Even as experts come with new sustainable ways to do things, solid waste management remains a big problem. Travel across most developing countries and you will be greeted with enormous landfills and badly littered neighborhoods. However, it is not just the developing countries facing this problem.
Across Europe and North America, city councils and municipalities are struggling with the amount of solid waste they have to deal with. China and other countries are no longer interested in recycling solid waste from other countries. Here are some of the reasons why solid waste management has become so difficult in the recent past.
1. Increase in Urban Population- Poor Planning
According to data by the European Commission, the urban population across the world is set to double in the next thirty years. Most of the major cities in Europe and elsewhere have seen exponential growth in population in a short period. The situation is even worse in the poorer economies as rural people flock to the cities for job opportunities.
A sudden spike in urban population means municipalities have a lot on their plate in terms of waste management. It’s a fact, based on current figures and observations that most municipalities and city councils don’t have solid plans for this problem. Instead, they turn to easy options such as creating more landfills and burying trash.
2. Recycling Is Just Now Catching Up
Recycling solid waste has always been the most effective way of dealing with solid waste in urban areas. However, not many countries had put much emphasis on recycling innovation; some preferred to ship their trash abroad. We are now seeing more innovative uco industries coming up across Europe to fill the gap. The use of modern technologies in solid waste recycling will help us address this problem to an extent going forward.
Air Pollution and Ozone Layer Depletion
Incidentally, this article was penned on World Ozone layer day. It’s not just the industries and transportation sector that is polluting our air and depleting the ozone. Several cities across the world are incinerating their waste. Our urban areas are filled with toxic fine particles emanating from the burned waste in the landfills. A big percentage of ozone-depleting carbon comes from our landfills.
The burning of trash shouldn’t be a solution to our waste problem going forward if we are serious about climate change. It’s time for experts to devise new, better solid waste management solutions that don’t turn our planet to a death trap. Recycling- turning trash into treasure could be the solution. We should also address the creation of solid waste in the first place.
3. Our Trash Is Making All ofUs Sick
Before you even think about the cancer menace. Think about all the other problems caused by solid waste. In the developing world, human beings live with their trash on the streets, trenches, and parks. About 60% of the diseases come from bad solid waste management in these areas. From cholera to Malaria, diarrhea, lung disease you name it, they are all killing thousands upon thousands every year.
Then we come to the issue of cancer. It is believed that much of the water we drink in our cities contains sizeable doses of heavy metals and tiny plastics. Solid waste is by far the largest contributor to this 21st-century problem. Cancer is now becoming a leading killer around the world. Rich and poor countries, cancer doesn’t seem to discriminate. It’s about time we found a solution to this problem, otherwise, we won’t live to see this through.
4. The Plastic Problem
It’s funny, we seem tocreate an even bigger problem with something that looks like a solution. Plastic was once touted as a solution to the problem of deforestation; use more plastic and save our trees. Now the same plastic is poisoning our ecosystems and threatening the same trees it was meant to save. It’s time to cut our losses and either get rid of the use plastic or seriously scale it down.
In all honesty, we’ve only scratched the surface concerning the solid waste management menace. It’s time for companies and government to put their heads together in managing solid waste. Our lives and those of our children, the animals under our care depend on it!