The proper disposal of waste is crucial for human health, the environment, and planetary resources. It also saves natural resources and boosts the economy.
Poorly managed waste contaminates the world’s oceans, causing landslides, clogging drains, spreading diseases, and killing animals that consume it.
It also contributes to climate change, with about 5% of global greenhouse gasses generated by solid waste. Pollution prevention is the key to reducing the adverse effects of waste.
Waste services like RoadRunner Recycling can help reduce environmental pollution by reducing the amount of materials that need to be extracted from the environment and recycled. This can also reduce the energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions involved in producing new products from raw materials and the need for landfill space.
Organic waste that can be recycled is often converted to energy through a process. This type of energy production is a renewable source of electricity and can be used to replace fossil fuels. Additionally, sewage waste can be processed to produce methane gas that can be burned or used to generate electricity.
The use of biological processing in waste management was popularized by the cholera outbreaks that occurred in the mid-19th century and has become an essential part of solid waste disposal. This approach involves biologically converting the organic fraction of solid waste through anaerobic digestion. This is much less harmful to the environment than burning or landfilling.
Some cities levy monthly garbage fees on residents to cover the costs of waste management and disposal. These fees are typically incorporated into other municipal utility bills, such as water and gas. This can increase awareness of the cost associated with waste disposal and encourage residents to make smarter choices about the type of waste they create.
Reduced Carbon Footprint
Businesses and households can limit their environmental impact when they use waste disposal services that reduce their carbon footprint. Fewer materials must be grown, harvested, or extracted from the Earth. As a result, fewer forests are cut down, rivers diverted, and wild animals displaced or killed. The waste services that reduce your carbon footprint also minimize the harmful greenhouse gases produced when items are thrown away or burned in factories.
The Waste Management and Remediation Services subsector includes establishments that provide local hauling of waste materials, operate material recovery facilities (which sort recyclables from the trash stream), provide remediation services and septic pumping, and other miscellaneous waste management services. While many cities have variable garbage fees, their structure varies widely. The goal should be to maintain a strong connection between the fee level and the cost of waste services.
For example, it it charges for its waste collection and disposal services but does not charge for recycling or composting. As a result, the city produces lots of waste and only recycles one-fifth of its trash. This contrasts with Tokyo, which has a zero-waste policy and recycles nearly all of its trash. This contrast shows that establishing more sustainable waste management policies can improve the environmental performance of cities, regardless of their size.
Reduced Health Risks
Waste materials can be valuable when recycled rather than disposed of. Companies that use these raw materials can make their products or sell them to other businesses that want to use them. However, ensuring these materials are collected reliably is critical to successful recycling.
Untreated solid waste can cause health issues for the communities around it. This includes soil, water, and air contamination and bacterial and fungal growth risk. This can result in a wide variety of illnesses for people close to dumps and landfills.
Organic material buried in landfills also creates methane gas, an effective greenhouse gas that traps heat and contributes to climate change. Business owners must ensure that their waste management practices reduce their environmental footprint.
Correct waste management reduces the risk of overflowing rubbish bins and can help businesses avoid fines from local governments for illegal dumping. This can also improve a company’s image by showing it cares about the environment.
Even small businesses can implement green policies to ingratiate themselves with customers and attract new clients. For example, donating old technology to charity or giving away free meals that use food that would otherwise be thrown out are both excellent ways for companies to demonstrate their eco-friendly approach.
Waste not correctly disposed of can lead to costly environmental cleanup and public health issues. Reducing waste and using energy, water, and natural resources more efficiently can help businesses save money.
For example, recycling paper, food, and yard trimmings reduces disposal costs and helps protect the environment. When buried in landfills, organic material decomposes, producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The methane released from landfills accounts for 14 percent of human-related methane emissions in the United States. Creating markets for recycled materials reduces waste disposal costs and helps prevent the need to mine virgin minerals.
Using the principles of the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle waste hierarchy to guide business operations can also help companies reduce operational costs. For instance, businesses can work with suppliers to identify less toxic alternatives to hazardous cleaning products or lubricants that may save on waste disposal fees and worker health risks. Companies can also design products, buildings, and manufacturing processes that use less energy and raw materials to cut production waste and lower operating costs.
In New York, waste services are primarily funded by a mandatory garbage fee that residents pay for trash collection and disposal. The price is based on the average amount of refuse a household sets out for weekly collection, which incentivizes reducing waste.