Solid waste is one of the leading causes of environmental Pollutions
As human beings have benefited from the development of human civilization, various kinds of problems have also been raised over time. One of the crucial challenges in today’s world is maintaining a good habitat for living organisms through proper waste management. As the world’s population continues to increase, so does the amount of waste generated at an excessive rate.
The same picture is evident in Bangladesh as a developing country. With the ever-increasing population density, waste is also generating at a higher rate. However, Bangladesh has not yet acquired the skills to manage it at the rate at which it is producing. Currently, in Bangladesh, 150 kg per capita and 22.4 million tons of waste are generated per year, which is constantly increasing.
If this continues, by 2025, the per capita waste generation rate will be 220 kilograms, and the total waste will reach up to 47,084 tons, which will be a massive threat to the environment.
The majority of waste generated in our country is solid waste. The amount of solid waste is more in our country. When people discard their useless or unnecessary materials, those are considered as solid waste. Solid waste can be categorized depending on its sources.
Notable are household wastes, industrial wastes, urban wastes, medical wastes, hazardous wastes, agricultural wastes and plastics.
Again, solid waste is divided into two categories, i.e. organic and inorganic. Most organic wastes come from kitchen sources such as vegetable waste. In addition, the inorganic waste are discarded or unusable materials such as discard electrical materials, furniture, construction materials (broken/old bricks, irons/steels’, broken glasses, etc.), useless machinery parts, discard stencils, plastic waste, etc.
Solid waste mismanagement leads to damage to the environment and its living organisms constantly. The three main components of the environment are soil, water and air.
Because of solid waste, these components are deteriorating soil severely. People throw garbage irresponsible; most of them are solid waste. All this waste was mixed with soil, imbalanced the acidity and alkalinity, damaged the agricultural land and weakened its bond by affecting the soil microorganism.
Moreover, this waste ends up in groundwater and degrades its quality. Besides, during the rainy season, these wastes travel through the drainage, canals, beels (a kind of water reservoirs in a medium scale), and rivers and pollute the water. As a result, people and aquatic animals became infected. The stench of dirty garbage spreads in the air and pollutes it.
In addition, methane, carbon dioxide and other harmful gases mix and pollute the air. The most significant source of solid waste is an urban waste. Urban waste is generated from homes, hospitals, factories, etc. From kitchen waste to wearable, unnecessary machinery parts, plastic, paper, batteries and other harmful wastes are also generated.
The waste management in most municipal areas of the country is outdated. Dustbins on the side of the roads are littered with garbage and Spread a strong stench. The environment remains unhealthy.
Municipal authorities remove the garbage from there and dump it in the canals or ditches around the city. From there, germs and odors spread in a new and more detailed form. Toxic wastes are constantly generated from the urban mills. Because they are expensive to manage; many organizations freely dump them in the city’s canals, beels, rivers and drainage systems.
Among these, the dye of cloth, waste produced in the leather industry, various parts, machinery are all-notable. There are no wholesome steps yet to manage the leather residues, membranes including solid waste generated from the leather industries situated at Savar, Dhaka. Apart from this, if the sacrificial animal’s blood, feces and leftovers are left irresponsibly, it will pollute the water and air.
At present, the construction of infrastructure in the cities is in full swing. The necessary material for this work, such as bricks, sand, cement, etc., is left on the road and kept closed. There is no such system to manage the waste generated from these. At the end of the work, there are piles of bricks, sand, and gravel in the garbage dump.
These ruin the city’s drainage system, which results in waterlogging. The situation becomes worse during the monsoon. City dwellers have to face artificial flooding and disrupts the daily work and livelihood of people.
Hospitals also generate solid waste.
Waste of used medicine packets, needles, syringes, knives-scissors etc., are dangerous and, in some cases, even carriers of infectious diseases. Therefore, these wastes should manage separately by keeping them in boxes with lids. Some new ingredients have been added to the medical waste in the Corona situation, such as masks, PPE, test kits, etc.
These wastes should not dump anywhere after use because they remain a risk of healthy people being infected. Besides, PPE is made of plastic and does not rot quickly. These should burn as much as possible. Nevertheless, people are unknowingly dumping these wastes wherever they can and spitting phlegm, polluting the environment and increasing infections.
In rural areas, agricultural waste is also solid waste. Fertilizers and pesticides used in agricultural land are harmful to the environment. Excessive use of pesticides is reducing soil fertility day by day. The harmful effects of the used chemicals are entering the food chain. Solid waste is also generated from various domestic animals used in agriculture.
Daily, a cow produces about 12-15 kg, goat and sheep 1.5-2 kg, layer 100-150 g, broiler 100-200 gram of waste. This waste is a significant source of greenhouse gases as well as microorganisms that cause various diseases. The stench generated from this waste has caused various health problems in humans and animals, such as bone problems, loss of appetite etc.
Excessive inhalation of harmful gases can cause death in humans and animals. Applying large amounts of dung to agricultural land has resulted in antibiotic-resistant bacteria entering the groundwater, a threat to water pollution and public health.
Methane produces from livestock waste is responsible for 15 per cent of global warming. Cattle emit about 80-120 kg of methane per year. Methane is 23 times more responsible for global warming than carbon dioxide.