The Importance of Proper Waste Disposal
In 2023, the importance of proper waste disposal can’t be overstated.
Whether it’s everyday rubbish and waste removal through council-supplied bins, or removing trash from work sites or commercial premises, proper waste disposal is essential.
Australia may be one of the most progressive countries when it comes to waste disposal, but that doesn’t take away from the 76 million tonnes of waste that we produce each year – a number that continues to climb.
With some 28% of Australia’s waste ending up in landfills, proper waste disposal starts at our own front door.
To properly understand the importance of proper waste disposal in 2023, we’ve compiled a list of the three most important reasons that we all need to participate in proper waste disposal and how we can start immediately.
Table of contents
- Environmental considerations
- Recycling benchmarks
- Health implications
1. Proper Waste Disposal Protects the Environment
When it comes to understanding the importance of proper waste disposal, it’s essential to start with the environmental impacts.
When waste is not correctly disposed or cared for, it ends up in landfills or our oceans.
When waste begins to clog up our landfills instead of being recycled, it naturally decomposes and produces methane and greenhouse gasses. Depending on the nature of materials, the time to decompose can stretch out.
When waste decomposes it emits methane which, as a gas, is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and is a leading cause of climate change.
When waste ends up in our oceans or waterways, it can have untold implications on the quality of drinking water and even how safe it is to enter and swim in water – a key consideration for a water loving country like Australia.
Still not convinced? Here are some key statistics that may make you reconsider.
Key statistics for the environmental importance of proper waste disposal
- Over 2 billion tons of waste are generated each year worldwide. (Source: World Bank)
- Only about 16% of waste is recycled globally. (Source: World Bank)
- Landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions. (Source: EPA)
- Methane is a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. (Source: EPA)
Improper waste disposal can contaminate water and soil, and release harmful chemicals into the air. (Source: EPA)
2. How Waste Disposal Helps to Meet Recycling benchmarks
Waste disposal services and education play a key role in meeting national and global recycling standards.
Globally, recycling plays a key role in maintaining the wellbeing of our planet and working towards reuse and recycle objectives set out on a national and international level.
To assist these objectives, it’s important that services and education are in place so that individuals understand how, what and why they should be recycling.
By limiting the creation of new “virgin” materials, we can effectively cut down on pollution associated with production, landfill waste, and the cycle that contributes to global emissions and pollution.
Key stats for how proper waste disposal helps to meet recycling benchmarks
- The projected rise in the amount of waste, from 1.3 billion tonnes per year today to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025, is projected raise the annual global costs from $205 billion to $375 billion (Source: World Bank)
- Recycling aluminium cans saves 95% of the energy used to make aluminium cans from virgin materials. (Source: EPA)
- Recycling one plastic bottle saves enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for six hours. (Source: Envirobank)
3. The Health Implications of Proper Waste Disposal
Improper waste disposal such as burning, landfill waste, hazardous waste, or dumping can greatly increase the risk of adverse outcomes – particularly for at risk groups like children, the elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that e-waste is driving an influx of harmful waste with serious health implications,
With e-waste projected to increase to 75 million tonnes by 2030 and just 17% of this being recycled correctly, the time to act is now.
Key stats around the health implications of proper waste disposal
- Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause 502,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year (Source: World Health Organisation)
- Children living near landfills are more likely to develop asthma and other respiratory problems. (Source: National Institutes of Health Australia)
- Improper electronic waste disposal causes respiratory problems, cancer, and other health issues, especially for children and the poor. (Source: World Health Organisation)
Proper waste disposal starts with the individuals. Whilst waste removal companies like Waste Clear continue to provide new opportunities for proper waste disposal, businesses and individuals must take steps to ensure that proper waste disposal practices are incorporated into the way that we dispose of and recycle at home and at work.
Still not sure where to start? Get in touch with our team to find out how waste removal services can actively improve your environmental footprint in a commercial setting.