Many different industries produce hazardous waste. All hazardous waste has to be specially discarded separately from the rest of your waste. Without the use of quality waste management, hazardous materials and substances can get into the environment, becoming a threat to all life on the planet. To understand the negative effects of poor waste management, read below.
Much of the waste we produce contains hazardous components. One of the major advantages of having a waste management plan is it will help guarantee your hazardous waste is never discarded in the wrong way. All regular garbage winds up in a landfill, where it will decompose. Any hazardous substance that is incorrectly discarded in the landfill will make its way into the soil. This will affect the natural environment, animal life, and eventually human life. Even tossing recyclable materials like plastic bottles in with the garbage instead of recycling presents a risk. Plastic eventually breaks down and will release a carcinogen that can transfer into plants and water. This can be ingested through vegetables and fruits, causing damage to reproductive capabilities, liver dysfunction, and weight loss issues.
Water easily picks up pollution through dissolved chemicals. Any hazardous substances disposed of in water will contaminate it. Anything in the landfill will get into the soil, and from there into the groundwater. From there it will cycle its way to people’s drinking water. Rainwater can also mix with toxic substances in the ground and seep into small streams, which can lead to larger bodies of water. This means the water in a nearby pond, drinking fountain, and lake can contain hazardous substances. Sadly, all forms of life are affected by this.
Extreme Weather From Climate Change
Climate change is a current issue. Through better scientific understanding, we recognize climate change as one of the greatest threats to future existence. For decades, greenhouse gases have dispersed into the atmosphere, which eats into the ozone layer, decreasing our protection from the effects of the sun. Greenhouse gases are an especially toxic side effect of decomposing waste. These gases have damaged the atmosphere, resulting in extreme weather and storms like typhoons, hurricanes, and dangerous tornados. Further damage to our environment will affect temperature, produce acid rain, and yield hailstorms.
Another one of the negative effects of poor waste management is contamination of the air, specifically the ozone layer, as mentioned above. Materials such as plastics and paper disposed of in regular garbage burn off at the landfill. The smoke and gases produced enter and damage the ozone layer, polluting the air that we all breathe. Methane gas is released from the breakdown of organic waste as well as the production of fossil fuels, which has been proven to have harmful effects on humans when it’s in the air.