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Innovative Waste Disposal

Essay by   •  August 29, 2010  •  Essay  •  907 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,120 Views

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As humanity develops new technology, the magnitude and severity of waste increases. When computers were developed, it widely was believed that the need for paper would be eliminated. On the contrary this was widely proven false and we are now utilizing more paper than ever. Canada is not an exception as the typical Canadian generates an average of three pounds of solid waste each day1. This alone shows what a careless species we have become- using and disposing materials without even considering the damage we are causing. With half a trillion tones of waste around the world, only 25% may be reused for a second or third time and less than 5% can be renewed limitlessly1. These facts are true only in developed countries. Since these traditional waste reduction methods have been proven inefficient, we must endorse new innovative technology to arrive at a solution.

Traditional methods of waste disposal have proven to be ineffective and have caused harmful effects on the environment. The most popular and inexpensive way to get rid of garbage is burial, but burying your problems does not necessarily mean getting rid of them. Landfill sites pose as severe ecological threats as these mass garbage dump yards overflow with trash and frequently contaminate our air, soil and water with hazardous wastes. About 400 million tons of hazardous wastes are generated each year1. A large-scale release of these materials can cause thousands of deaths and may poison the environment for many years. For example many industrial companies around the world cannot afford to enforce the strict pollution regulations set by many developed countries. This usually forces these types of companies to move to developing countries where pollution regulations are very lenient. These developing countries knowingly accept environmentally hazardous companies usually because they are in desperate need of employment. The harmful effects of these companies were clearly illustrated in the 1960s and 1970s when residents living near Minamata Bay, Japan, developed nervous disorders, tremors, and paralysis in a mysterious epidemic. The root was later found to be a local industry that had released mercury, a highly toxic element, into Minamata Bay. The disaster had claimed the lives of 400 people1. Since 1970 you can bet that a lot more than 400 people have died as a result of waste disposal. If the type of waste disposal were cheaper and effective we wouldn't have to deal with waste problems, which still plague mankind today.

Innovative technology along with redefining our outlook on waste will essentially be the key to eliminating mountains of rubbish. Waste should not be seen as worthless junk, but more as a valuable resource, which could benefit people, industries and the environment. Many industries are picking up on this economical concept and changing the way they do business. These industries (commonly referred to as "eco-industrial parks") demonstrate how much can be gained by recycling and resource sharing. Within each park there are several industries working together in sharing the production and use of many costly resources. With all industries striving to achieve the common goal of maximizing revenue and reducing waste, one company's waste becomes another's resource. One method is where excess heat from a power plant warms nearby homes and agricultural greenhouses. These industries also utilize efficient recycling techniques in order to reuse valuable material. For example the sulphur scraped

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