Garbage problems: causes, effects and solutions

Garbage problems: causes, effects and solutions

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Garbage has become a serious problem in the world today. According to a report published in Nature journal, the problem of garbage or solid waste is assuming dire proportions today. By the end of this century (2100), garbage will be collected at the rate of 11 million tons per day worldwide, more than three times the current rate. It implies that the generation of garbage which amounted to 3.5 million tons per day in 2010 will become 6 million tons per day by 2025. Currently, the population of India produces around 62 million tons of solid waste annually. Outside of this, 45 million tons of garbage are not treated and disposed of by civic agencies in an unscientific way.

According to the report, urban India generates 109,589 tonnes of waste per day. Interestingly, the Urban US produces 624,700 tons of garbage per day, which is the highest in the world, while the second largest is urban China at 520,548 tons per day. India's waste generation will be over 376,639 tonnes per day by 2025, especially with urban India's population expected to increase to 538 million.

What is garbage pollution?

Garbage pollution occurs when waste collected in landfills rots, spreads odor and causes air pollution in surrounding areas, which also creates problems at the administrative level. Waste is often seen to include inorganic material like iron cans, paper, plastic, glass pieces or food scraps, animal bones, vegetable peels, etc. they are thrown into the open air. In areas where people keep animals for milk, poultry, or other animals, their feces also pollute the atmosphere. Often times, fire breaks out in landfills deliberately or inadvertently. Air pollution is also spread when garbage is burned outdoors in villages, posing a serious threat to health and the environment.

Rivers are also victims of various types of pollution generated by industrial and domestic waste. Increased disposal of solid waste and sewage as well as the discharge of industrial effluents into water sources is ruining the landscape of beautiful places. Tourism prospects are taking a beating.

What is the problem with the garbage?

In ancient times, garbage generally only contained organic waste that was deposited on the ground, but the proportion of chemicals in waste increases with the fast pace of modern development. In countries like India, things previously used as bags were not harmful. Previously, ceramics were used for liquid substances, and the jute bag was used to transport goods. Now plastic has changed the situation and a problem has arisen with it because plastic never degrades. Its recycling is possible, but there is no adequate system to deposit it.

Cities are being reduced to garbage dumps. Trash is present everywhere in one form or another, whether there is a town or a city, a temple or a mosque. This problem has been on the rise since the last three decades, leading to health problems and environmental degradation. Today we are victims of many types of waste, including domestic, agricultural and industrial. Tons of waste or garbage are produced each year, and only one percent is recycled. The rest accumulates in the fields or in the streets and at the end, during the rainy season; it reaches the oceans through rivers.

There are many reasons for the production of garbage. One reason for this is increasing urbanization and prosperity. The stronger financially the country or city is, the more garbage it will produce. It can also be seen by linking poverty and prosperity, competition and inefficiency. This means that when the aspiration for services is high in populations, there will also be an increase in the amount of waste. Today, China and India are the leading examples of this in the world. Both are taking steps in economic development, but in the process, they are also producing piles of garbage. Other reasons for this include lifestyle change, lack of waste management and options, and also the huge issue of ethics that is rapidly eroding. We assume that it is our obligation to produce garbage and its disposal is the work of the government. Perhaps this is where we are making the biggest mistake.

How does garbage contribute to air pollution?

Today, the land, water and air have been polluted. Garbage is dumped in open spaces. Large factories emit a lot of smoke. Due to the dust particles in the smoke, the air becomes polluted. In addition to spreading bad smell, germs also breed in decaying garbage leading to various diseases. Mosquitoes, flies, and mice find fertile breeding grounds in mounds of waste. Garbage, from households and industrial waste, falls into rivers. This makes the river water polluted. Therefore, increasing garbage in the home, outside or in water sources has exacerbated the problem of air pollution.

How does burning garbage affect the environment?

Micro particles or particles are those toxic particles whose size is so small that they can enter our body through breathing and damage the lungs in particular. In India and China, all kinds of garbage, including plastic bottles and electronic items, are burned. According to scientists, this is the main cause of air pollution.

Smoke from burning garbage not only poisons the air, but also increases the spread of disease. Recent research has provided information on the emission of toxic gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide due to burning waste. At the same time, it has been pointed out that airborne particles are also responsible for many types of diseases. According to researcher Rd. Christine Wiedinmyer, associate director of science at the University of Colorado, while conducting the research, she realized that we have very little information about waste management and trash burning. The need is to study in depth the different types of toxins emanating from such activities.

Wiedinmyer has prepared for the first time a report in which all countries have been informed about air quality. This report will help governments modify their environmental policies. Most health-related measurements have been made according to the microscopic particles present in the air, in which attention is only paid to their size, not what they are made of. The report focuses on the different types of microscopic particles that have different effects on health and the environment.

How can we stop or control garbage pollution?

Waste is the main reason for environmental pollution in developed and developing countries. The increasing intensity of development is increasingly challenging. The environment becomes messy due to improper garbage disposal. But using modern technology, many developed countries have not only reduced pollution through waste management, but have also adopted it as their main source of energy. Many things thrown away can be reused. Waste of resources can be prevented by recycling and the environment can be conserved.

If municipality facilities are not available, the following small-scale waste disposal measures can be taken:

Composting / Vermiculture

(i) Composting: This is the process by which household waste such as grass, leaves, food scraps, cow manure, etc. are used to make compost. A pot was dug to prepare the manure with manure and garbage. The size of the pit corresponds to the amount of garbage and the available space. Typically, a small rural family can dig up to 1 meter long and 1 meter wide and 0.8 meters deep. The top of the pit should be kept one to a half to two feet above ground level. Doing this will not cause rainwater to seep into it.

Village households can put household garbage and manure in the pit. In this way, the manure is ready in about six months. This compost should be removed from the hole and covered with soil. Then it can be used for cultivation.

Composting advantages:

  • The extravagant grass seeds found in the fields are destroyed by the heat.
  • Prevents pollution caused by decomposition of garbage.
  • A good compost is prepared from the waste, which helps to increase the yield of the field.

(ii) Vermiculture: this is a process of decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. In this, manure is prepared by decomposing organic waste such as vegetable husks, leaves, grass, crop residues, animal waste and food waste, etc., set in motion by earthworms. Under this method, a layer of organic waste material is placed in a wooden box or soil pit and some worms are released onto it. Trash is placed on top and water is sprayed to keep it moist. After a while, the worms consume large amounts of garbage or organic waste and make compost, a rich source of organic matter that plays an important role in maintaining soil fertility.

In rural areas, manure, household waste, and agricultural waste are not fully used. Therefore, it is necessary that the villagers are informed about the production of fertilizers from waste to avoid contamination in rural areas. Collectively, waste is used in the best way.

Garbage disposal in urban areas:

Proper disposal for garbage disposal in cities is carried out by municipalities. But citizens need to remain vigilant to ensure that the work runs smoothly and that the waste is transported from a specified location to the municipal collection center from where it can be properly disposed of. If waste management is done by adopting modern techniques, the environment can be protected from pollution.

Need for scientific waste management

For proper garbage management, we have to make preparations to address this problem in four phases. As a first step, we must try to reduce the amount of waste generated per person. In fact, a small reduction in this amount would turn out to be a very large positive move. The second step should be recycling and reuse. By recycling a ton of iron, not only is the need for iron extraction reduced, but the emission of a ton of carbon dioxide is also avoided. In the third phase, we must produce biogas and organic manure from this biological waste that remains after recycling and reuse. Metals, batteries and light bulbs must be collected separately. The remaining flammable waste must be used as fuel to produce electricity, thus saving fossil fuels and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

In this case, we can learn a lot from Sweden. Sweden reuses and recycles 47 percent of the waste generated in its regions and uses 50 percent of the waste as fuel for energy production. Only 3% of unproductive waste needs to be thrown away. There, care is also taken to prevent the leakage of poisonous substances from landfills. There is a ban on placing organic and flammable waste in landfills.

In Sweden, the responsibilities for collecting and treating garbage are distributed in such a way that there is no room for excuse. This work is divided between waste-producing industries, business houses, municipalities and private companies. Each task is delegated separately, such as the collection of garbage, its transport to treatment centers and its scientific treatment. It is the responsibility of the municipalities to collect household waste. Businesses that produce hazardous waste such as batteries, mirrors, light bulbs and electronic waste must adopt proper waste management and treatment.

Underground tanks have been built there for municipal waste, which has been linked with large pipes; the last tip of this network goes up to the loading point. Trash is pushed from vacuum pressure to loading point where slurry is placed on vehicles and trash is transported to treatment centers.

A network of different types of treatment centers has been established. It is estimated that Sweden produced 5,67,630 MW of power in 2013, for which 14,74,190 tons of domestic organic waste were treated. Bio gas is used as fuel for vehicles. Electricity is produced by burning the rest of the flammable residue in the insinuators; Its technique is very advanced, which generates very few gas emissions. Sweden is the most advanced country to produce electricity from waste. It creates three megawatts of energy from one ton of waste.

Sweden, in 2013, imported 8,31,400 tons of garbage from other countries in Europe to help them deal with the waste problem. After burning the garbage in the incinerators, the residual ash is planted in construction work in the landfills. Fuel gas, resulting from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas, is also treated to remove pollutants.

The wrapping and packaging development industry has been concerned and endeavoring to offer a new generation of recyclable packaging and packaging that is more respectful of the environment. The global trend in the sector leads to responsible packaging with recycled and recyclable material, although the real solution is not to recycle but not to consume.


The example above shows that when garbage becomes a means of income, provisions for its treatment are also strengthened. By investing in the salaries of the sanitation workers involved in the treatment system, their conditions can be further improved. The burden of the public treasury decreases and employment opportunities also arise. If organized well, this system has the ability to advance on its own strength. As a society, we must rise above neglect of waste and kick the habit of dumping waste here and there.

This problem arises when we transmit your solution to the government and consequently the solution becomes difficult. This change will have to enter the general thinking of society. With this, we can take serious and proactive measures for the elimination of garbage. We must remember that garbage in the wrong place poses a serious problem, but properly treated garbage is also a useful resource.

The time has come when we should rethink our lifestyle. Whatever our population was until three decades ago, the amount of garbage generated was not that great, because our requirements were controlled. Today we do not have any activity that does not produce garbage. What to speak of the cities, even the villages that were known for their decency, peace and cleanliness have come under the influence of garbage. Previously, all village requirements were managed locally. Now urbanization has also entered rural areas.

Nylon has replaced the rope used in the manufacture of cots. Now the clay jugs are beginning to disappear and are replaced by plastic containers. As in the cities, mobile phones, motorcycles and other modern products have also taken root in the villages. So there is no difference in the amount of garbage in cities and towns.

We have learned everything from Western countries, but we cannot learn how conscious people are regarding cleanliness, which is maintained not simply as compliance with a rule or law, but as part of moral duty and social obligation there. People abroad consider the streets and other public places outside the home as part of their living space. But we believe that our responsibility is simply to clean our house. Consequently, we must instill a change in our attitude towards waste or garbage.

Original article (in English)

Video: Exposing Australias recycling lie. 60 Minutes Australia (July 2022).


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