Did you know that the United States produces 12% of global municipal solid waste (MSW)? Yes, you read that right.
According to a 2017 study conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the USA (population approximately 328.2 million) produced 258 million tons of MSW in 2017. While China, the most populous country globally with over 1.383 billion people, only generated 210 million tons of MSW. In terms of other wastes such as industrial, medical, e-waste, hazardous waste, and agricultural waste, the U.S. generated approximately 8.4 billion tons in 2017.
With the new environmental laws advocating for a greener way of living, do you think our waste production lessened during the course of 3 years? Do you believe we are on our way to a greener future?
If you’re still not big on climate change, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the top 5 global risks of 2020 are all environmental. One of these global risks is “human-made environmental disaster”, such as biohazard waste disposal. Another global is risk is climate action failures (which is tied to proper waste management).
I know what you’re thinking – you will no longer be around when climate change consequences occur. Well, don’t you want your future generations to feel safe and enjoy living on a clean planet? Life on Mars is a Hail Mary. I hope you’re not counting on it.
What is Waste Management?
In simplest terms, waste management is the collection, transportation, and disposal of garbage and other waste products. Every year, landfills in the United States are filled with 139.6 million tons of waste. The most significant type of waste that ends up in landfills is food. Aside from economic losses, food waste is also a producer of greenhouse gases.
The second-largest type of waste that is found in landfills is plastic. Plastic waste contributes greatly to climate change and poses a critical threat to pollution, biodiversity, and human health. While some types of plastic waste can’t be recycled such as single-use plastic bags and straws, most we toss can actually be recycled or reused.
The 5 Rs in Waste Management
As sensible dwellers of the Earth, we are responsible for managing our waste sustainably and protecting the environment. We can do this by following the 5 Rs of waste management.
Reducing your waste means that there would be less waste to manage. However, reducing waste is easier said than done. Most businesses have unavoidable waste produce – and that’s fine. I’m sure business owners are trying to limit their waste expense, anyway.
Still, how can we reduce waste?
The easiest thing to do to reduce waste is to stop the use of single-use plastics. If you’re going shopping, take a reusable shopping bag with you. You can also buy in bulk to reduce plastic packaging.
A good percentage of the waste that ends up in landfills can be reused—waste such as unwanted clothes, toys, old jars, or old magazines.
Remember the saying, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure?”
If you don’t want to keep some of your old stuff, why not donate them instead? You can give unwanted toys and books to schools. You can donate your unwanted clothes to goodwill. You can take your old magazines to your local dentist’s clinic.
We have been taught how to recycle ever since we were in grade school. Yet, most of us have forgotten how to do it due to a loss of creativity as we age.
Paper, cardboard, glass, tin, aluminum, and plastic containers can be recycled to produce another product. At the same time, organic waste can be recycled to make worm farms and compost.
Most local districts have recycling depositories. Contact your local city or district council to find out what your local recycling park collects so you can put them aside when the garbage collector comes to collect your trash.
Recovery of waste is a technique where waste such as oils can be used for energy recovery. This is the purpose of good waste disposal companies.
Waste disposal companies who are certified and trained for proper waste handling have methods for waste recovery.
When waste cannot be used in any other way, we turn into the last option – residual management. Usually, this means the waste is sent to a landfill, sewer, or septic tank. However, when residual solid of liquid waste is not handled or disposed of properly, it can damage the environment and affect people’s health.
Why is Proper Management of Waste Important in Business?
Whether we like it or not, most businesses generate different types of solid and liquid wastes. These can be hazardous wastes, which can bring environmental and legal repercussions if not disposed of properly.
It is every business’s responsibility to ensure that their generated waste is properly disposed of on time. This is why it is essential to hire an environmental service that is knowledgeable about waste management.
Most, if not all, states in the United States of America are legally obliged to manage and dispose of all wastes effectively. If you abandon hazardous wastes or throw them illegally to a landfill (or worse, a stream), expect to be sanctioned or fined as a consequence.
Improper waste disposal also has a negative environmental impact. You wouldn’t want your business in the middle of an environmental issue. It wouldn’t look good for your brand, and you could lose customers.
We are your waste disposal partners.
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. has been serving the North Central Texas area for over 25 years. We are OSHA-certified to provide waste disposal, spill cleanup, and remediation services. Contact the Protect Team 24/7 to ask about our biohazard decontamination services through 817-589-9005.
Richard Cameron is the CEO of Protect Environmental Services.
Protect Environmental Services, Inc. (PESI) is your best-in-class “clutch” performer when you need a First Responder. PESI tackle & remediate the most dangerous chemical spills & removal of hazardous waste. In fact, our pursuit of safety & rapid response for environmental sustainability surpasses ALL other environmental service companies. PESI has been rapidly responding to emergency environmental calls in North Central Texas since 1996.
Richard is also a published author of the “Ebola Response Procedures.” Additionally, he is considered an expert witness to many litigation and mediation cases. He works with multiple law enforcement agencies in forensics to hunt down illegal dumping perpetrators.