Garbage pollution means littering civic waste particularly household waste into places not designated to dispose it off. It is mainly caused by mismanagement of solid waste when garbage is not lifted from streets and areas to carry it to landfill sites for its final disposal. It all happens owing to poor system of either garbage collection or its disposal.
In Pakistan segregation of certain types of garbage has been routine. Items like newspapers, used bottles, magazines, old exercise books and oil cans etc have been kept aside and sold to local collectors or kabadiwalas for centuries.This is not so today. We waste a lot and throw away huge amounts of material that sits in a landfill and pollutes the soil and everything else.
The time to take this very seriously has arrived. With global warming and decay of natural habitats, there is absolutely no time to waste.
Garbage pollution consists of many things. Certain items are not biodegradable (they do not decompose easily I.e Plastics) but can be reused or recycled. In fact, it is believed that a large portion of the garbage we create can be recycled. Some can be converted to compost, a large portion can be recycled while a small portion could be considered non recyclable and put into a land fill.
There are primarily 4 categories of waste:
• Wet and dry waste, which should be disposed of separately.
• Toxic wastes such as medicines, batteries, dried paint, old bulbs, and dried shoe polish which needs special care when we dispose of them.
• Wet or organic waste, which consists of leftover foodstuff, vegetable peels, etc., should be put in a compost pit and the compost could be used as manure in the garden.
• Dry waste consisting of cans, aluminum foils, plastics, metal, glass, and paper could be recycled.
Causes of garbage pollution
Pollution of garbage increases in cities and towns where there is no proper system of garbage collection. Households have to simply collect the entire garbage of their houses and place it to outside home in dustbin or bag.
Its collection is the task of civic agency of the area. If garbage collection agency or contractor does not play its role properly and does not collect the garbage regularly then the problem of this kind of pollution would obviously arise.
Improper disposal mechanism is another cause of this type of pollution. If garbage collection agency simply collects the entire garbage of its area of responsibility but does not dispose it off in proper landfill site then it would litter around here and there and most of it would pile up in streets and other areas.
It would eventually cause several diseases due to mushrooming growth of harmful bacteria in it.
Effects of garbage pollution
In least developed countries mostly garbage is dumped in open or freely available places and to make its final disposal entire garbage is burnt and no one stops them because of un-awareness.
Burning garbage not only adds land pollution after being fully burnt but it also becomes source of air pollution by emitting harmful gases while burning. It is called one of the worst air polluting acts because it remains directly in breathing zone of human beings.
Garbage pollution is main cause of various bacterial diseases and gastro is one of them. Moreover, typhoid, malaria and various infectious diseases are also caused by it. Mosquitoes and other insects amasses in places where there are piles of garbage and ultimately spread various diseases in the area.
Solutions for garbage pollution
The key solution for garbage pollution lies in proper management of solid waste. Apart from that there are three slogans to address this issue; reduce, reuse and recycle. In this way garbage pollution issue could be solved with simply community efforts.
Here reduce means to generate garbage less means fully use the thing and then treat it as garbage like write on every inch of a paper and then through it as useless.
Similarly reuse means if possible use again and again an item instead of throwing it away; for example if you buy oil in a bottle so after consuming that oil use the bottle to keep any other liquid item in it like liquid soap or dish washer liquid etc.
Recycle means instead of disposing of garbage in landfill site sort out from it the things which can be made reusable after slight treatment to it like cans, tins, bottles etc.
The clear message we believe everyone needs to hear is that lurking among the filth and debris in our communities are a number of deadly diseases, including mosquito-borne ones such as chikungunya, chik-V and dengue. Unattended garbage attracts flies, rodents and other creatures that spread disease.
Since entire communities are at risk of exposure to hazardous waste and the effects of pollutants from improperly disposed garbage.
There is a strong role for our local influencers to play in educating and engaging community members about the environment. We point to the schools, youth groups and non-governmental organisations among the groups that can help to promote the reduction, reuse and recycling of waste at home, in the workplace, and in schools so that less strain is placed on our fragile resources.
Electronics distributors, for example, also have a huge role to play in helping the consumer dispose of used electronics that often contain toxins such as lead and mercury. Farmers, too, should be better educated on how to dispose of pesticides. These toxins, when dumped indiscriminately, can do harm to our air and water supply.
Today's climate crisis will likely have a great impact on generations not yet born. This is why we are urging the new administration of Prime Minister to make the environment a priority, with particular emphasis on waste-management and disposal sites. The Government should lead the charge in setting targets and urging specific actions in an effort to achieve national environmental goals from reducing greenhouse gases to recycling.
The experts regard recycling as the first step in efficient solid-waste management therefore the solid waste management authority should devise a plan and educate householders on how they should separate their garbage.