There can be no more hiding and denying, not anymore. Let’s face the truth. There were roughly 290 million tonnes of waste produced in the UK in 2008. While the data seems to be alarming, there is a sigh of relief in implementing effective waste disposal methods. In fact, the government has created a program called Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) to tackle waste issues.
However, WRAP had analyzed over 200 reports covering different materials including paper, & cardboard. Other materials are – biopolymers, plastics, garden cuttings, food, wood and textiles. As far as waste management is concerned, from waste generation, waste collection in London to disposal or recovery should be carried out in the most sustainable way possible.
Why? Because the life-altering global warming issue demands our attention right now. So if not now, then never! This is the reason why people are becoming more aware of the impact they have on the environment than ever. However, organizations are emphasizing sustainable and secure waste management to reduce as much carbon footprint as they can.
Why Waste Disposal Responsibly?
After finding microplastics in Arctic snow, scientists were in shock. This highlights the importance of responsible waste disposal practices. If not disposed of correctly, certain waste materials such as plastics can have detrimental impact on every living being in this planet.
Plastics, for example, are toxic and hazardous, causing various illnesses, infiltrating water systems and contaminating the environment.
Furthermore, the change in climate needs us to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to a net of zero by 2030. So, this also means that we should emit as much carbon dioxide and other GHG into the atmosphere as the trees can take in.
Responsible waste disposal focuses on reducing carbon footprint on the planet. That brings us to the question, “Are we doing everything we can?”
Even simple things can make a world of difference on our planet, making it a better place for our future generation. By responsibly disposing of waste, we can step our feet into a sustainable and greener world.
Below, we discuss the most common and proven ways of waste disposal that don’t harm the environment.
According to statistics, British households produce more than 26 million tonnes of waste every year, the weight of about 260 large cruise ships. The average person throws away about 400 kg of waste every year, 7 times their body weight.
Of the 26 million tonnes of waste, 12 million tonnes were in recycling, and 14 million tonnes were sent to landfills. This means that the average rate of recycling is 45%, not a satisfying figure.
Waste recycling is always the best way to get rid of waste. A report published by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs suggested that biopolymer plastics made out of crops should be recycled.
Also, we should do our bit when it comes to responsible waste disposal by recycling as much waste as we can. After all, recycling uses less energy and reduces GHG emissions, keeping the planet from climate change.
Is there anything more appreciative than taking a planet-centred approach? When it comes to disposing of waste, we must increase our focus on the planet. Moreover, composting is one of the methods that prioritize our Mother nature and its wellbeing.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of composting organic waste (vegetation and food waste) at home. It is the most environmentally-friendly way of dealing with food and garden waste. Plus, it helps produce compost that can serve as an excellent soil improver.
According to WRAP, putting home composting into practice is a responsible way to go about dealing with biodegradable waste. A home composting bin can help divert around 150 kg of organic waste per household ever year.
Waste incineration involves using high temperature furnaces to combust waste and reduce its volume by 95%. It is an ideal method of disposing of a small number of items. Besides, it is the next best option after recycling. However, this option is beneficial, only when the best technology is in use.
All municipal waste incinerators help to recover energy from waste in the form of electricity and/or heat generation. Moreover, energy from waste is the most secure and sustainable way of dealing with combustible non-recyclable waste.
Incineration, indeed, plays an important role in gearing the country towards sustainability by recovering energy from material that would be wasted in landfills.
According to statistics, the amount of waste incinerated rose from 3.2% in 2010 to 6.1% in 2016, with the majority of incineration was with energy recovery in 2016.
Data collection from: https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CDP-2020-0029/CDP-2020-0029.pdf
Landfills continue to be an integral part of the UK waste infrastructure. Statistics show that around 46 million tonnes of waste were sent to landfills in the UK in 2019. Moreover, they help in managing non-recyclable, non-combustible waste & residue from energy plants, providing a contingency during downtime.
Data collection from: https://www.veolia.co.uk/about-us/veolia-uk/recycling-reuse-and-treatment-facilities/landfill-sites
However, there are certain guidelines that businesses and waste operators must follow before sending waste to landfills. Before disposing of waste to landfills, it is important to:
- Categorize the waste as hazardous or non-hazardous
- Carry out proper treatment of the waste
- Ensure that the landfill site has enough room for your waste
The terms, ‘plasma gasification’ describe the process of converting carbon-containing materials like municipal solid waste, coal, petroleum coke into a synthesis gas. The gas is usually, composed of CO2 and hydrogen.
With the world gearing towards sustainability, plasma gasification continues to be an environmentally-friendly way to dispose of waste. This new technology has the potential to gulp down all the trash, leaving behind energy and valuable materials.
The emissions (commonly known as syngas) from gasification can be converted onsite into hydrogen and other valuable gases ready for sale. Let’s have a quick look at the advantages of this technology here:
- Lower carbon dioxide emissions
- High conversion of organic matter to synthesis gas
- No ash or residual carbon
- Higher thermal efficiency
- Safer means to get rid of medical & other hazardous wastes
- Value-added metal development from slag
- Hazardous wastes are diverted from landfills
- Air emissions are cleaner
The rapid increase in population in urban areas has put more stress on the available resources throughout the world. However, one of the most unpleasant byproducts of urbanization is municipal solid waste. Cities remain the number one contributor to garbage production, with an increasing amount of garbage being produced as time goes by.
This is not to deny that the increasing quantity of waste is rapidly becoming an economical & environmental catastrophe worldwide.
This leads us to wonder how we should deal with waste today. While we have much less control over the amount of waste we produce, by disposing of them in a responsible manner, we can initiate change.
Let us join in this journey together and put an end to this issue once and for all. With the above-mentioned waste disposal methods, we can create a better world, reducing our carbon footprint for good reasons. And if you are looking to hire waste removal services to ensure responsible waste management, it can pay you off too. Make sure you hire a licensed cleaner who understands your waste removal requirements.