Cities and towns rely on systematized ways of collecting and eliminating junk. They adopt organized methods to handle trash from both private and commercial sources. But how are these waste management systems developed? What are the scientific principles behind them?
Anywhere in the world, the goal is always to handle waste management in an organized manner. Junk removal in West Palm Beach or other US areas may not be the same as those in Southeast Asian cities, but it follows mostly the same principles. These principles can be summarized as follows:
The waste hierarchy is anchored on the “3 Rs”, namely reduce, reuse, and recycle. The main goal of which is the minimization of waste. People should be encouraged to reduce the amount of waste they generate. Items that are still reusable must be used again. Recyclable trash should be segregated for recycling. The waste hierarchy principle focuses on the reduction of garbage that reaches landfills. The highest priority is to encourage a decrease in waste generation. The next priority is to reuse trash if it is possible, then undertake recycling efforts for junk that is deemed unusable.
The waste hierarchy is the main driving force in the need to segregate waste. It is the reason why households and commercial establishments are encouraged or sometimes compelled to separate the trash into groups such as paper, plastics, glass, wood, scrap metal, compost, and residual waste.
Another important principle in waste management is resource efficiency, which is essentially the need for sustainability in production and consumption patterns. If waste hierarchy focuses on the minimization of garbage, the resource efficiency principle targets the maximization in manufacturing and product use. This principle seeks to encourage more efficient product packaging and less wasteful consumption among consumers.
Consumption growth appears to be considerably higher than the rate of replenishment for the raw materials used in the production of goods. It will not take a long time for people to nearly fully deplete important natural resources, especially when taking into account population growth worldwide.
Governments adopt the polluter-pays principle, which requires those responsible for disposing of waste products that pollute the environment to compensate for their impact on the environment. Businesses that produce large amounts of trash must pay more for their share in the removal and processing of all types of rubbish they dispose of into the environment. If they rely on the government for their waste disposal, they have to pay more. Their contribution cannot be similar to what households and smaller commercial establishments are paying.
Many countries already consider the “polluter pays” principle as a regional custom. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as the European Union, support it. Environmental laws in the United States consider it as a fundamental principle.
Junk removal and waste management are not only concerned with the details of how waste should be destroyed or stored. It is essential to ascertain environmental safety and public health. The system should ensure a minimal impact on the environment and the elimination of health hazards. However, it is also equally important to promote the reduction of the amount of trash to be processed or dumped in landfills.