At the rate urbanization is taking place in many areas in Canada, garbage collection and disposal would continue to be a big challenge, particularly on the municipal level. It is estimated that ten years from now every urban resident would be generating garbage at about 1.42 kg per day or an increase of 221 percent when compared ten years ago.
Based on these figures, the outlook as far as solid waste management is concerned is certainly bleak. Government officials, particularly those in the local governments, are faced with a gargantuan task. But this enormous problem is not only on the shoulders of these officials but extends to all residents. In fact, failure to address this issue would have a huge impact on these residents.
The Impact of Poor Waste Management
The devastating effect of poor waste management can be very extensive and far-reaching. Its impact is not only limited to the community but would involve the entire country and the entire world. Its financial cost to the community and the country can be very massive to the point that it affects economic activity.
On the community level, failure to manage garbage collection and disposal would bring threat to the health of every resident. Solid waste coming from households and commercial establishments when not properly handled and left to decay may cause a wide range of diseases. These volumes of waste can attract numerous types of animals which are known to be carriers of diseases.
It is not uncommon to hear reports of widespread diseases due to garbage that has been left uncollected or improperly disposed. Epidemics have been known to occur, especially in third world countries, due to the failure to effectively manage waste collection and disposal. While these problems are not generally encountered in Canada, we still hear of incidents related to poor waste management. This becomes possible since not all communities have the resources to put in place an effective waste management program.
Damage to Environment due to Poor Waste Management
Damage to the environment due to uncollected and improperly disposed waste can be very huge, affecting every human being in our planet. Solid waste may cause flooding which can destroy natural resources that have become very scarce right now. It is one major source of pollution that extends to vast areas thereby contributing to illnesses such as respiratory medical conditions.
Environmental concerns have been a priority for all countries due to the possible harm it may cause the planet earth. And one major cause for this would be the solid waste which emits harmful gasses that cause the greenhouse effects. Gases such as methane are commonly the result of unattended garbage and which may cause enormous damage in just a short period of time.
These gases are absorbed in our atmosphere where they are trapped and cause heat. This may then increase the heat in our atmosphere resulting eventually to global warming, a condition that has become a major concern on a global basis. Unless acted upon accordingly, the damaging effects of global warming will be felt in the near future.
Role of Communities in Solid Waste Management
The responsibility of managing solid waste has been placed on the shoulders of municipal governments and indirectly the residents. The federal government and other institutions will always be there to lend a helping hand in whatever manner. Especially for communities with limited resources, concerned agencies and organizations can be counted upon to help address the problem.
The role of the municipal government when it comes to waste management can be wide and crucial. For one, it is the government that is tasked to provide the necessary equipment and facilities in every phase of waste management. Very vital in this would be the collection of garbage which may be done through its own garbage collectors or by hiring a third party. There are a number of companies in various parts of Canada that offer exceptional service when it comes to providing the equipment for collecting garbage.
Before solid waste can be collected, these must be first be securely placed in receptacles that are safe from animals and other threats. In this regard, residents also share the responsibility in making sure that garbage bins are available and secured. Educating the residents on the importance of this aspect will likewise be very significant.
And of course the local government must see to it that waste is properly disposed. Ordinary dumps will not do the job. This method of disposal has been known to be very risky and very unsanitary. There is a need for the community to have access to landfills or incinerators. For this vital responsibility, local government or the community itself can always count on establishments who are experts in the field of garbage collection and disposal.
Contribution of Residents Very Vital
The importance of proper waste management cannot be stressed enough. In order to be successful the residents must do their part. This can easily be done by simply observing the proper way of handling household garbage. Using products efficiently is another way of helping reduce garbage. And of course, every family should be active in the recycling and reusing of materials instead of simply treating these as garbage.