Published on 03/06/2011
What is waste management?
There is more to waste management than collecting rubbish and dumping it at landfill. Although this is a vital step in the process, there is more to it than that! This article will address the steps involved in the cycle of waste management and will hopefully give a greater understanding to the topic.
Waste Management flows in a cycle: Monitoring, Collection, Transportation, Processing, Disposal / Recycle. Through these steps a company can effectively and responsibly manage waste output and their positive effect they have on the environment.
Monitoring is identifying the waste management needs, identifying recycling opportunities and ways to minimize waste output, and reviewing how waste minimization is progressing. Through keeping records of the different waste streams, a customer can see the results of their efforts in becoming more environmentally friendly, and a more efficient business.
Collection involves the logistical organization to guarantee that bin containers will not overfill and waste sit time does not become too long. The correct bin container size and service frequency is a must to prevent overspill or excessive smell. The correct bins for different wastes must be available with sticker and bin colour identification. Locks, chains, lids and bars prevent public access and non-trained personnel putting rubbish in the incorrect bins.
Cooperation between the waste company and customer is vital. Bins must be accessible to the truck driver at the agreed times. Access to work premises outside work hours will cause an issue if unaddressed. Bin wheels can allow customers to move bins from convenient areas to serviceable locations.
Transportation is the organizing of waste transport vehicles with the authorization and ability to transport the specified wastes from a customer’s work residence to landfill or processing plant. A waste must be transported by the vehicle designed for it. For example, general waste requires a vehicle with thicker compacter walls, to that of a cardboard and paper waste transporting vehicle. Therefore, a customer may require a series of vehicles to meet their waste management needs.
Vehicles, drivers, and companies need licenses and approval in certain Council Areas to transport waste. EPA standards need to be upheld as well as General Public Safety. Safety standards are vital to the transportation of clinical and hazardous wastes. Drivers must undergo training for emergency circumstances that may arise.
Processing involves the separation of recyclables for treatment, and then after treatment are packaged as raw materials. These raw materials are sent to factories for production. Non-recyclable wastes by-pass this step and are delivered straight to landfill. Liquid and hazardous wastes are delivered to treatment plants to become less hazardous to the public and environment.
Disposal / Recycling is the disposal of non recyclables into landfill. Landfill sites must be approved by legal authorities. Legal authorities guarantee that specific wastes are buried at the correct depth to avoid hazardous chemicals entering the soil, water tables, water systems, air, and pipe systems.
In this step the raw materials made from recyclables are produced and sold as products on the market. Companies can purchase such products to further sustain the environment and natural resources.
In conclusion, waste management is a science that addresses the logistics, environmental impact, social responsibility, and cost of an organization’s waste disposal. It is a detailed process that involves human resources, vehicles, government bodies, and natural resources.