Releasing waste gases and liquids into the air and water bodies and dumping solid waste on land are the leading causes of environmental pollution. The effects affect all living organisms. An example is the effects of global warming that are currently being felt around the world. Managing waste is, therefore, important in achieving a conducive environment for both plants and animals.
Waste materials can be processed into new, useful products. Recyclable waste materials range from plastics, papers, glass, and metals. There is emphasis, especially on recycling plastic waste materials since they are non-degradable. Efficient recycling efforts must begin at the source. It refers to homes, workplaces, and industries. Waste should be sorted into different bins to ease the work of the waste collectors. Wastewater treatment plants are efficient in recycling refuse water where it is treated for repeat use. Recycling has many added advantages besides keeping the environment clean. It creates jobs for people working in recycling companies and is more energy-efficient compared to producing items from raw materials. In addition, recycling helps in the conservation of natural resources that are continually depleted. Efficient recycling systems should be put in place to achieve a waste-free environment.
Waste reduction involves a set of practices designed to minimize the amount of waste produced. Buying goods in returnable containers and ensuring the containers are returned is one way of waste reduction. In close relation, buying items in refill packs aids in waste reduction. Carrying your shopping bag helps in avoiding the use of plastic carrier bags for shopping. Bulk buying also reduces the amount of packaging required for your goods. Waste reduction is also achieved by performing repairs. Faulty items such as textiles and electronics that can be repaired should not be disposed of. Selling your electronics and furniture to refurbish centers is better than throwing them away. Hiring or borrowing an item that is required only for a short period; for example, a wedding gown is an efficient waste reduction technique. It ensures that one does not end up with items they do not need in the end. Waste reduction not only generates a waste-free environment but also is economical. Thus, it conserves both resources and the environment.
It is important to reuse items that can serve more than one purpose, or that can be used in new ways. Plastic carrier bags, for example, can be used again and again as shopping bags and as bin liners. Empty jam jars and bottles can be used to preserve other items. Giving away toys, clothes, and books to charity shops is better than throwing them away. Also, one can have a garage sale for unwanted items or post them online as giveaways. Gifting redundant items to family and friends is also a good way of reusing materials. People have various needs, so what you intend to throw away could be what someone else desperately needs.
Efficient and effective waste management is best achieved at its production level. Every time one manages their waste effectively, they make a difference that affects the environment positively.