Global waste needs urgent solutions, and the problem has become way too big to simply “reduce, reuse and recycle”. So we explore the role of technology in sustainable management.
The biggest threat our mother Earth is facing is global waste. Global waste is setting disastrous and alarming situations nowadays. This waste is polluting the precious natural resources which were meant to provide services for mankind, right from forests, land, soil, and water resources.
Many systems were made and adopted to combat and reduce the impacts of the waste generated such as landfilling and incineration, but these systems have proven to be unsafe for the health of mankind and its surrounding environment.
To overcome this problem a paradigm shift is required, such a system which accepts innovation and sustainability in the waste management sector. Here we will be discussing eco-friendly and sustainable options or solutions for waste disposal and promoting natural resource conservation and a cleaner and greener future.
The Need to Change the Past
The primitive and current waste management practices have severe and vital side effects on the environment, which are;
- Landfills: The landfill approach is to dump the waste in the sites for landfilling. In reverse the landfills release greenhouse gases also known as GHGs like methane, this emitted methane gas is the main contributor to climate change.
- The waste generated from hospitals is incinerated in specific machines. This process leads to the release of pollutants into the atmosphere and causes damage to the health and surrounding nature. Moreover, it also causes waste to the valuable resources which could be recycled or reused.
- The waste thrown or a culture known as “throwaway culture” should be replaced with the circulating economy approach, where the waste can be seen as a valuable resource and is practiced in some developed countries.
A Sustainable Solution to Waste Management
It is time to shift to sustainable and eco-friendly options when it comes to addressing waste management sustainably. We can do so by adopting the principles viz:
The foremost step in the waste management approach is to reduce waste generation. This involves awareness raising on various platforms such as, among individuals, the business sector, the private sector, and the governments about the significance of reducing waste at the source. Moreover, developing strategies including redesigning the products to reduce material use, implementing efficient and effective packaging regulations, and boosting the wise use or required consumption can all play a vital role in waste reduction.
Mobilizing and emphasizing the reuse of materials and products can vitally reduce the generation of waste. Industries can design such products which are durable and repairable, enabling the consumers to increase the lifespan of the products. The relevant governments and community-based initiatives can also help reduce waste. These initiatives can be repair shops where skilled labor can fix the items and prevent them from throwing them into the garbage, alternatively reducing waste generation.
When dealing with waste management, companies like Wildcat Site Services focus on the recycling approach as the main tool for sustainable waste management. Recycling involves converting waste material into new products. It helps in reducing the need for the new raw material. Additionally, it helps in energy conservation as well. Framing of policies and laws by the governments will enable and bind industries and individuals to practice the recycling of waste. Moreover, the government and private organizations should invest in developing recycling units and making it convenient for the residents to recycle their waste.
The Role of Technology in Sustainable Management
Technological advancements have opened the doors to new opportunities to deal with waste management. Some of the technological interventions to combat waste management are anaerobic digesters and waste-to-energy facilities. These innovations can convert organic waste into renewable energy and compost. Additionally, these innovations not only decompose the waste but are also helpful in generating clean energy and worthy by-products.
Further, the smart waste management systems loaded with sensors can efficiently identify the waste collection routes and help in reducing fuel consumption. Last but not least blockchain technology can be used to track the whole waste management process.
No matter how much we advance in the fields of technology for waste management, it becomes useless until the communities adopt the technology and get benefits from it. Hence the sustainable waste management system requires the active participation of the communities and stakeholders. This can be achieved by educating the communities through awareness-raising campaigns and by encouraging the citizens to adopt eco-friendly habits. Moreover, schools and local organizations can come together in educating children about recycling practices. This will create and foster a culture of responsibility.
Policies and Incentives by Government
Last but not least, governments must develop and draft policies to drive the residents toward sustainable waste management. This can be done by offering incentives to businesses and individuals in practicing the waste management approach. Some of the effective measures that can be implemented for waste management are:
- Reducing the tax for eco-friendly practices
- Monetary support for recycling facilities and units
- Strict regulations against the single-plastic use
- Strict action against the individuals throwing the trash randomly.
Waste generation is the biggest threat our earth is facing and we are losing natural resources due to waste generation and its improper management. It is the need of the hour to get a sustainable solution for waste management. In the past, the techniques like landfilling and incineration were used for waste management. These techniques were not eco-friendly because they release harmful gases impacting our environment and health. So new methods including anaerobic digesters and blockchain technology are introduced and are practiced for sustainable waste management. In addition to the technology, it is of immense importance to educate and mobilize the communities to practice the three R’s which are (reuse, recycle, and reduce). Last but not least farming the policies and offering incentives to businesses and individuals in practicing the waste management approach will be helpful in sustainable waste management.
“Let us join together to combat waste and make a greener and healthier Environment”.