People generate enormous amounts of garbage daily, so it’s even strange that the disposal problem has become relevant relatively recently. This industry has its own prospects, and some countries have succeeded so much that they even import processed waste.
World pollution problem
Daily humanity generates a huge amount of garbage. Industrial and medical materials and residues, a huge amount of plastic, glass, paper, and everything else that is thrown out in the course of a simple vital activity of an average person. Recycling and disposal of waste covers only a small part of the garbage. Everything else is in landfills and slowly poisons the environment, even if there is nothing toxic in this garbage. Nature can not decompose paper, plastic, polyethylene far from immediately - it can take a small amount of time, as well as decades or even centuries. Technological progress has given mankind many new products, but it also contributed to the emergence of materials that are not subject to decay and rapid organic processing, even if it is necessary. And only recently, people seriously thought about this and began to think how to fix the situation that has developed literally over the past couple of centuries. Unfortunately, humanity expects a long and difficult path, involving the abandonment of the existing model of mindless consumption.
At the moment, there are three most promising areas that can help get rid of the problem, especially in the case of an integrated approach. The first is the development of biodegradable materials. A huge part of the garbage is packaging: plastic, bags, boxes, etc. Paper, cardboard and other new materials are a step towards a clean planet.
The second measure is social responsibility. Garbage sorting is the simplest thing an ordinary consumer can do for nature. After all, if the separation is already familiar with the composition of all discharged, it will save a lot of time and energy. And sorted trash will be much easier to recycle.
Finally, another measure directly related to the previous one is the promotion of reuse. Packages, paper, plastic and glass containers - all this can give a second life, as well as delay the time when they will be in the trash.
All these measures are good in their own way, although they can be both effective and show their worthlessness - it depends on what kind of policy the state will pursue and which methods will be used to reduce the amount of garbage.
There are several criteria according to which garbage can be divided into several categories. Among them are the following:
- by origin - household and industrial waste (processing, production, etc.);
- as - solid, liquid, gaseous;
- hazard class - 5 categories are used in Russia.
The garbage generated by enterprises attracts attention in the first place. Firstly, something that was not useful in one production can be a valuable resource in another. Secondly, the disposal or recycling of industrial waste is necessary because it may contain substances that are hazardous to the environment and people. At the same time, household garbage hardly attracts attention, but the average Russian family generates more than 400 kilograms per year. Of this mass, more than half are plastic and waste paper. At the same time, the separation and processing of household waste in the Russian Federation are completely unsettled.
Different types of waste require different approaches. A large number of harmful substances appears as a result of the processing of petroleum products and wood, the functioning of processing and chemical enterprises. The main problem is that the processing of industrial waste is not always possible, and then the only way to get rid of it is to bury it in a landfill or heat treatment.
Separately, it is worth mentioning about plastic, which has found wide application in human life. Its disposal is difficult due to the fact that this substance is divided into many types, each of which requires a separate approach. In addition, thermal processing of plastic, that is, simply burning it, is often impossible, because during this process a huge amount of harmful elements is formed. Organic decomposition, however, takes too much time.
Each group must use its own methods, so even before disposal, the garbage must be sorted:
- For organic waste by origin, biological processing is suitable. Paper, cardboard, food garbage can be composted and left for decay. In the future, they can be used in agriculture. Sometimes even natural fabrics are processed using this method.
- Metal is excellently re-melted and reused. The main problem consists only in its isolation from, for example, electrical appliances thrown into a landfill.
- Various types of heat treatment are suitable when it comes to wood processing waste. By burning raw materials, a certain amount of energy can be obtained.
- Plastic processing is carried out using mechanical (grinding) and chemical methods. As a rule, in the future, new polymers are obtained that can be reused.
- Burial place. The most hazardous production wastes undergo a special procedure, which involves their maximum isolation from the environment for a sufficiently long time. After some time, they are naturally decomposed or taken out for further disposal.
Solid waste processing can be an additional source of both energy and raw materials. So, in the West only one third of all garbage is buried, the rest goes to work in one way or another to be reused. Besides the fact that this allows saving on the production of energy and materials, there is no accumulation of waste in the form of unaesthetic and dangerous landfills.
In Russia, unfortunately, things are different. The waste separation system is in its infancy, there are practically no bins with multiple compartments. Only a small part is subjected to some kind of action, only plastic processing is more or less developed, but even it accounts for only 5-7%. The rest of the volume falls under landfill.
Scientists offer many ways to make recycling waste less hazardous and more beneficial. The most viable technologies are those that allow decomposition of garbage into its original components with their subsequent reuse. These environmentally neutral methods are already used in test mode in Europe and so far are not satisfactory.
Trash and art
Recycling and recycling is a problem that has inspired many artists and sculptors to create publicity. Canadian fashion designers offer to sew clothes from waste materials. Paradoxically, it can even be worn, although it is very extravagant. An architectural company from the Netherlands proposes to create artificial islands from waste, where refugees from hot spots could live . Finally, the well-known American artist Lisa Hawke uses garbage in his paintings, ambiguous and bewitching. So there is no need to talk about the unambiguous harmfulness of household waste.