Every year we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste. India alone generates 62 million tons of waste every year, of which less than 60% is collected and around 15% processed. With landfills ranking third in terms of greenhouse gas emissions in India.
People, factories, processes, and animals produce waste every day, so it is an inevitable part of society. Waste of many different forms is dumped on the planet. Each affects the environment in various ways. There are five types of waste.
1. Liquid waste
Refers to all grease, oil, sludges, wash water, waste detergents, and dirty water that have been thrown away. They are hazardous and poisonous to our environment and are found in industries as well as households. Wastewater, as it is often called, is any waste that exists in liquid form.
2. Solid Waste
Solid waste is any garbage, sludge, and refuse found in industrial and commercial locations. The five major types of solid rubbish, include Glass and Ceramics, Plastics, Paper rubbish, Metals, and Tins. This type is usually non-biodegradable and is the most common type.
3. Organic Waste
Organic waste refers to rotten meat, garden, and food waste. This type is commonly found in homes. With time, they decompose and turn into manure by the action of microorganisms on them. When decomposing, organic waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas so, it must not be thrown away with regular waste.
4. Hazardous Waste
Hazardous waste includes flammable, corrosive, toxic, and reactive materials. In a nutshell, they are wastes that pose a significant or potential threat to our environment.
5. Electronic waste
The amount of electronic waste (or e-waste) has been exploding in recent years along with technological developments. Roughly 50 million tons of e-waste are produced a year and most of it is dumped in poor countries in Asia and Africa. E-waste is highly toxic if not treated properly. Heavy metals and toxic chemicals pollute surrounding communities and poison the local population including children - and not least the people working at the dumpsites, often with no protection.
Understanding the types of waste around you is critical to know how to deal with them. To reduce environmental pollution, you should take the right steps to properly dispose of the types of waste discussed in this article.
As the human population and overconsumption grow, the waste we produce becomes harder to get rid of. With adequate waste management, we tend to think that waste does not affect us. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Not so much anymore. The problem with our waste is a lot harder to ignore now. We have everyday factors such as illegal dumpsites and clogged drainage systems to remind us. In some regions around the world, communities are being encroached by landfills. People live near waste dumps with no foreseeable change. This has negative consequences on the quality of life; not just for humans, but for plants and animals too.
So, remember, refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest."