It is a fact that waste is an inevitable outcome of human existence, regardless of quantity. Proper management of waste is crucial in determining its impact on climate change.
Poor waste management not only leads to the accumulation of litter but also has adverse effects on the environment, causing air and water pollution.
As individuals, How waste management contributes to climate change? what measures can we take to improve our waste management practices? So no doubt The evidence of climate change has become increasingly undeniable.
Scientists estimate that by the end of this century, the Earth’s surface temperature will rise by roughly 2°C, leading to disastrous consequences for our ecosystems, plants, animals, and people.
In addition, the atmosphere’s chemical makeup has undergone significant changes due to the surge in greenhouse gas emissions, primarily methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide.
Global Waste is Growing
The generation of waste is closely linked to population growth and economic progress, which means that the most significant rise in waste production is expected to take place in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Unfortunately, in many parts of the globe, waste management practices and systems are inadequate or non-existent, resulting in the emission of short-lived climate pollutants.
In actuality, there is a projection that methane emissions from waste will increase by around 13 megatons each year in the next decade.
How to Reduce Waste Sector?
Increase the Greenhouse Effects
Greenhouse gases function like a blanket that envelops our planet, trapping heat inside and causing it to warm up.
This happens because the Earth’s radiation is unable to escape from our atmosphere.
As a result, glaciers are shrinking, and snow covers are decreasing, leading to a decline in freshwater resources and an increase in sea levels.
This, in turn, can result in a surge of floods, posing a significant threat to both coastal and oceanic regions.
You should Apply to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Techniques
Thankfully, there are economical solutions available to decrease waste sector emissions. Around 60% of the measures taken to mitigate such emissions have either low or no costs.
You may be familiar with the term “reduce, reuse, recycle,” which represents the waste hierarchy, displaying waste management options in order of environmental preference. This hierarchy emphasizes that landfilling and disposal should be the last resort.
A modified version of the waste hierarchy can be used to emphasize methane mitigation strategies for solid waste.
Food Waste Prevention
Food Waste Prevention is the process of reducing the quantity of food that we deem as “waste” and repurposing it.
In practice, this could involve initiatives such as promoting “ugly” produce programs, reevaluating food best-by and use-by dates to prevent the disposal of good food, connecting major food waste producers with food banks, and raising awareness about the significance of waste prevention, among other solutions.
These actions not only prevent usable food from being sent to landfills but also help to enhance food security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food production upstream.
Use Dumpster Services
You should use the Dump Site
Proper waste management is crucial in capturing methane emissions from both organic waste that cannot be diverted and waste that has already been disposed of in landfills.
Landfills are designed to have control systems for environmental and human health, while open dumps, commonly found in developing countries, pose risks to both human health and the environment.
Despite the initial high expenses, it is possible to modify dumps with environmental control mechanisms, such as covers that oxidize methane upon release and capture landfill gas (LFG).
Sanitary landfills that already have LFG capture systems can concentrate on collecting and using the generated gas to the maximum extent possible.
Organic Waste Diversion
The last crucial step in preventing this waste from ending up in landfills is Organic Waste Diversion.
Organic waste can be sorted at the source by waste generators, such as keeping a separate container for food waste in your kitchen, or at a dedicated facility that separates mixed municipal waste.
Source separation by waste generators is the preferred option from a technical standpoint, as it minimizes contamination from plastic or glass particles ending up in the waste, which is critical for most treatment methods.
There are various cultural and socioeconomic factors to consider while designing organic waste diversion programs. Composting and anaerobic digestion are the two most widely used treatment methods for organic waste.
FAQs Related How Waste Management Contributes to Climate Change?
How does wastewater contribute to climate change?
The disposal of domestic and industrial wastewater is responsible for approximately 9% of global anthropogenic methane emissions.
About 64 Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) have set targets and initiatives to decrease methane emissions from the waste sector, which includes solid waste.
What are the 3 impacts of climate change on water resources?
Global climate change has a number of additional effects that can significantly impact water resources.
For instance, higher evaporation rates and a greater proportion of precipitation falling as rain instead of snow can lead to reduced water availability.
Additionally, runoff seasons may become shorter and occur earlier, while water temperatures can rise, all of which can have adverse effects on ecosystems and water quality.
Finally, water quality can decline in both inland and coastal areas, further exacerbating the already significant challenges facing water resource management.
Does plastic contribute to climate change?
Plastic is a highly durable pollutant that remains on Earth for centuries, emitting greenhouse gases throughout its life cycle, long after it has been disposed of.
It is designed to be long-lasting and has a lifespan of over 400 years, making it one of the most persistent pollutants on the planet.
What human activities destroy the environment?
Human activities have various impacts on the physical environment, such as overpopulation, pollution, deforestation, and the burning of fossil fuels.
These changes have led to adverse effects such as climate change, soil erosion, compromised air quality, and contaminated water that is unfit for human consumption.
How does deforestation affect climate change?
Deforestation leads to the release of a significant amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change.
Trees store carbon, and when they are cut down, the carbon is released back into the atmosphere. In the past decade, the highest rates of deforestation were observed in the humid tropics.