Introduction — all about waste.
Waste has been a major environmental issue everywhere since the industrial revolution. Besides the waste we create at home, school and other public places, there are also those from hospitals, industries, farms and other sources. Humans rely so much on material things and they all (almost) end up as waste. And hey — where does the waste end up?
What is waste (trash, garbage, rubbish, refuse)
Waste are items we (individuals, offices, schools, industries, hospitals) don’t need and discard. Sometimes there are things we have that the law requires us to discard because they can be harmful. Waste comes in infinite sizes—some can be as small as an old toothbrush, or as large as the body of a school bus.
Everyone creates waste, although some people are very environmentally conscious and create very little. Likewise, some countries do a very good job creating less waste and managing the rest. Others are pretty horrible and have created huge environmental problems for the people and animals living there.
Did you know?
Europe creates about over 1.8 billion tonnes of waste each year. This means each person creates about 3.5tonnes on average.
Did you know?
In 2010, Americans generated about 250 million tons of trash and recycled and composted over 85 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 34.1 percent recycling rate (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). On average, we recycled and composted 1.51 pounds out of our individual waste generation of 4.43 pounds per person per day. —EPA, USA.
All over the world, communities handle their waste or trash differently. Some common methods of managing their waste include landfilling, recycling and composting. Other communities strongly embark on waste reduction and litter prevention/control aimed at reducing the production of waste in the first place. Some communities also engage in waste-to-energy plants and hazardous waste disposal programs. (More on waste recovery here)
Now, let us get into a bit more detail.