Trash disposal - Environment Essay Example


Trash also referred to as waste, rubbish, refuse or junk is defined as unwanted or unusable materials - Trash disposal introduction. It is directly related to human development, both socially and technologically. The composition of different types of waste is varied over location and time. Due to the high innovation and development that man has been characterized with, industries have been set up and have directly been linked to these unwanted materials. Wastes have been handled both properly and improperly by various people, causing serious treats to the health of people (Bromberek, 2009).


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Improper trash disposal practices

Some of the improper waste disposal practices that have been experienced include; disposing hazardous household chemicals such as paints, stains, furniture polish, drain cleaner and their containers to the farmstead. These chemicals, especially the polish drain cleaners and paint can pose serious health problems. Containers collect water that act as breeding ground for mosquitoes. These mosquitoes eventually transmit the malaria causing microorganism when they bite people. On the other hand, chemicals get drained into the water sources causing it to be contaminated. Many farms have trash pits located on the premises. Continual use of these pits may cause a buildup of these hazardous chemical which may eventually find their way to the water sources hence contamination (Bromberek, 2009).

The other improper way that people dispose trash is the way grease, used antifreeze and lead acid batteries are disposed on the landfills. Research carried out showed that one quart of used motor oils can make 250000 gallons of drinking water undrinkable. According to the same estimates, the amount of   oil that is improperly disposed of household refuses or dumped on the ground or into the sewer, in the United States is approximately 57 times the amount of oil that was spilled by the Exxon Valdez in Alaska during the accident that the oil tanker experienced in 1989. Lead-acid in this case is hazardous as it contains sulphuric acid which is very dangerous to human life (Daphne, 1994).

Unwanted or banned pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals and their containers have sometimes been disposed improperly. All pesticides and their containers should be handled as prescribed by the manufacturer in the label. This reduces the risk of health and environmental problems being experienced .Of great concern is the handling of those pesticides that have been classified as “restricted use”. Their containers should also be disposed properly as they may collect water and become breeding areas for mosquitoes and other insects that are harmful to man (Dalphne, 1994).

The other practice that portrays the way waste is improperly disposed is the way the burning of the waste at the dump site. This way of disposing trash has more harm than good. This habit poses a direct safety threat due to the danger of explosion. These explosions are harmful to the local communities living around the sites. The air is polluted due to the gases emitted that in some cases is produced in form of green house gases (GHGs) which contribute to climate change.lastly, the other way in which trash can be mishandled or improperly disposed is through uncontrolled dumping that causes wastes to be unmanageable. Most of the uncontrolled dumps are many years old and have grown from small dumps to large, unmanaged wastes sites. As the waste decomposes, it creates leachate –a mix of toxic and nontoxic liquids and rainwater which find their way into the local water supplies and contaminate the drinking water. Uncontrolled dumps also discharge explosive gases which may be combustible.

Health problems caused by improper disposal of waste

When improperly disposed, these wastes can pose myriads of health risks. Many problems have been associated with the improper toxic waste disposal on behalf of the companies and individuals. People who have been exposed to high toxic waste over a long period of time through the pollution of groundwater, air and soil experience these problems that come in different forms like cancers and birth defect (Frank & George, 2002).

Manufacturing plants and hospitals release a toxic substance called Arsenic. This chemical if not properly disposed can cause a number of health problems in human. Some of these conditions include certain types of cancer. Depending on the on the type of contact, Arsenic can cause skin cancer, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer and the cancer of the liver. The chemical can also cause inflammation of the heart, changes in the blood vessels and kidney poisoning that leads to renal failure. It can also lead to changes in skin pigmentation or skin thickening (Daphne, 1994).

Burning of plastics and other substances containing carbon element emit a poisonous   chemical called Dioxin. This is a chlorinated hydrocarbon. When inhaled, Dioxin can cause health problems including the biochemical and cellular effects. The cellular effects include apoptosis.hypoplasia, hypaplasia; metaplasia and neoplasia.Dioxins are also chronic and can cause all sorts of cancers. The other confirmed effect of Dioxins is the skin disorder called chlorance (Frank & George, 2002)

Lead contained in lead materials on the other hand if not properly disposed can cause some health issues that affect individuals of all ages. Among the effects of lead are reduced fertility, depressed hemoglobin, sexual maturation and neurodevelopment effects and neurobehavioral effects. In conclusion therefore all hazardous waste should be properly disposed in order to avoid these catastrophic effects (Frank & George, 2002)














Bromberek, Z. (2009) Eco-resorts: planning and design for the tropics, Princeton:

Architectural Press.

Daphne, L. (1994) Biotechnology for the treatment of hazardous waste Amsterdam: CRC                                   Press.

Frank, K. and George, T. (2002) Handbook of solid waste management New York: McGraw-Hill          Professional

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