With the ever-increasing amount of waste being generated today, it has become extremely crucial to devise effective methods to manage and recycle waste. Many companies and corporations are undergoing continuous research in order to optimize the use of technology for creatively managing waste.
The usual technique followed by city corporations to manage its waste is by collecting them in garbage trucks and dumping them at dumping grounds. However, this method contains a number of flaws that include half-empty trucks being driven all the way to the waste site generating more air pollution in addition to an improper use of city services. Municipal corporations are now realizing the importance of zero waste policy would involve better servicing for residents by reducing operational costs at the same time by way of tracking waste levels in trucks, operational analysis and route optimization to the dumping grounds.
When one thinks of incorporating technology in the field of waste management, a restricted set of ideas are interpreted. However, the process of waste removal has really come a long way. An average person generates about 1 kilogram of waste per day. Some of the most dominant methods of waste disposal are detailed below.
Segregation of watered and non-watered garbage – Dewatering garbage helps in reducing the bulk of waste by draining the water and leaving the leftovers for bacteria to feed on. It is difficult to fathom the amount of waste that gets eaten up by bacteria. The method which is in its late pilot stages is being looked at to be adopted the world over.
Radio frequency identification – This method tracks pickups, waste levels, routes used for disposable, etc. through a radio frequency. This helps in raising an alarm in the early stages of a potential problem.
Infrared spectroscopy – This method helps in identifying the polymer composition which is highly effective in segregating plastic from waste. It makes sorting out easy and thus helps in determining the amount of waste that can be recycled and that which will have to be decomposed.
Gas – many companies are researching and trying methods to transform waste into gases such as diesel, methanol, etc.
Another important factor in waste management is the deposing of hazardous waste carefully without causing any harm to the immediate surroundings. Asbestos is one such product found in waste especially at building sites. Asbestos, when inhaled or ingested, can cause cancer. It is therefore important to have asbestos containing material properly labelled, packed and disposed of accordingly.
Some highly equipped technological methods are also being tested for effective waste management. Drones that reach inaccessible places, building houses and useful objects from waste, harvesting energy with waste are all procedures that involve the use of large machines and trained operators. Some pilot programs have been extremely successful; it is now only a matter of how such methods are to be made largely accessible and cost-effective for more widespread use. A major focus has been on eliminating plastic from use as the product takes hundreds of years to completely decompose and causes a lot of destruction of natural habitat in the process.