How Improper Waste Disposal Affects the Environment

Due to the closure of local tips, recycling centres and other waste management services over the last few months following the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been multiple incidents of people disposing of their garden and household rubbish improperly. 

There’s been a significant increase in fly-tipping with tons of rubbish being dropped and left in parks, fields and even in the middle of streets and it’s frustrating for waste removal companies to see. 

This can have a detrimental effect on the environment especially when toxic wastes are involved. 

So, if you’re thinking about dumping your rubbish inappropriately, hopefully this will make you think twice.

Soil Contamination

One of the main issues of improper waste disposal is soil pollution. Waste such as hazardous chemicals can leak into the soil and affect plant growth but not only this, plastic bottles, when they eventually break down, release DEHA, a carcinogen that can cause significant health issues, including liver dysfunction, in humans. 

Waste disposal should be taken seriously to avoid the contamination of soil and the further problems that it can cause.

Plastics, metals, paper and electronic wastes can be recycled at your local recycling centres and recycling should be segregated and sorted correctly. 

Water Contamination

Watr can be exposed to hazardous waste when it seeps into the ground or is deposited near bodies of water and streams. This water is used to hydrate local fields and crops and even for drinking. 

In addition to this untreated sewage can threaten animals and marine life that comes into contact with the contaminated water. This has a knock-on effect and can be dangerous and harmful to humans who consume fish and other marine life.

When disposing of waste that contains harmful chemicals such as bleach, acid or oil it is important that it is disposed of in approved containers and labelled correctly.

Air contamination

 Paper, plastics and other materials that are burned can contaminate the air. These chemicals build up in the ozone layer over time and if they contain toxic chemicals such as dioxin they can pollute the air that people breathe and cause serious health risks. 

Rubbish that is disposed of improperly can also begin to release methane gases. These gases are greenhouse gases that can destroy the earth’s ozone layer and contribute to global warming and this is where the real environmental harm is done. 

Climate change

All of this combined ultimately has an impact on climate change. As already touched on, rubbish releases methane gas, in fact open landfills represent 91% of all landfill methane emissions. Burning waste results in the production of greenhouse gases which can be both a risk to the atmosphere and the people that live nearby.

This is why it’s so important that rubbish and waste, no matter what kind, is disposed of properly and at the appropriate waste management site. If you become impatient and want to get rid of your waste quickly just think of the effects this will have on the environment and do your part to reduce this. 

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