Waste Management and Recycling In America Essay Examples & Outline
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Waste Management and Recycling In America
The issue of waste is a common problem that affects all the people. All people produce wastes from their activities. Households produce waste in the form of household rubbish. The larger the population, the more the waste that it generates. On addition to the household waste, the industrial processes, construction and water cleaning activities contribute to the total waste generated in the region (Pomberger & Ragossnig, 2014). The approach adopted in dealing with the wastes determines the extent of the environmental degradation that will come from the wastes.
Organic waste eventually decomposes. This might seem to be the solution to the organic waste management. However, the process of decomposition leads to the emission of greenhouse gasses. The greenhouse gasses contribute to the rise in global warming. Waste disposal also leads to loss of material that could have been used in the generation of other material. Some of the raw materials used in the making of the waste components are imported, and the government has to incur additional costs in buying the material back.
The type and amount of wastes are increasing. The nature of the waste disposed of is also changing due to the different products needed (Pomberger & Ragossnig, 2014). For instance, the dramatic rise in the use of telecommunication materials has led to the breeding of a new kind of waste. The changes in technology have rendered some of the products that were previously used redundant such that they have to be treated as waste. As a result, the nature of the wastes that the community currently generates is different from the nature of the waste that it previously contributed. The ways generated today is both complex and versatile.
Wastes produced could be hazardous to the people. Therefore, the management of the waste is important. Due to the magnitude of the risk posed by piling wastes, the producers of the commodities ought to come up with a direct and succinct plan aimed at the management of the wastes that result from the use of their products (Cherian & Jacob, 2012).
Companies ought to come up with policies that are aimed at the reduction of the health and environmental impacts of wastes that arise from their processes and products. They should also focus on the increment of the resource use efficiency. The long-term goal of the organization ought to be turning into a green-powered organization. The organization ought to focus on ways that it can use to ensure that it recycles some of the wastes from its previous operations.
It should also focus on the use of the unavoidable waste as another resource if it is possible (Cherian & Jacob, 2012). The attainment of these goals will ensure that it reduces the need for the extraction of the natural resources. The adoptions of proper waste management policies is a sure way of ensuring that the organization attains resource efficiency and sustainable growth.
Regardless of the appointed approach towards waste management, the process comes at a cost to the organization and the environment. The first step in waste management entails the collection of the waste from the source, taken to a sorting center and transported to the recycling center.
The processes mentioned above are often expensive and difficult to handle for the organization. The treatment process also leads to the release of greenhouse gasses (Pomberger & Ragossnig, 2014). Another major challenge is that the bulk of waste that an organization produces is toxic since it contains the heavy metals and other substances that may make the waste difficult to treat since there are special processes that are needed to treat the specific toxic matter in the waste.
Reduction of the quantities of the toxic matter used in the production of the material is advisable where possible (Gutberlet, 2010). In the event, that the company cannot remove the waste material entirely, it can come up with recycling processes that are configured to deal with the specific toxic matter. The organization is between suited to understand the nature of the materials that it uses in the production process. Coming up with the accurate ways of dealing with the waste is important since it increases the chances of the company being a green company. Green production can be a platform to launch into some markets.
Waste management ought to be a long-term strategy that is aimed at the creation of the blueprint according to which the organization manages wastes. Waste management ought to be modernized to meet the demands of the class of wastes. It should be managed in the most effective manner since the waste management policy leads determines the effectiveness of the management policy (Cherian & Jacob, 2012).
A paradigm shift in the thinking about waste management ought to be developed. The organization ought to focus on the waste and view it in a different manner. Instead of looking at waste as a burden, the organization ought to look at it as a resource that it can tap into. The waste can be reduced and reused or recycled. The approach used in dealing with the waste ought to be determined by the nature of the waste (Gutberlet, 2010). Companies in the construction industry can reuse over 70% of their waste. The municipal council can recycle 50% of the assorted wastes.
Adoption of a life approach
All products and services produced by any company have an effect on the environment. The impacts start from the process of extraction of the raw materials to manufacture, supply use and scrapping. The impacts on the environment assume the various forms of energy used, resource used and other kinds of pollutions that are involved in the process of production a certain output (Pomberger & Ragossnig, 2014).
The life cycle approach to waste management entails thinking of the entire process and identifying the individual set of wastes that are manifested in each of the stages in the life cycle. One has to look at all aspects of the production system and identify the areas that have the potential for improvement.
The wastes identified in the process help in the reduction of the wastes of resources and the environment impact of wasting the resources. Reduction of the impacts of the wastes ought to be reduced and not pushed to the other stages in the production cycle. Wastes in manufacturing account for the additional costs of the product (Gutberlet, 2010). A wasteful production system leads to the development of additional costs that will be recovered in the price of the output. The wastes ought to be reduced in each stage of the product lifecycle.
The product life cycle stage that has the largest waste ought to be used as the basis of the determination of whether the product has to be replaced. For example, in the case of a washing machine, the largest amount of wastes that it generates is at the user stage. Therefore, the owner ought to replace it at this stage to reduce the amount of wastes that it generates, even though, the machine will end up being scrapped (Cherian & Jacob, 2012).
Therefore, the understanding of the process of waste management and the best practices depends on the process approach. The manufacturer ought to offer advice on the most vulnerable state in the production process at this stage since the advice will help the users in the determination of the best way of using the equipment and when to replace.
In some cases, some products cannot be recycled; these products have to be disposed of in the best way possible. One of the oldest ways of dealing with the unrecyclable products is to dispose of them off in the landfills. The landfill is one of the oldest ways of dealing with the wastes. However, it is the least desirable option given the adverse effects that it has on the environment. The landfills have the potential of producing and later releasing potent methane gas, which leads to the increase of the global warming (Gutberlet, 2010).
Methane is a more powerful greenhouse gas compared to carbon dioxide. Therefore, the production of this gas leads to the increase of the risk posed to the environment by the development of landfills. In some cases, methane build-ups can arise in the landfills leading to explosions. Additionally, the decomposition of the biodegradable material can lead to the development of leachate that could contaminate ground and surface water sourced leading to the development of public health issues.
However, despite the explicit issues that the landfills pose to the public health, some wastes can only be managed using the approach. Therefore, the company has to come up with the accurate landfill design approach to ensure that the adverse effects emanating from this approach do not materialize (Cherian & Jacob, 2012). Compliance with the standards on the design of the landfills is important since it determines the effectiveness of the model of waste disposal. The materials send to the landfills are mainly the biodegradable materials. If they were used in the production of compost manure, they could fetch the recyclers millions. Therefore, there is no waste that cannot be used to the production something that can be used to produce something of a greater value (Gutberlet, 2010).
Another way of handling waste is by converting it into energy through a system known as modern waste incineration. Modern incinerators can be used in the production of electricity and heating for the buildings. Some of the wastes could be used in fueling some of the industrial operations. However, poor burning of the material could result in the damage of the environment and expose the people to adverse health effects (Gutberlet, 2010). In order for the waste products to burn completely, the incinerators have to burn the waste under controlled environment.
Whenever, the process cannot guarantee that there will be no emission of the harmful products, additional measures ought to be undertaken to ensure that the harmful gasses are not released into the environment. Reduction of the gaseous release into the environment takes a second stage of incineration known as co-incineration. The design of the incineration plants has to consider the costs and the benefits.
A cost-benefits analysis ought to indicate that the outcome of buying and installing an incinerator is higher than the actual costs. The method is not the most efficient way of managing the waste materials since some of the waste materials release chemicals at higher temperatures. Therefore, incineration of wastes has to be take up as the last resort.
Companies have to focus on making the most out of their biowastes. The garden kitchen and food waste are the main components of the food thrown out of the homes, restaurants and workplaces. The majority of the biowaste goes into the landfills. However, dumping the waste in the landfills is not the most efficient way of handling the biowastes (Gutberlet, 2010). Biowaste has the potential of providing energy and compost manure. The bio-wastes can be put in the biogas digesters to trap the methane gas that is produced during the process of decomposition.
Most of the waste, that the common person throws away can be recycled and used to make another product. Recycling is the use of the waste materials to make another product or products of use. The process helps in the reduction of the wastes that end up in the dumpsites. Recycling is particularly important if the materials used to make the waste are imported.
Dumping the waste as opposed to recycling means that the government and the companies that make the product will have to incur additional costs in buying the raw materials most of which they could have avoided (Cherian & Jacob, 2012). The recycled material will provide the factories with the essential raw materials such as the plastics, paper, glass and other metals.
Recycling is particularly important in the recovery of the precious metals used in the production of the electronics. Effective recovery of these components increases the chances of the company saving the costs that it would otherwise have incurred in buying the components directly from the suppliers (Gutberlet, 2010). The other advantage of recycling is that it helps in the reduction of energy used in the manufacture of a new product. For instance, recycling a can use 5% of the energy used to make a new can right from the processing of the raw materials.
The positive aspect of recycling is that it can be applied in different scenarios. The company dealing in construction could recycle some of the debris from the site and use them in the making of new bricks for the next stage in the construction or another site. The debris is particularly useful given that they already have some cement in them. Recycling could also be applied to the old vehicles (Cherian & Jacob, 2012). The mass of steel used in the manufacture of the new vehicles could be used for the development of the construction steel or be reused in the making of other body panels for the new vehicles.
Recycling is the responsibility of all people. Individuals have the role of ensuring that they adhere to the set procedures of recycling some products by sorting their wastes according to the set standards. The producers have the responsibility of marking all their products according to whether they are recyclable or not. Marking of the containers ought to be conspicuous and understood by all people (Cherian & Jacob, 2012). Use of the conventional signs determines the effectiveness of the process of recycling the wastes.
The producer’s responsibility can also be extended to indicate the time when the products turn into waste. The producer should be financially responsible if their products become wastes. The financial liability extended to the producers will give them the incentive to develop products that are environmentally friendly. They will also be encouraged to follow up on their products and scrap it themselves (Gutberlet, 2010).
Cherian, J., & Jacob, J. (2012). Management Models of Municipal Solid Waste: A Review Focusing on Socio Economic Factors. International Journal Of Economics And Finance, 4(10).
Gutberlet, J. (2010). Waste, poverty and recycling. Waste Management, 30(2), 171-173.
Pomberger, R., & Ragossnig, A. (2014). Future waste - waste future. Waste Management & Research, 32(2), 89-90