Waste Disposal


Institution Affiliation

The focus onefficient management of waste has spiraled over the years. With theUnited States being one of the largest producers of waste materials,it is imperative to initiate policies that would culminate ineffective control measures. Moreover, the implementation of policiesto regulate the nature of material released into the surroundings hasgained increased prominence. Research indicates that the UnitedStates releases approximately eight pounds of municipal solid wasteon a daily basis. Of the total waste, over 40% is composed of paperwith an additional 17% being in the form of yard waste that includesgrass clippings (Lemann, 2008).

Having collectedthe garbage for an entire week, the task can therefore be completedefficiently. To begin, it is of essence that each of the three typesof waste management is identified. After that, a comparison analysisshould be conducted to determine the differences as well assimilarities of all the groups.

The reuse conceptof waste management demands that the level of purchases is kept at aminimum as a way of reducing the exhaustion of earth’s resources.This concept requires the use of materials that predominantly havereusable qualities. Some examples of household items that fall intothis group include cutlery as well as paper plates. Such productslower the amount of energy that could have been spent to manufacturesimilar products had they been disposed.

Recycling, on theother hand, is a concept whereby an existing product is used tocreate an entirely new item for consumption. It is a common practicefor plastic bottles to be recycled and transformed into carpets andbenches. Though recycling has some resemblance to reusing, it isbased on breaking down of raw materials and changing the originalform of the product. The recycling companies convert the originalcomponents of a material and then sell the reconstructed propertywhich is recyclable. Other companies, however, purchase second-handobjects for the sole purpose of using the material to make a newproduct. The landfills, also known as Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) areused to control the flow of solid waste in the United States. Underthe management of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), itsprimary aim is to protect the environment (Lemann, 2008).

For this study,the household garbage was divided into three individual bags. Eachwould be used to carry specific waste products that had beencollected within the stipulated period. The three bags included onefor goods to be recycled, the other one contained reusable productswhile the final one contained waste that would be disposed in thelandfills. The waste products that were placed in these bag were ofdifferent sizes and weights.

Of the threebags, the one that was fullest at the end of the week was the oneholding recyclable products. Over the week, various recyclableproducts had been used within the household (Lemann, 2008). Of therecyclable products, newspapers had been purchased on a daily basisafter which they were disposed. The recyclable bag also containedcardboard boxes such as cereal containers. Other products in this bagincluded beer cans and other metal products made of aluminum. Inaddition to glass bottles and jars used to transport drinks,containers made from a type of plastic known as PETE had also beencollected. The milk jugs and plastic grocery bags were alsoresponsible for the full nature of the recyclable bag. Finally,having established that almost all forms of batteries are recyclable,they were also discarded into the bag.

The heaviest ofthe bags was the one meant for landfills. The bag contained whatcould neither be recycled nor used. The heaviness in the bag for thelandfill wastes is attributed to the presence of wastes such as sand,heavy metals that could not be reused, unrecyclable metal and glasscan for instance medicine and alcohol can and bottles and many more.The landfill bag also contained containers for pesticide that provedto be hazardous to the environment. The question regarding the bagthat was fullest and the bag that weighed heaviest was answereddifferently because the nature of the wastes in these two categoriesare different. Recyclable wastes are large in size and yet are heavywhilst the wastes for landfills are heavier yet are likely to capturelittle spaces.

The decision on which of the products to include in a particular typeof bag of garbage was complex at times. This is because some productsmet the criteria for all three forms of waste disposal. It thereforeprovided a great dilemma when making a decision on which of the threebags was the most suited for particular products. The reusable bag ofgarbage posed the biggest challenge in deciding which products toinclude in it. This is because most of the household properties canbe re-used. However, the decision on the best form of wastemanagement and disposal solely depended on the most efficientpractice. This meant that even if the product could fit in all thebags of garbage available, it was placed in the bag whereby it hadthe best chance of being disposed in the right manner.

The product thathad the highest probability of being deposited in all the bags wasthe bottles. This is because they were found in various forms ofcontainers within the household. Those that were made of aluminumwere placed in the recyclable bag. However, the decisions to eitherinclude the bottles in the landfill bag, or the reuse bag depended onthe occasion. Bottles that proved to be hazardous to the human healthas well as the environment were placed on the landfill bag. Thereusable bag contained bottles that were safe and hence could be usedonce more in their current state.

There is aminimal difference between what is considered reusable and what isrecyclable. However, it was important to determine whether a productcould be used in the original form or whether it had to undergo anytransformation. When making a decision between what would be placedin the recyclable bag and reusable bag, one had to determine thecharacteristics of the commodity and whether it had to undergo atransformation before being used at a later date. Those that had toundergo a complete transformation so as to be used in the future wereplaced in the recyclable bag. However, the products that could beemployed for some purposes without altering their compositions wereput in the reusable bags.

Based on theanalysis of waste management, it is possible to recycle and use someof the waste from the bags that have been collected for an entireweek. Some of the valuables that can be reused include butterwrappers, one-day contact lenses and plastic silverwares. With the35mm film being reintroduced into the market, there are numerousproducts relating to cameras that can be reused. They includedisposable film cameras, disposable digital cameras, and disposablecamcorders. Other products that can be found in both the recyclableand reusable bags include yogurt containers and plastic bags fromnewspapers. The plastic takeout containers and tissue boxes alsoprovide an alternative for commodities that could be reused orrecycled.

Based on theabove analysis, it is understandable why most of the governments,through environmental agencies are laying more emphasis on the use ofrecyclable containers. Unlike those meant for the landfills, therecyclable materials can be used to ensure that the amount oflittering is significantly reduced. Moreover, recyclable and reusablematerials save on energy that can be channeled towards eco-friendlyactivities. With such control programs, most forms of pollution areeliminated from the environment.


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Lemann, M. F. (2008).&nbspWaste management. Bern: Peter Lang.

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