How Waste Management is Contributing to Conservation Efforts?

by | Jul 12, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

We are surrounded by waste in the modern world, piling up under our sinks, filling up acres of landfills, killing marine life, and polluting the soil. While we’ve tried to cover our trash for years, the problem hasn’t gone away; it’s only become exponentially larger, to the point where we can’t ignore it anymore.

Tackling waste requires more than just changing the products we buy, implementing much better recycling programs, or maybe cleaning up the shoreline. We need to think bigger! It is essential to recognize the relationship between waste, society and conservation.

We Are Faced With A Challenge

Today, waste is in all forms, and it affects both nature and people. When you have non-degradable waste entering the food chain, it will potentially lead to death and disease. Organic waste can cause pest outbreaks, contaminate water and soil. Toxic waste, on the other hand, is harmful too in the same regard. When you have poor waste management, it harms biodiversity directly and indirectly. It can become a potential contributor to greenhouse gases, consequently leading to global warming. Waste also directly affects our health, particularly in developing countries where people depend on a healthy and functioning environment to survive. But waste isn’t managed well because these countries lack technology and resources.

Waste Management Strategies


So, the big question is, how do we go about managing our waste holistically. The short answer is to start small but by thinking big. You develop local initiatives that are within regional waste management strategies.

A small village or a town in a developing country with a problem managing its waste contributes to a global issue by polluting the sea. Though these sites can be developed using a systematic process, which, if practical, can later be duplicated across multiple other villages and scaled up for cities. The process will involve collection, sorting, processing and embedding.

The collection and sorting process may involve removing the plastics from the environment, mainly from marine, fresh water and coastal habitats. That way, they will not enter the environment. Waste collection and sorting programs can provide livelihood while contributing to the environment.

Processing is mainly reusing, recycling and then generating energy along with other valuable products from the waste. An excellent example of this is developing and then using composters at a small scale to generate energy from biodegradable waste. Often this will involve developing recycling facilities for the waste. In far-flung areas, a process called ‘precycling,’ the act of not using or buying items that can’t be easily recycled. Businesses can have ‘buy back’ or take-back schemes for their products like batteries and other items. Locals can be paid to sort or pre-sort the waste. The broader challenge is for countries to develop regional waste management strategies which can be used as part of local processes. However, this requires education and raising awareness amongst the local communities. Once local communities understand the positive effects waste management can have on their livelihood, health and the environment, spreading the word to other communities becomes exponentially easier.