With the undisputable fact that solid waste is a global concern, it is time to emphasize the issue and attempt to provide a viable solution to end the menace. Environmental conservation and protection are everybody’s responsibility, and that is why United Nations has been at the forefront sensitizing countries on how to manage waste. The United States alone generates more than 200 million tons of waste every year. Funny enough, this hopping number is greater than the Asian and African continents combined!
The concept of waste management has been around for several decades. However, only a few countries have been putting effort to deal with the issue of waste management. The environmental associations and governments have come together to steer up the implementation of waste management plans. From home to industries, to offices, solid waste has become an issue of concern, and appropriate mechanisms are urgently required.
When we talk of waste management, we refer to a complex and comprehensive solution that entails assortment, hauling, and discarding of garbage and other waste products in a proper manner. The process involves treatment of waste as well as providing recycling solutions.
As much as many people think that waste is generated more in homes, we need to change this perception because even our offices are equally sources of waste products. Modern offices have kitchens and guest rooms where food is cooked and served. It is worth noting that food materials take a significant portion in the total amount of garbage transported to the landfills. That said, our offices are contributing largely to environmental degradation, even though not many of us can see this.
So, we need to need to define a better approach on how to manage the leftovers in our office kitchens.
The 3 Conventional Methods of Waste Disposal
For many years, there are a few waste disposal methods that have been in use. Let us talk about them briefly.
A landfill is the most common method of disposing of waste. After the waste has been collected from commercial and residential areas, it is transported using trucks and thrown into these designated sites. The waste is buried and once the site is full, a different site is created adjacent to the previous one. When observed from an environmental conservation point of view, there is a lot of degradation that is caused by these landfills. That is why they are commonly used in developing countries due to sufficient undeveloped space. However, less we know is that the rotting materials in the landfills can cause serious contamination to water sources and underground water too.
This is also referred to as incineration, which entails burning municipal waste at very high temperatures in order to turn them into gaseous and residue forms. Inarguably, this method reduces the volume of waste so that space for development is not affected. Also, the method reduces over-dependence on landfills, and thus minimizing the level of pollution to the underground water and surface water sources. However, it is vital to understand that the burning process releases a lot of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Given that the carbon is a greenhouse gas, there is a likelihood of increasing global warming, which has devastating outcomes over time.
This is a process of changing the waste materials into useful products. It reduces overuse of energy during manufacturing of new products, as well as depleting raw materials during production. It is an eco-friendly way to make use of waste products instead of throwing into the landfills or burning them. The recycling process goes hand-in-hand with the recovery method, which entails taking the useful materials and using them. This method has energy and raw material conservation implications just like recycling. Recycling and recovery have the element of reducing energy consumption, reducing the volume of waste that goes into the landfills, as well as minimizing water and air pollution.
Garbage Disposal Usage
Having looked at the three traditional ways of managing waste products, it is important to note that food waste products can be disposed of through a more improved method, thanks to garbage disposals. These units are electric-powered and are commonly used in homes. Due to the need for a better food waste management method in offices, they are a better choice nowadays.
A garbage disposal uses a simple motor to rotate blades at a high speed. The blades chop the food materials into small pieces, which are then sucked down into a different chamber. Water is added to mix and make the materials more liquid, and then the system sends the materials down into the drain. The liquid waste meets the other waste water from the kitchen sink and joins the local sewerage system, and then transported to the sewerage plant.
Using a garbage disposal can save you waste disposal cost as there are no collection bins required, and also the amount of waste generated in the kitchen is significantly reduced. More importantly, garbage disposals are environmentally friendly because they reduce the stress in the landfills, minimize the water pollution, air pollution, and soil pollution. Last but not least, the liquid waste can be processed to generate electricity and the solid material used as an organic fertilizer.