PSYC 434: ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
WASTE DISPOSAL WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO SOLID WASTE
Adeniji Ayodele (10317112)
9TH March, 2013. With an increase in industrial development and population growing at an alarming rate, waste and for that matter waste disposal, is becoming a growing problem worldwide. This constitutes a major problem especially for most countries in the developing world as a result of inadequate mechanisms for the proper disposing of wastes. According to Narayana (2008), “with continuous economic development and an increase in living standards, the demand for goods and services is increasing quickly, resulting in an increase in per capita generation of solid waste”. Rapid population growth, urbanization, and industrial growth have led to severe waste management problems in the cities of developing countries like Ghana. The term 'waste' and the act of 'wasting' are human inventions. Waste doesn't exist in nature. Everything has a purpose in nature. Waste was created by humans for short-term convenience and profit. Since early modern times, disposing of waste has been an important concern for both individuals and community officials alike. Wasting results in long-term harmful consequences for humans, nature, and the economy such as the outbreaks of diseases (e.g. cholera, malaria, typhoid fever and so on), reduction in the earth’s capacity to supply raw materials in the future, and the inability of the natural environment to absorb and process these materials. Thus, environmental sanitation is of great concern to governments and policy makers in order to prevent the occurrence of such harmful consequences. With all these said about waste, what then is waste? What constitutes waste? What are the effects of waste? What are the modern methods of waste disposal? These are issues that will be covered in this paper with particular emphasis on solid waste. What is waste?
Waste also known as rubbish, trash, junk, garbage, depending on the type of material or the regional terminology has been defined in several ways. A few would be given below. The 1995 Environmental Act of UK defines waste as “any substance or object which the holder discards or intends to discard”. A ‘holder’ means the producer of the waste or the person who is in possession of it. According to the United Nations (UN) Statistics Division, Glossary of Environmental Statistics wastes are “materials that are not prime products (that is products produced for the market) for which the initial user has no further use in terms of his/her own purposes of production, transformation or consumption, and of which he or she wants to dispose. Wastes may be generated during the extraction of raw materials, the processing of raw materials into intermediate and final products, the consumption of final products, and other human activities. Residuals recycled or reused at the place of generation are excluded.” Waste has also been described as an unwanted or undesired material or substance. It may consist of the unwanted materials left over from a manufacturing process (industrial, commercial, mining or agricultural operations,) or from community and household activities. The material may be discarded or accumulated, stored, or treated (physically, chemically, or biologically), prior to being discarded or recycled. It is also used to describe something we use inefficiently or inappropriately. In very simple terms then, waste is regarded as any substance or object, which is disposed of or is intended to be disposed of or is required to be disposed of by the provisions of national law. It is an unavoidable by-product of most human activity....
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