The existence of human beings depends upon the environment. Human interaction with the environment has resulted in many environmental changes. Let us learn about the changes and study the methods of controlling them.
Wastes generated by human beings have affected the environment. What are wastes? How do they affect the environment?
Waste, is any unwanted, unused, and rejected material. Waste can be categorized according to its source – municipal, agricultural, industrial etc.
In general, wastes are of three types – liquid, gaseous, and solid.
1. Liquid waste: It includes sewage, contaminated ground water, and industrial wastewater. These are transported through pipes or in containers. This wastewater has to be treated, before discharging it into the water sources. For example, wastewater from our sewage pipe reaches the water treatment plant. This water is then purified using various techniques such as filtration, deionising, and water softening. This water is then released into streams, rivers, and other water bodies.
2. Gaseous waste: It includes gases produced by combustion and industrial processes. These gaseous wastes are responsible for global warming, ozone depletion etc.
Global warming may be defined as an increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface because of greenhouse gases.
3. Solid waste: It refers to the waste that does not flow like gas or water. It includes paper, food waste, plastic, glass, metal etc. A lot of solid waste is generated from homes, offices, hospitals, schools etc. All this waste is collected and disposed by the municipality. Solid waste can be categorized into two types - biodegradable and non-biodegradable.
Management of solid wastes
Waste management includes collection, transport, processing, and disposal of waste materials.
Measures for waste management
Separate bins (blue and green) can be used for disposing non-biodegradable and biodegradable wastes respectively.
Reduction in the use of non-biodegradable products like plastic.
Separation of material, which can be reused or recycled.
How can we reduce waste production?
Use of recyclable material reduces the generation of wastes to a large extent. Reduced usage of materials, reusing of materials, and using recycled material will reduce the generation of wastes.
Using refills, using empty jars instead of purchasing new ones, using rewashed material instead of disposable one, composting etc. are some measures which can reduce the generation of wastes. Can u think of some more?
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