resources are slowly and knowingly becoming scarce. We must put all our efforts into minimizing the scarcity of resources. Remember she doesn’t need us, but we do need her…