In order to define waste management we need to include several different processes such as collection, transport, processing, recycling, disposing, and monitoring of waste. Without proper waste management we are not only harming a beauty and health of our environment but we are also reducing negative effect that waste can have on our own health.
Waste management significantly differs for developed and developing countries, and many developing countries are still many years away from developing proper waste management systems.
World produces huge amounts of waste, if we look at the U.S. data only we can see that in 2008 U.S. generated 250 million tons of waste. More than half of this waste ends up in landfills, and is therefore consuming huge amount of land. Despite the recent technological advancement landfilling is still the most frequently used method of waste disposal in the US.
Other important waste disposal methods include incineration, plasma gasification, and recycling.
Incineration is a high temperature waste disposal method that includes combustion of waste materials where incinerators convert waste materials into heat, gas, steam, and ash. Incineration is very common waste disposal method in Japan. In United States this method is relatively rarely used.
Plasma gasification waste disposal method uses plasma, a highly ionized or electrically charged gas to convert solid or liquid wastes into a syngas. This waste disposal method is more acceptable compared to incineration because all hazardous materials are destroyed in the process.
Recycling is well known waste-disposal method that is becoming increasingly popular around the globe. Recycling is all about collecting and reusing everyday waste. By recycling used materials into new products to we do not only prevent piling up of the waste but we also reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling).