The Significant Impacts of Mismanaged Wastes
Homes generate different types of rubbish, from solid waste to recyclable waste to construction debris. Each has to be dealt with in their own way. Some have to be segregated, while others can be recycled. The bottom line is, if not handled properly, they can have a negative impact on the environment.
Here are some reasons why proper rubbish removal is important.
Contamination of the Ground
Some types of waste are harmful to the ground when released in landfills. A common example is plastic bottles. It takes around 450 years for plastics to be broken down. This means that virtually every plastic product that has ever been made still exists in some shape or form.
If they are not recycled properly, the rate at which we generate plastic waste may outpace our capacity to manage them. What is more, plastics can release diethylhexyl adipate or DEHA into the ground when they are finally broken down. DEHA is a substance added to plastic products during the manufacturing process to make them more flexible. Exposure to DEHA can be harmful to the reproductive system and liver. It can also cause a host of medical conditions such as weight loss and even cancer.
Contamination of Water Sources
Water is a universal solvent, which is one of its many amazing characteristics. However, it can be a disadvantage when it comes to hazardous wastes. As water is being absorbed from the surface by the ground, it can bring along the harmful toxins and chemicals from improperly disposed of wastes, all the way to the water sources and natural bodies of water. When this happens, it can affect all marine life exposed to the toxins. If either the contaminated water or exposed marine life is consumed by humans, it can cause various health problems.
Reduced Capacity to Recycle
Biodegradable and compostable plastics are game-changers when it comes to waste management, but they are still at their infancy. This means recycling is still the main method in reducing waste. If wastes are not properly segregated and managed at the source, the opportunity to recycle them will be missed. Waste disposal sites will get saturated much sooner, and rubbish removal systems will be overwhelmed. The common casualty when these things happen is the ocean, where an estimated eight million metric tons of plastic waste alone enter every year.
Contamination of the Air
As wastes in landfills degrade, they generate methane, a greenhouse gas 28 times more harmful to the ozone layer than carbon dioxide. Aside from damaging the ozone layer, landfill gas can contribute to the formation of smog, which presents a serious health problem of its own.
Methane is normally captured in landfill facilities to be converted into natural gas. However, it is not hard to imagine that some of them may still escape into the atmosphere. In addition, occasional fires in landfills can cause other harmful gases to be released into the air.
Contact Your Nearest Rubbish Removal Experts
There are many ways that mismanaged wastes can affect the whole planet, from the land to the sea and beyond. Make sure that your home or business does not contribute to the growing waste problem by being more mindful of purchasing and consuming products, recycling where possible, and disposing of wastes properly with the help of waste removal companies.