why do we need to manage waste
Why Manage Waste? At a national level, the way in which we manage our waste and the resources embodied in that waste, is considered to be a key priority in achieving sustainable development. The previous UK strategy for sustainable development A Better Quality of Life was based on four key principles, including:
These principles, and the introduction of legislation at the European level, have significantly influenced UK waste management policy in recent years. The new UK strategic framework for sustainable development, Securing the Future (DEFRA 2005), reiterates the Government s commitment to waste minimisation and recycling with sustainable production and consumption identified as a priority area. The strategic framework will be supported by separate strategies for each UK administration.
Most organisations, including universities and colleges, are finding that waste management issues are being forced up the agenda by three key issues: Proper waste disposal is critical due to the fact that certain types of wastes can be hazardous and can contaminate the environment if not handled properly. These types of waste also have the potential to cause disease or get into water supplies. There are rules and regulations in place for how specific types of waste should be disposed of. Following them allows for toxic waste to be safely discarded without the risk of environmental contamination. Proper Waste Disposal and the U. S. Government The majority of the laws associated with waste disposal are regulated and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The general health of the public and general U. S. environmental policy are also major responsibilities of the EPA. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 is a major law when it comes to proper waste disposal in the United States. This Act is what gave the EPA the necessary authority to monitor hazardous waste disposal. Proper Waste Disposal and Environmental Health Hazardous wastes that are not properly disposed of can leak and contaminate soil and water, which can lead to issues with both the environment and human health.
Burning the wrong types of waste can release gases into the atmosphere. When waste is properly discarded, special liners are used to prevent toxic chemicals from leaking out and precautions are taken so that any methane related to burning trash is safely contained. Proper Waste Disposal and Public Health When waste is disposed of properly, it helps to prevent additional pollution which can improve public health. Polluted air increases the risk of respiratory illness. Waste that is properly disposed of has a lesser chance of getting into the water supply and causing illness. In the 1980s, there was an incident in New Jersey in which unregulated dumping led to a chromium poisoning epidemic in a local school.
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